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Hearsay Archive:

Here we store old Hearsay items (including their discussion links). You don't have to register or sign in for discussions, you can just click the "Post a new message" button and go.

Some of the links are likely to rot over time. Sorry about that, but our fridge isn't working.
2003: August September October November December
2004: January February March April May June

August 2003:

... ...


The Gatenby Elegies
People love their rude, erudite curmudgeons... 

God Save My Queen
Reviewed in New York Times

NYC poet Daniel Nester wrote an entire book of poems dedicated to (and named after) every Queen song. Freak. (login: bookninja, password: waaaa) (discuss)

Alas, poor Canada.
Karl Siegler, the publisher of Talonbooks and founder of the Literary Press Group of Canada, weighs in on the literary/intellectual life in Canada, the death of CanLit and the "metastasis" of big-box bookstores. (discuss)

Hey, everyone! Fight! Fight!
The Underground Literary Alliance, best known for complaining about the "cronyism" of writers like Rick Moody and Jonathan Franzen, has lately gone after Dave Eggers and his crowd. Tom Bissell fired back in Eggers' latest project, The Believer, with an essay about the ULA. The ULA fired back with a couple of essays of their own. Collateral damage is everywhere, even the pages of the Village Voice. Even the bully is wading into this one.  (discuss)

Yes, It Says Oprah/Experimental
Suzan Lori-Parks, one of the most innovative playwrights alive, has written a novel. Read her thoughts on the book, the representation of race in Faulkner, and how working with Oprah is “experimental.”  



Things You Never Knew You Cared About
Ever wondered who chooses what illustrations make it into the dictionary, and why? Of course you have. (login: bookninja, password: waaaa) (discuss)

I Feel Dirty...
Alicia Erian makes me blush. She has a new essay up on You need to be a member to view it though. Like you aren't already one, Perv. (discuss)

Bring Out Yer Dead!
Is the Gatenby rhetoric changing? (discuss)

Does Anyone But Me Know When to Use the En-Dash?
There's a new Chicago Manual of Style out, and for the first time it has a grammar section. At last, my life is complete, you say? Well, wait, critics are less than enthused. And the editor wonders if the guide would be better off as a 900 number: "You want to use a hyphen there? Oh, that's very naughty!" (login: bookninja, password: waaaa) (discuss)

Funny, My Journal is Word for Word the Same!
Even though it's only an excerpt (they do want you to buy the magazine, these print people), anything by Calvino (the diary of his first days in New York) is worth a read... (discuss)

And All We Can Think Is: Sweet, Merciful Crap, Give the Woman on the Cover Some Food...
Scarlett O'Hara, Emma Bovary, Cameron Diaz... isn't Bushnell aiming a bit high? (discuss)

This reminds me of something
A.M. Homes is weird. Or maybe she's just channeling Mark Leyner. (discuss)


Okay, so the Old Board Sucked... has a new kind of message board... It doesn't look fancy, but it's easier to use -- discussion done bulletin board style for each subject. Just click on a "(discuss)" link, type your name and say, say, say what you want, (but don't play games with my affection). The "Board" links in the nav bars above and below go to an archive page. Let's get ready to rumble! (discuss) 

Two Minutes for Looking So Good, 'dere Chief...
And in this corner: Andrew "The Madman" Pyper. Our favourite nice-guy writer gets into a bar fight! (discuss)

Foyles: A Proud 'Member' of the, ahem, Bookslut Team...
A profile of the venerable Charing Cross Road institution. (discuss)

Ah, Cleo Birdwell, I Barely Knew You...

So when you're rich and famous, which book will you pretend you never wrote? (login: bookninja, password: waaaa) (discuss)

The Emperor's New Words
Web Del Sol says avant-garde poetry is "indistinguishable from the early stages of dementia." Check out the other links on the page for a long diatribe against contemporary American poetry. (discuss)

Fight Club Action Figures!

The Ed Norton figure really seems to be more of an inaction figure. Anyway, scroll down the page, past the Hannibal Lecter action figure. Yeah, you read it right. (discuss)


Sir Gatenby and the Gatenbeast
Hither and yon he gallops on sturdy steed to save or destroy ... depending on who you ask. More people weigh in on the Greg Gatenby/Toronto Harbourfront International Authors Festival saga. (discuss)

Honest ABE's
A brief history of used books online. And not the slimy Amazon kind... (discuss)

Whereas We Just Tend to Go Beyond the Ad-Hockey....
A profile review of uber-critic James Wood (wasn't he the guy in Videodrome?) in NYRB  calls him "that rare critic nowadays who goes beyond the necessary ad-hockery of book reviewing to propound a theory of fiction." (discuss)

Incomprehensible, Maybe ... but Sexy?
In New York magazine's list of 50 sexiest New Yorkers (it's a highbrow pub, baby), the award for Sexiest Writer goes to.... (discuss)

In My Previous Life I Was a Hardcover

The remainder bin: the dog pound of books. (you have to fill out a small form, but feel free to lie) (discuss)

A Woman Scorned
A primer on and review of some "psychological novels" of the Victorian period. (discuss)


Black-Out Stories Wanted
So what did you read during the blackout? C'mon, there was no television and God knows you didn't want to talk to anyone. Cough it up. Way to go Karen Wagner, even if! Didn't know there was a blackout? Bravo! (discuss)

"Where are the great contemporary Australian novels about ordinary life?"
Alan Attwood defends Australian historical fiction. Peter Carey chimes in here. (discuss)

Don't Look It Up!
First the Chicago Manual of Style kicks off a controversy, now Merriam Webster's? It's an exciting time for copy editors! (discuss)


"One of the terrible ironies about the history of taste is that these reversals can happen so brutally and totally."
You said it, Frank. An interview with Frank Bidart, who collected 1200 pages of Lowell to the undying gratitude of everyone from the 50's and 60's and some us from now. (discuss)

"Graphica" Sounds Good to Me...
Great profile of Montreal's Drawn & Quarterly. (discuss)

Poet Laureate Lite?
From an essay on the popularity of the new US Laureate titled, Poetry for Dummies? -- "No line divorced from its context has the power to haunt." Ouch. (discuss)

Poet Laureate Lyte?
From an older article: a spot of history, then, on England's spot of Poet Laureate. (fyi: Motion got the job...) (discuss)

What We've Needed for Years: A Tattoo Encyclopedia (no, not THAT Tattoo)
When will these Americans learn: a moose is NEVER "just a moose!" (discuss)

Required Reading: Tasini vs. The New York Times. They did the same thing to the Wild West, bringing law and order... and now look where we are -- sequin-less and working in cubicles instead of drinking, gambling, and killing each other. (discuss)


My Name is Bob and I... I Have a Problem….
Are you a readaholic? The first step is admitting you have a problem. (discuss)

Kingwell and the Thief
When philosophy meets action, anything can happen. This summer's thrill chill spill ride -- you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you were dead. (discuss)

Don't Shoot the Messenger
Remember Meyer's A Reader's Manifesto essay in the Atlantic? MobyLives print publishing wing Melville House published the unexpurgated version last fall. An interview with Meyer's from 2002, revisited. (discuss)

File This Under What-the-Hey-
Manifesto. Manifesto. Manifesto. (discuss)

Always With the Does Poetry Matter?... Sheesh! 
Ugh. Can we keep this to once a generation maybe? (discuss)


Excellent ... I Must Be Mere Moments Away from My Torrid Fling with Janeane Garofalo
Forget the speedo and the bikini, the best way to size up the goods lies in the choice of books. (discuss)

And You Thought We Kvetched?
These guys will take on Oprah, "Chick-Lit," and Peggy all at once... Hmm. I think I see a pattern. (discuss)

TOMMY X: The Mutant Years
A review in NYRB calls the graphic novel "the visual equivalent of the rock opera." Presumably with better music. (discuss)

File This Under: Imagine That
Poet disapproves of Bush and gets onto CNN... Me no like him too. (discuss)

Amis in the Dog Pound
You know those cultures who put their elderly out to die? "The factors that have made him a nicer person to meet might be responsible for his not being able to write good fiction any more." Word. (discuss)


Et tu?
Apparently Gatenby isn't the only reading series director who likes picking fights. (discuss)

Isn't this how Napster started?
hits England. (discuss)

Is it Just Me, or is Stephen King Starting to Look Like Stephen Hawking?
King's new column takes aim at our national heritage: the Dion sing-tuplet. (discuss)

Supreme Court Makes Up for that Bush Thing.
Okay, it's a different Supreme Court, but I made you look. Anyway, they decided that comics actually qualify as art. Read all about it in the case of rock stars Johnny and Edgar Winter vs., uh, Jonah Hex. That's right, art. (discuss)

But is it Entertaining?
For those of you who still need convincing that comics can be art, Joe Sacco has an interview up on January Magazine. You can read a ninja review of his most acclaimed work, Safe Area Gorazde, here. For those of you who know that comics can be art, did you know the Rawhide Kid is gay? I have to re-evaluate my childhood now.... (discuss)

A Better Man Than I...
You've just won a prestigious literary award valued at about 100G's. What do you do? I'll give you a hint: ruff! (discuss)

Note to readers:

August 21 to August 24 -
back next week
with more news, a review of Derek McCormack's The Haunted Hillbilly, and more.
Hope this tides you over until then.
(Got something to say?
 Send it here.)


Exactly How do You Pronounce that Last Name?
Salon really, really doesn't like the new Chuck Palahniuk novel. (discuss)

You Expect Someone with the Last Name "Grimes" to Stay Clean?
I may actually read this one, in case anyone I know is in it. I always knew there was something going on there... (login: bookninja, password: waaaa) (discuss)

It's Either the Fish or the Smack that Accounts for My People's Healthy Glow...
Irvine Welsh, quoted as saying "we are what we eat, and I had the idea of writing a profile and history of Edinburgh through its chip shops" (yawn), goes "fish and chip-spotting." (discuss)

Is English the Wal-Mart of Languages?
Canadian journalist Mark Abley thinks so. (discuss)

That's SOME Stolen Essay!
It must suck to (maybe) still be (possibly) getting (perhaps) ripped-off well after you're dead. (discuss)

Good as (Fool's) Gold
Have you read Richard Stanyhurst's 1582 translation of Virgil's Aeneid? Then you haven't lived! (discuss)

PowerPoint is Evil
Well, duh...! (discuss)

Freakin Authors, Freakin Critics
Are critics "trying to hoodwink us into tolerating political and social oppression that we would instantly reject, could we but free our minds from the myths and mystifications with which authors, mere apologists of the established and the powerful, have beguiled us?" Myron Magnet thinks so, and says the new critic's job is "to unmask the author’s imposture, to reveal how the author, unconscious himself of his actual motives and blind to the reality he purports to illuminate, really is a kind of lackey, devoid of the critic’s keen ability to see..." yadda yadda yadda. (discuss)

I Gotta Say, I Never Thought of Him as Richleresque
Dooney's review of Grant Buday's A Sack of Teeth is really a review of Buday's career. (discuss)


Where do you write?
You mean I can work somewhere besides the closet? (discuss)

The Believer Manifesto is Now Online—Run!
The essay on the art/politics of book reviewing that started the whole, messy controversy. (discuss)

Hell Hath no Fury like a Bookslut Scorned...
The Salon review of Chuck Palahniuk's new novel has people on the Bookslut blog pissed off. (discuss)

Two Editors and a Novelist Walk Saunter into a Bar Bistro...
Publishing world sendups reviewed in Times (login: bookninja, password: waaaa) (discuss)

How About You Give Me 50 Cents per Poem...?
That way I can pay you back with my advance. (discuss)


The discussion on the Starbök letter in our essay section (read here) is really heating up. Yes, we have discussion boards! (discuss)

Adam Johnson's Novel is Out
The evil genius behind Emporium (the paperback cover of which I adore) just published his first novel, Parasites Like Us. Also a nice cover. Check out the New York Times review or the Newsday review to get a taste. Or just go to his Web site to get some insight into his twisted, twisted mind. (discuss)

Maybe It's Only on MAC's, Pete...
The Georgia Straight likes Kenneth Harvey's new book. So does the Globe and Mail. Maybe he'll get a fancy ring, my precious... (warning: the Globe site is notorious for causing crashes, so enter at your own risk) (discuss)

File This One Under: Good Freakin Luck... 
Do you know how many copies of If On a Winter's Night a Traveller I've lost through good will? (discuss)

Leo's Journal's Available Online... No, the GOOD Leo!
In 2503, I'll be lucky if my notebooks are available in some two bit school like Harvard... Yet The Guardian tells us the British Library has made Leonardo's da Vinci's notebooks available online. (It's a bit tricky to get the page turning down, but maybe that's only on PC...) (discuss)


The Dead Poets' Society
Is poetry heading the way of the dodo? Does anyone care? (discuss)

And this year's Nobel goes to... J.K. Rowling?
A man in the U.S. has started a Web site to nominate J.K. Rowling for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Read the official news story here. (discuss)

So This is the Matrix?
William Gibson has a hopping discussion board over at his site, plus his own blog. (discuss)

The Language Police, They Live Inside of My Head.
Has political correctness gone too far? Or is it just America that's gone too far? (discuss)


Yes, but was there a Wily, Macabre Trickster Crow There?!
Some hikers stumble across Ted Hughes... 's monument. (discuss)

The (non-Anime) Movie that Gave a Generation of Pedophiles a Reason to Go to the Movies Alone Again...
...was actually co-written by a 13-year-old. (discuss)

This Is Just a Note to Say...
Of course, I've never received a rejection letter, so this is a complete abstraction to me.

Who the Hell uses Arial Anyway?

If you're like me and spend hours pondering which is better, Minion Web or Times New Roman, or where Verdana came from, then you may want to read about this man. If you're not like me, why the hell have you read this far?

Remember Kids,
You Can't Spell Lamey without Lame...
There's no books section, but there's this?? (discuss)

It Only Hurts a Little Bit
Identity Theory has an interview with Benjamin Cavell, author of Rumble, Young Man, Rumble. Manly writers and boxing abound. Surprisingly, no references to Thom Jones come up.


What's Next? The Patriarchy Using Women's Magazines to Suppress, Placate, and Pacify?
Ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! ew! (discust)

Gluck? I Love Her Biks!
Louise Gluck to be the next US Poet Laureate. And so it goes on... (login: bookninja, password: waaaa)

Robert Stone Interview
Robert Stone Interview (discuss)

They're Like McDonald's that Way... Greasy
Ever notice there's not one ethnic food that can't be Mickey D'ed, perhaps with the exception of gefilte fish? Is there an award that can't be won by an American? (discuss)

What About Reviewing Because You Are a Deadly Assassin with a Pocket Full of Poison-laced Shuriken Death to either Mete Out or Bitterly Swallow?
No mention of What the hell is this? (discuss)


Geniuses at Geneticly Splice Books, Ninjas to Create "Bookninja"
The Onion, a satirical newspaper and website (for those of you who actually work at work)  responsible for such headlines as "Christ Kills Two, Injures Seven In Abortion-Clinic Attack" and "Sexual Tension Between Arafat, Sharon Reaches Breaking Point" laughes in the face of recession and turns a profit. (discuss)

No, It's Not a Wrestling Move
Poetry may be dying (see earlier post), but spoken word is alive and well at the Toronto International Poetry Slam. Apparently it's okay to boo performers. At last! (discuss)

Haroldo de Campos, We Hardly Knew Ye
Brazilian concrete poet and theorist dead at 73. (discuss)

When Did the Musicians Take Over Poetry?
The Believer's Snarkwatch section has Daniel Nester's response to the NY Times review of his first poetry collection, God Save My Queen (the blurb describes it as a meditation on the rock band Queen -- and it's cracked 100,000 on!). Nester slams the reviewer, an ex-music critic, for liking Shania Twain. Ouch! But Nester gets subsequently filleted in the Village Voice. Stay tuned for Bookninja's authoritative opinion on Nester's book, in which the ninjas will sing in rhyming, harmonic couplets. "Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the Fandango!" (discuss)

It's America's Loss...
Louise Gluck has been named Poet Laureate in the U.S (see yesterday's story). I doubt she'll talk about scratching nuts, like Canada's Poet Laureate. (discuss)

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