The slowest writer (and reviser) in the known world is still out of commission. The majority of you hounds for Aruba news won't care. To my fewer, but fiercely loyal intentional readers, I apologize. I'm bored, I'm nauseated, I'm past ready to be done, but I am NOT done.
So, there will be lazy linkiness of a theme primarily booky (shocking) with a dessert of art.
1) Tim Blair put me onto this article where Nat Hentoff discusses the latest blaze of bookburning, along with jailing librarians, in Castro's Cuba. Oh that Fidel, he's a caution! No wonder Hollywood can't suck up enough to this jocular guy full of high-spirited funny wunnies.
2) Why knowingly hire biased book reviewers? The editor at large of Slate makes the argument it yields better quality book reviews. "The point of a book review isn't to review worthy books fairly, it's to publish good pieces. Better to assign a team of lively-but-conflicted writers to review a slew of rotten books than a gang of dullards to the most deserving releases of the season." (hat tip: Grumpy Old Bookman)
3) Another nugget from Slate explains how Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and Library Journal became the review powerhouses that help determine what we read.
4) The Guardian dicusses the much maligned editor as hero and endangered species.
5) Unfortunately, this WSJ article is subscription only, but the gist is that Amazon will begin selling dowloadable short stories for 49 cents apiece. "The new program, called Amazon Shorts, is starting with 59 authors, which include well-known names such as Danielle Steel and Terry Brooks. Their submissions range in length from about 2,000 to 10,000 words, which the company expects to translate into an average about seven pages each. Customers who purchase a piece can read it on the Web, download and print a copy, save it in a digital locker, or send the story to an email address." Will this lead to a legit new market for individual pieces of short fiction? Observation and reportage to follow.
When Costco recently began selling Picassos, it reminded Terry Teachout of a similar successful campaign run by Sears Roebuck in the 1960's and guided by the unerring taste of art collector and epicurean Vincent Price. Having long been a fan of the bon vivant and king of horror, I found the following sentiment particularly nice.
"It's just endless what you can learn from a single work of art," Price once said. "You can fill up the crevices of your life, the cracks of your life, the places where the mortar comes out and falls away--you can fill it up with the love of art."