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July 20, 2009

What if Sarah Palin wasn't retarded?

Palin's Resignation: The Edited Version | vanityfair.com
If you watched Sarah Palin’s resignation speech, you know one thing: her high-priced speechwriters moved back to the Beltway long ago. Just how poorly constructed was the governor’s holiday-weekend address? We asked V.F.’s red-pencil-wielding executive literary editor, Wayne Lawson, together with representatives from the research and copy departments, to whip it into publishable shape. Here is the colorful result.
Frikkin' awesome. Thanks, Facebook pal **Michael Jackman. **

Hemingway's grandson edited new edition of "A Moveable Feast" to make his grandmother look better

Op-Ed Contributor - Don’t Touch ‘A Moveable Feast’ - NYTimes.com
BOOKSTORES are getting shipments of a significantly changed edition of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece, “A Moveable Feast,” first published posthumously by Scribner in 1964. This new edition, also published by Scribner, has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife. The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light. Ten other chapters that roused the grandson’s displeasure have been relegated to an appendix, thereby, according to the grandson, creating “a truer representation of the book my grandfather intended to publish.” It is his claim that Mary Hemingway, Ernest’s fourth wife, cobbled the manuscript together from shards of an unfinished work and that she created the final chapter, “There Is Never Any End to Paris.”

July 19, 2009

Recommended Reading: The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

I read The Raw Shark Texts while camping at the...

July 17, 2009

Overnight Amazon secretly deleted George Orwell from all Kindles

Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others - Pogue’s Posts Blog - NYTimes.com
This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned. But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price. . . . You want to know the best part? The juicy, plump, dripping irony? The author who was the victim of this Big Brotherish plot was none other than George Orwell. And the books were “1984” and “Animal Farm.”

61 Essential Postmodern Reads

61 essential postmodern reads: an annotated list | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times This is a great list with some silly annotations. Out of 61 books, I've read 30 of them which is a much better score than I usually get on these book list articles. How many have you read? Are there other po-mo books you'd add? (I'd add Watchmen and some Mark Leyner.)

July 14, 2009

Why Young Readers Don’t Like Romance Novel Rapists

The zeitgeist of a story | Moriah Jovan
In the 1970s and 1980s, there was a host of “rape romances” that are routinely sneered at by younger romance readers and/or people young to romance reading. The device is that the hero is cruel, arrogant, and (as I saw in a comment about my favorite one, written in 1974) he “rapes her until she loves him.” Sounds harsh now, right? Let me put this in some context. In the early 1970s, a lady named Nancy Friday interviewed women on the subject of their sexual fantasies and published them in a couple of books: My Secret Garden (1973) and Forbidden Flowers (1975), just at the cusp of the “rape romance.” Without taking Friday’s scholarship into account, I find it interesting that many women’s fantasies at that time featured rape prominently. I also find it fascinating that these books were published nearly simultaneously with the early rape romances and thus, probably didn’t inform each other. And then came the soap General Hospital in 1979, with Luke and Laura, which is, as far as I can tell, the most famous rape romance ever.
More commentary here.