Piling on

Sara Nelson notes that when one publisher plans to put out a book on a high-profile subject, another company won’t be far behind in taking a similar book to press. She says:

It’s a tough intramural sport, this topical publishing, and it looks to me like the winner is not necessarily the one who publishes first, or even the one with the best book. It’s all about the spin.

(Via TMFTML.)

Alex Good is chiming in on the snark/no-snark review debate:

As Auden pointed out, every critic is at heart a polemicist. If you think a book is representative of something that is wrong with our literary culture you have a duty to take it on. There is nothing personal about it.

(Via Arts Journal.)

More from TMFTML: Lisa Gabrielle bemoans (sorry) the dearth of decent sex scenes in novels. She “blame[s] Nerve for being smarty-pantsed and artsy, for inadvertently creating a bastion of two-handed sex reading.” Although her work has been excerpted there, she says:

I think of Nerve as the guy who’s too good to sleep with the town slut — he’ll talk to her, hold her, sit and tell her about everything she has going for her, if only she would read more, think a little more deeply, take herself a little more seriously.

No wonder Craig’s List, with its shoddy, blatant “Casual Encounters” section, has become popular reading among the same crowd all three of these magazines serve. Even people who aren’t seeking sex love to read it, to get dragged over to the dark side, a place that reads, literally, not literarily: I just want to get fucked, so can you just shut the fuck up and fuck me?

Related?: boys avoid school reading; research suggests the “literary choices [are] not relevant to males.” (Via New Pages Weblog.)

Has everyone read The Fermata? I know some people were uninpressed, but if you’re looking for explicit sex…

If you’re truly passionate about making the body a cornerstone of fiction, get in touch with the writer who wants a bunch of people to volunteer to have one word of a story tattooed on their bodies. (Via Kitabkhana.)

Sam Leith argues that contemporary novels like Thirlwell’s debut don’t shy away from sex, but tend to focus on sexual embarrassment. (Via The Literary Saloon.)


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