A dealer bought 100 books from a widow and discovered they were hollowed out to hide pornographic shots of her husband with many women.
I didn’t know anyone had adapted Flannery O’Connor’s “Good Country People,” but somebody has posted ’60s-era short, attributed to Gary Graver, at YouTube.
Richard Grayson writes: “Wow, I can just imagine how O’Connor would have hated this. As she said about the Schlitz Playhouse version of ‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own,’ with Gene Kelly(!): ‘The best I can say for it is that it conceivably could have been worse. Just conceivably.’”
PW enters a rave for Marilynne Robinson’s Home, an homage to the parable of the prodigal son, and a companion to Gilead.
A.S. Byatt watches sports partly because a game is a story where you don’t know the end until it comes.
Speaking of potential libel, I happened upon this clump of flyers in the gutter over the weekend. Instantly I felt sorry for Yisroel [Redacted], alleged “‘noted’ moser!!!” of my neighborhood’s Orthodox community, whose name has now literally been dragged through the mud.
According to the authors of Murder in the Name of God: The Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin, din moser is “the duty to eliminate” such a person. I guess Yisroel got off easy.
Since I grew up in Miami, initially I was kind of surprised I’d never heard the term. But, on reflection, my friends were Reform or non-observant. One made me a BLT on Yom Kippur to cure a hangover. (“This is how I atone for last night’s party,” he said.) Another supplied the drama crowd with weed from her parents’ stash. The Hasidim were insulated from our debauchery. I think they lived way out by the beach.
Anyway, here’s a question: From the radical Orthodox perspective, do you violate Talmudic moser rules if you explain to a gentile what a moser is?
Website operators traditionally have relied on the Communications Decency Act to shield them from liability for user-generated content.
The April decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommates.com significantly narrows this immunity. Over the weekend my friend and former law professor Lyrissa Lidsky alerted me to the case, noting that it
may spell doom for websites that solicit defamatory information (like Juicycampus.com, DontDateHimGirl.com and so forth). Basically the case limits Communications Decency Act immunity if the blog/website “solicits” or otherwise actively participates in generating illegal or defamatory content.
On Friday another federal court dismissed a suit against ConsumerAffairs.com, but it seems to me that any blogger who accepts comments from users “in direct response to [his or her] questions and prompts,” and profits from those comments, should take a close look at the Roommates.com case.*
For further details and musings, see Tom Just De-Friended the Ninth Circuit.
In unrelated defamation news, Jennifer Howard considers the “chilling effects of libel tourism” at the Chronicle of Higher Ed.
* An excerpt worth contemplating: Continue reading…
Customs officials routinely seize laptops brought back into the country by U.S. citizens returning from international travel.
Junot Díaz admits Grand Theft Auto IV is no Moby-Dick, Beloved, or even Battlestar Galactica, but argues it’s a matter of time.
Mark Sarvas admires Ed Park’s Personal Days. He asks not why we’ve seen two recent novels about cubicle life but why we haven’t seen more.
Years and years ago, I read an interview in which the director John Waters divulged his strategy for avoiding conversations with fellow passengers on airplanes.
He hides whatever book he’s reading behind the cover for Flying Lesbian Nuns.*
Last night New York’s Blythe Sheldon saw Waters performing This Filthy World at the Society for Ethical Culture. Among other things, Waters offered a little advice on how to keep the kids reading. “If your daughter is promiscuous, give her a book on womb raiders!” he reportedly said.
Asked after the show whether he had any desire to start a blog, Waters was unequivocal.
“No!” he replied. “I want to be harder to reach. I don’t want people to find me. I’ll write a book.”
* At least that’s how I remember it, but I can’t find a single hit for that title. Which explains why, despite years of hunting, I’ve never been able to put his suggestion into practice.
Zeebah solves all: “I simply can’t imagine John Waters with a copy (it isn’t nearly campy or glamourous enough), but… Naiad Press put out a book called Lesbian Nuns, which was pretty groundbreaking for its time.” Cecilieaux seconds the motion.
Post it now, fix it later: Are we in the last days of the newsroom copy editor?
In the current EW, Alison Bechdel recalls how she developed an aversion to reading anything she was told to.
Researchers are working with a two-leaf e-book that allows the reader to simulate turning pages.
When Charles Ives’ fiancee Harmony Twichell presented her beloved to Mark Twain for approval, “Twain drew out his first overlook, finally ordering ‘Spin him around — let’s see the aft!’”
I learned this thanks to Jack Pendarvis, who idolizes Ives as passionately as I do Twain (but probably less conflictedly), and who, after our all our excited back-and-forth, said, “I think at this point we are obligated by convention to write an off-Broadway play about the encounter!”
He was kidding. But if he loves procrastination the way I love procrastination, Let’s See the Aft! could soon be coming to a church basement near you.
The excuse for this post is that, in the midst of our volley, I discovered The Mark Twain Project, a staggeringly comprehensive site put together by the Bancroft Library. It includes not just transcripts of 2300 letters, but some digitized facsimiles. Twain’s letters to Joseph Twichell, his best friend and Harmony’s father, are part of the collection.
This year the project will start to post his writings.
Francie Lin names Greene and Price as inspirations for The Foreigner, her voice-driven crime novel set in Taiwan. It’s keeping me up nights.
Jon Krakauer has withdrawn his book on Pat Tillman, the football star felled by friendly fire in Afghanistan. He plans to hold back the manuscript indefinitely.
The 60th anniversary of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” prompts Carrie Frye to offer an appreciation of the author and her We Lived in the Castle (now with Lethem intro).