Speedy links

  • Hold onto your pelmets, everybody: the revised second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English, “the press’s biggest single-volume dictionary of current English,” is out.
  • Two British TV writers who’ve adapted Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are compared to Dryden, Pope, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Virginia Wolfe. All within one paragraph. But unlike Dryden, Pope, et. al, these new talents “have updated Chaucer”: “The Miller’s Tale is now set in a karaoke bar. The Man of Law’s Tale is about an asylum seeker and The Sea Captain’s Tale is subcontinental, with scenes in a shop called ‘Hindu Health’.”
  • “Flannery O’Connor used to say that creative-writing programs didn’t do a good enough job crushing the hopes of bad writers, and art schools seem to suffer similar shortcomings.”
  • Salman Rushdie allegedly attended (and cut in line) at Saturday’s MIA show in Central Park. Rushdie’s forthcoming novel gets a positive William T. Volmann review (second item) in Publisher’s Weekly, but in the Village Voice Joy Press calls it “an honorable failure, a garbled book for garbled times.” (Via Voltage.)
  • I don’t know how to break this to you gently. Just go ahead and prepare for an onslaught of books with idiotic questions — like “Why does Mommy have a hoo-hah?” — for titles.

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