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Article in the NYT: Prolific, Elegant, Acerbic Writer
Excerpt: Gore Vidal, the elegant, acerbic all-around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization, died on Tuesday at his home in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, where he moved in 2003, after years of living in Ravello, Italy. He was 86.
Talk show host Stephen Colbert's foray into children's books has landed him alongside some exalted literary company.
A playful new exhibit at Philadelphia's Rosenbach Museum & Library pairs priceless material by James Joyce and Maurice Sendak with, um, perhaps less valuable items used by Colbert to write "I Am A Pole (And So Can You!)."
Colbert's pens, beer bottles and lunch remnants are certainly not the usual fare for the Rosenbach, the Philadelphia institution that houses the only complete manuscript of Joyce's "Ulysses."
But museum officials say the display reinforces their mission to engage and inspire visitors with collections that include papers from Lewis Carroll, Bram Stoker and Miguel de Cervantes.
"If I can do that by having Stephen Colbert make a joke about 'Ulysses,' why not?" said Rosenbach director Derick Dreher.
In the UK libraries pay into a fund to pay authors for borrowed books. This is called a Public Lending Right. Volunteer libraries that are springing up to fill the place of government run libraries do not have to pay the PLR fee. Authors are not happy.
Donald J. Sobol, creator and author of the Encyclopedia Brown book series, passed away at the age of 79 today. I grew up reading those books and they taught me two things:
- Girls can be just as smart and clever as a "boy genius" - Hiya, Sally.
- How to read upside down - I still use this working with patrons.
RIP, Mr. Sobol. I left my Encyclopedia Brown mysteries behind, but I still keep and treasure the Encyclopedia Brown books of "Weird and Wonderful Facts."
If it weren’t for Tim Page, the diaries of Dawn Powell wouldn’t be worth much. Mr. Page, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former music critic at The Washington Post (and before that a frequent contributor to The New York Times), has pretty much single-handedly engineered a revival of interest in Powell, a New York novelist greatly admired by critics like Gore Vidal and Edmund Wilson, but whose career, even during her lifetime, was always in need of a jump start. When she died in 1965, most of her 15 novels were out of print. She was buried in a potter’s field.
Starting in 1991, Mr. Page, who had discovered Powell by accident while reading a review in a collection of Wilson’s criticism, set about rekindling interest in her writing.
A 451 Internet error code? Digital Trends has the details:
"Government-imposed online censorship has become increasingly prevalent over the past few years...When censorship does happen, we need a sign that clearly tells us that that’s the reason for a site’s inaccessibility.
Enter Tim Bray, a software developer at Google who has proposed a solution: a “451? error code that displays anytime you visit a site blocked by the government. The number 451 is in honor of late author Ray Bradbury, whose science fiction classic Fahrenheit 451, first published in 1950, warned of a dystopian world defined by government-imposed censorship (in the form of burning any house that contains books)."
"I know you know that Brautigan blew his brains out, literally blew his mind," she wrote to poet, novelist and essayist Andrei Codrescu at Exquisite Corpse. "What you might not be aware of is that he blew his brains out all over pages of his last manuscript... I handled them, archived them, ran my hands over his desiccated brain matter on numerous occasions, though at first I had no idea what I was touching because the Library said nothing and even denied what became all too apparent after I eliminated the other possibilities of what this strange stuff could be (I’m not unfamiliar with such things, and my eyes didn’t deceive me).
Interview with Ray Bradbury on the 1970's public TV program "Day at Night"