- Nobody actually reads Hemingway these days, apparently, but everybody wants faux-safari furniture from the Ernest Hemingway Collection in the living room. (This from the hypocritical woman who lobbied for, and received, an Edgar Allan Poe action figure, complete with detachable raven, for her wedding anniversary. For Christmas I want Oscar Wilde.)
- Earlier this month, I mentioned Paul Limbert Allman’s hilarious 2001 essay, “What Is the Frequency?” In it, Allman argues that Donald Barthelme bears direct or indirect responsibility for a 1986 attack on Dan Rather (in which the attackers repeatedly asked, “What is the frequency?”). Now, in honor of Rather’s retirement, Harper’s posts Allman’s piece online. Here’s an excerpt:
It was an odd coincidence. What are the chances of finding “Kenneth” and “What is the frequency?” in any way connected to each other, outside of the mouths of Mr. Rather’s attackers? And yet here they were, inside Donald Barthelme’s book.
The photo of Barthelme on the back of the dust jacket: a stocky fellow with a leprechaun’s face and beard, wearing a checked shirt and a leather vest, with a patch of Rorschach-style wallpaper behind his head. Was this mischievous but gentle soul the type to rough up a news anchor or hire goons to do the job?
- Tomorrow Mark Sarvas will unveil the 3-minute (author?) interview.
- George of Bookninja reports, “In 2007 the publishing world will move from 10-digit ISBNs to 13-digit ISBNs. This will be part of a global effort to keep up with the production schedule of Joyce Carole Oates.”
- On Tuesday Mr. William T. Vollman read from Rising Up and Rising Down, at the LoDo branch of Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store. Your pal the Rake was there.
- The editors of n + 1 introduce their new Web policy in an open letter to their website:
We are neglecting you, nplusonemag. You’ve noticed? Yes. It’s because you were too good. People told us so. “I like your Web magazine,” they said. “Or ‘Web-zine.’ Or is it a ‘blog’?”
“We’re a print journal,” we said. “The print journal is epochal. The website is just for topical and weird stuff, like charts and indices. It is not a blog. We don’t comment on the New York Times Book Review. We don’t even make fun of Michiko Kakutani.”
- Randa posts a small image of Dr. Seuss’ “Self-Portrait of the Artist Worrying About His Next Book.”