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Short Takes

A novelist talking about the art of the novel is not a professor giving a discourse from his podium.”

Much writing, many children.

Bridget Jones hasn’t aged; her readership has.

The RIAA gets space in Inside Higher Ed. Gizmodo doesn’t dig it.

“We are cultured: we clean our teeth.” (via Maud).

While I understand why the lag in publishing might seem like a bad thing, Emma, it’s really a boon to your readers. If all the publishing houses cut their turnaround time and published more books, we readers would be overwhelmed. Technology speeds up, but reading time doesn’t.

“You don’t like reading long-form works off of a computer screen. I understand perfectly – in the ten minutes since I typed the first word in the paragraph above, I’ve checked my mail, deleted two spams, checked an image-sharing community I like, downloaded a YouTube clip of Stephen Colbert complaining about the iPhone (pausing my MP3 player first), cleared out my RSS reader, and then returned to write this paragraph.” (via fade theory)

In a similar vein, Warrent Buffett weights in on the future of newspapers.

“How do you solve a problem like Anna Karenina?”

When I was reading Ulysses with a wonderful and talented instructor at Kenyon, I had a book of footnotes longer than the text itself. But the fact of it is, I had a better time without the footnotes–even though I didn’t necessarily always get the Irish slang and probably missed some allusions here and there. As Quine has pointed out, meaning is tricky; the “furze/gorse” anecdote from the first graf pretty much bears this out.

“Equinox is publishing a series of books called ‘Icons of Pop Music.’ The volumes will be designed for ‘undergraduates and the general reader.'”