The Gatenby Elegies
People love their rude,
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 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
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...
makes me blush. She has a new essay up on nerve.com.
You need to be a member to view it though. Like you aren't already
Bring Out Yer Dead!
Is the Gatenby rhetoric changing?
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
Homes is weird. Or maybe she's just channeling Mark
Okay, so the Old Board
Bookninja.com 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
into a bar fight! (discuss)
Foyles: A Proud 'Member' of
the, ahem, Bookslut Team...
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
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
you read it right. (discuss)
Sir Gatenby and
Hither and yon he gallops on sturdy steed to save
on who you ask. More
people weigh in on the Greg Gatenby/Toronto Harbourfront
International Authors Festival saga. (discuss)
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
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
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)
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!
"Where are the great contemporary Australian novels about
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
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)
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)
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)
This Under What-the-Hey-
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,
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."
isn't the only reading series director who likes
picking fights. (discuss)
Isn't this how Napster started?
Bookcrossing hits England. (discuss)
Is it Just Me, or is Stephen King Starting to Look Like Stephen
new column takes aim at our national heritage: the Dion
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.
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
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....
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!
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?
really doesn't like the new Chuck Palahniuk novel. (discuss)
You Expect Someone with the Last Name "Grimes" to Stay
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
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
you haven't lived! (discuss)
PowerPoint is Evil
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
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)
Manifesto is Now Online—Run!
on the art/politics of book reviewing that started the whole,
messy controversy. (discuss)
Hell Hath no Fury
like a Bookslut Scorned...
Salon review of Chuck Palahniuk's new novel has people on the Bookslut
blog pissed off. (discuss)
Two Editors and a
Walk Saunter into a Bar
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)
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
Jones come up.
What's Next? The
Patriarchy Using Women's Magazines to Suppress, Placate, and Pacify?
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:
Robert Stone Interview
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
No mention of
Bookninja.com? What the hell is this? (discuss)
Bookninja.com Geneticly Splice Books, Ninjas to Create
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)
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
de Campos, We Hardly Knew Ye
Brazilian concrete poet and theorist dead
at 73. (discuss)
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 Amazon.com!). 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!"
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)