Sunday, April 07, 2019

Not Only Aren’t Books Dead, But Cookbooks Sell Like Hotcakes

“I always divide people into two groups. Those who live by what they know to be a lie, and those who live by what they believe, falsely, to be the truth.”
~ Christopher Hampton, The Philanthropist

“Extraordinary how stupid one can be when one would prefer to impress by being knowledgeable.”
~James Hilton, Random Harvest

Claerwen tells me that there is a Harry Potter character called Nearly Headless Nick who was unsuccessfully decapitated. I know just how he feels, and I fear I look exactly how he looks. Nevertheless—a word I say very slowly out of one side of my mouth—one tries to press on.

An Oral History Of The Most Cursed Film Production Ever To Actually Get Finished

Terry Gilliam’sThe Man Who Killed Don Quixote “has to be one of the unluckiest passion projects in history: In a three-decade stretch, Gilliam, now 78, endured several financing stops and starts, a rotating cast of committed and uncommitted cast members, and a brutal flash flood that wiped out an entire set. … In interviews, those who had stayed with Gilliam on this ride could be described as the director’s own Sancho Panzas: equal parts loyal and astounded that Gilliam kept pressing on, even under the most challenging circumstances.” – The New York Times

For Its National Book Week, The Netherlands Makes Trains Free If You Showed A Book Instead Of A Ticket

Not just any book, mind you. “Traditionally, a well-known Dutch author writes a special novel – the book week gift orBoekenweekgeschenk – which is given out for free to people who buy books during the festivities or sign up to a library. But the special book … can also be presented instead of a rail ticket on every train in the country on the Sunday of book week.” – The Independent (UK)

'Why don’t I just pretend that I drowned?' Surfer testifies over alleged attack

Former champion surfer Jodie Cooper was allegedly held under water during a surf rage attack by surfboard shaper Mark Thomson, a court has heard.

How Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina' Saved A Political Prisoner's Life In Somalia : Goats and Soda 

… one night, eight months into his prison sentence, as the guard is passing just out of earshot, an inmate in the next cell whispers to him.

 He says, "Learn ABC through the wall.""I did not understand," says Mohamed. He looked at the wall between them. Then he heard some knocking.It was a code 

 Anna Karenina is more than 800 pages, about 350,000 words, nearly 2 million letters, each letter a set of taps. So the doctor wraps a bedsheet around his hand to protect it."So then I started knocking, and he started listening."

'The Time That is a Man's Own'

I’ve always had a job, even if it was freelancing, which is a tough way to earn a living. Even better, I’ve always enjoyed the jobs I had, at least most of the time. Old grudges fade. Work seems to me like a natural extension of education, especially for a writer. There’s always something to pick up along the way, scraps of information, a growing sense of competence that grows into confidence, camaraderie, a front-row seat at the human comedy. Still, I understand why some people look forward to retirement, especially if you’ve simply had enough or your health is failing.

A ‘million word gap’ for children who aren’t read to at home

EurekAlert: “Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found. This “million word gap” could be one key in explaining differences in vocabulary and reading development, said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University. Even kids who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 more words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver. “Kids who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school,” said Logan, a member of Ohio State’s Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy. “They are likely to pick up reading skills more quickly and easily.” The study appears online in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and will be published in a future print edition.”

Hannah Arendt repeated with reference to Benjamin remarks made by Jacques Rivière about Proust:
He died of the same inexperience that permitted him to write his works. He died of ignorance of the world, because he did not know how to make a fire or open a window.
before adding to them a remark of her own:
With a precision suggesting a sleepwalker his clumsiness invariably guided him to the very centre of a misfortune.

Now this man seemingly inept in the everyday business of living found himself having to move in the midst of war, in a country on the verge of collapse, in hopeless confusion.
The Last Days of Walter Benjamin’s Life who was 48 

“Who’s afraid of Jozef Imrich? Most people, and with some cause...."

A Highfalutin’ Art Critic Reconsiders Cartoonist Saul Steinberg

John Yau: “Being dispossessed must have haunted him his whole life, as did the endless bureaucracy involved with getting the documents you need to travel from one country to another, to settle into a new place. … What saved Steinberg and gave him a place in the world is drawing. All he needed was a pencil and paper. It enabled him to be mobile, to set up wherever he had a flat surface.” – Hyperallergic

Not Only Aren’t Books Dead, But Cookbooks Sell Like Hotcakes

Cookbooks not only didn’t die, but one in the UK is selling as fast as J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown. What? “The future that Leith and Smith feared – where we do all our cooking from online searches on our tablets – simply hasn’t materialised. Or at least hasn’t caught on to anything like the scale of the apocalyptic projections. Many of us simply love cooking from cookbooks and, even in the Marie Kondo age, don’t want to give them up.” – The Observer (UK)

Short Story Vending Machines Arrive In London

The French company Short Edition has already placed machines that will print out a free short story on request at various locations around France and the U.S. Now three of the devices are being installed at Canary Wharf to serve commuters there. – The Guardian

Books Make Money, And Anyone Who Says They Don’t Is Lying In Order To Stiff Employees

Or at least that’s the claim a book editor is making: “In publishing circles, you often hear the phrase ‘I put up with it because I love my job so much’ – we accept the shortcomings and remind ourselves to be grateful for the privilege of working in an industry so seemingly fragile. However, contrary to popular belief, the industry is not at risk of dying – far from it.” – The Guardian (UK)

Clickbait Scammers Are Ruining Self-Publishing

And some of them are earning $100,000 a month. In the Amazon self-publishing universe where authors earn a share of revenue based on how many people are reading, scammers have so gamed the system that quality legitimate books are being edged out, and money is going to clickbait. – The Guardian

Contemporary Cancer Books Force Us To Address Grief In All Of Its Forms

There are a lot – a lot – of new cancer memoirs out right now. “As these memoirs suggest, individually and together, there’s no way to eliminate the risk of cancer and or be spared from grief. In addition, they call into question the popular notions that grief proceeds in simple, sequential stages.” – LitHub

The Literary Agency That’s Made A Business Out Of Trump Administration Tell-All Memoirs

Ever since Keith Urbahn and Matt Latimer persuaded James Comey to write what became A Higher Loyalty, edited the manuscript, and worked a skillful media campaign around it, their agency, Javelin, “[has] become a popular destination for Trump administration officials, especially those contemplating an exit — ‘and they all are, by the way,’ Urbahn [said]. … Their central insight is that that hoary old fixture of Washington self-promotion, the tell-all, may be the ideal solution to the very new problem of post-Trump rehabilitation.” – The New York Times Magazine