Links to Soothe a Weary Soul

  • Laird Hunt has a blog. And it gets its name from a line in a Paul Celan poem, a sign of great taste and intelligence.

  • If you've ever worked at a bookstore, you might have experienced the sometimes painful, sometimes delightful practice of stripping mass market paperbacks of their covers and just sending the cover back to the distributor. And you might have also experienced the returning of trade paperbacks and hardcovers to the distributor whole. And you might have wondered about these things. Now we all need wonder no more, because the Honorable Dr. Justine Larbalestier was willing to ask why? about those publishing practices (and some others), and the Esteemed and Knowledgeable Patrick Nielsen Hayden provided some answers.

  • Also thanks to Dr. L: "How to Fail in Literature" circa 1890.

  • Fred Ramey of Unbridled Books asks: "Why does it seem that the publishing industry can gainfully expect fiction readers to muscle their way through a slough of artlessness to get to the heart of a story but rarely believes that readers will be willing to slip into the currents of an artful telling to get there?"

  • MySpace vs. Friendster, and other cultures and subcultures in social life: "Often, people don't need simplicity -- they want to feel proud of themselves for figuring something out; they want to feel the joy of exploration. This is the difference between tasks that people are required to do and social life. Social life isn't about the easy way to do something -- it's about making meaning out of practice, about finding your own way." (via Alan DeNiro)

  • The second issue of Green Integer Review is now online.

  • Ben Yagoda on the awfulness of NYT reviewer Michiko Kakutani.

  • Textbooks can be so gay. (via Scott Esposito)

  • Don't forget Samuel Beckett's 100th birthday on April 13. I expect to hear you all singing. I'll try to post a Beckett link every day between now and then. Here's one. (via Bud Parr)

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