Wednesday morning miscellany

  • Maureen Gibbon, author of the savage and riveting Swimming Sweet Arrow, writes an essay after finding her rapist’s picture on the Engagements page of her hometown newspaper.
  • Murakami went to Prague to collect the Franz Kafka prize. “This is the first press conference of my life and it may also be the last one,” he told reporters. (In other Murakami news, Richard Powers was the keynote speaker at a seminar on “How the World Is Reading and Translating Murakami.”)
  • “Although Kit and Rafe had met in the peace movement, marching, organizing, making no-nukes signs, now they wanted to kill each other. They had become, also, a little pro-nuke.” Does this sound like the beginning of a new Lorrie Moore story? Because it is.
  • “It’s impossible to acquit [Günther] Grass of hypocrisy, in effect if not in intention,” says Neal Ascherson, in a review of Grass’ new memoir.
  • Steven Shapin admires Stephen Johnson’s The Ghost Map, a history of the cholera outbreak in Victorian England. At his blog, Johnson explains, “When I was in grad school, my training was in the 19th-century novel.”
  • Spidey is one of the characters featured in the lineup of superhero stamps that will be released by the USPS next year. Bags & Boards has a preview. (Thanks, Monk, for the Marvel correction.)
  • Old news by now, but: Gawker’s new co-editor, Emily Gould, is the author of Unsolicited, an anonymous column about publishing.
  • Many famous quotes are actually misquotes. (These revelations remind me of Twain’s thoughts on Ulysses S. Grant’s likely future biography.)


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