• “A book by Lord Alfred Douglas demonising Oscar Wilde, his former lover, that was never published because it also libelled the Prime Minister of the day will be sold at auction this month.”
  • Director Ang Lee and screenwriter Larry McMurtry have quarreled over the film adaptation of Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain.” The New York Daily News reports that McMurtry is now banned from the set. (Thanks to Dana for the tip.)
  • It’s old news now, but Graham Greene’s relatives charge that Norman Sherry, “whose third and final volume of Greene’s official biography will be published this week, dwells extensively on the writer’s sexual conquests at the expense of his literary career. They say they are ‘deeply embarrassed’ by such a ‘poor’ book and accuse Sherry of a ‘fixation on sex’.”
  • Says Laila Lalami: “Of all the reviews and commentary that I’ve read this week on Arab literature (and there have been quite a few due to the Frankfurt Book Fair’s hosting of the Arab world as guest of honor), this article [“One Big Murder Mystery”] by Adam Shatz in the London Review of Books does the best job of addressing what irks me about the way in which this literature is approached and critiqued.”
  • Zadie Smith has written an introduction to Through the Looking-Glass. “When I came to pick [the book] up once more after an absence of years, I found I couldn’t quite remember it other than as the repository where missing stories you thought were in Wonderland turn out to be — like a second, darker, larder.” (Via Tingle Alley.)
  • The prototype issue of Lawrence Weschler’s Omnivore magazine is available. (Via TEV.)
  • The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart recently put out America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction. It’s a favorite with college students nationwide. If these students search online bookstores for other books written by Stewart, they’ll find titles like The Debate Between Sartre and Merleau-Ponty and Kierkegaard’s Relations to Hegel Reconsidered. One customer reviewed the second of these this way:

    “A first-rate television show, a searing critique of American politics, and a substantive, unorthodox analysis of the dual roles of pure immanence and ontological locatability, all in one career. … There may be people starving in the streets in the U.S., but you’ll never think the same way about Hegel’s foundational starvation (Aushungerung) again!”

    Scott McLemee clears everything up, as he usually does.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.