- Once again, I'm late with Bolano news. Apparently, Bolano's novel, The Third Reich, will be serialised over four issues of the Paris Review. So, the good news is that there's a new Bolano novel, but the bad news is that you'll have to buy the Paris Review to read it.
- Oh yeah, that Patrick White guy also has a new novel coming out. Wow, this has been a prolific few weeks for dead authors.
- Harper Collins has written an open letter to librarians about their proposed 26-week licenses for ebooks. First of all, I think it's nice that Harper has decided to write a letter to librarians, because I think librarians would like letters (they seem like the type). Second, if you have no idea what any of this means, you can read this article that explains the background.
- OK, so few things annoy me more than the current trend to use neuroscience as the alleged basis to make wild and wholly unsubstantiated claims about anything and everything. Exhibit A is Nicholas Carr's essay 'Is Google Making Us Stupid' (turned into the book The Shallows), which, when interpolated in the larger media, largely seems to offer baby boomers the opportunity not only to argue that younger people are distracted, stupid and lazy, but also that their distractedness, stupidity and laziness can now be scientifically proven. Wonderful. This article--while not attacking this particular form of madness--at least points out how illegitimate many extrapolations from neuroscience are. Which, of course, isn't even to note the possible epistemological limits that may necessarily accompany any scientific study of subjective states of consciousness.
- Possible epistemological limits that may necessarily accompany any scientific study of subjective states of consciousness? Say what? Have a read of Thomas Nagel's classic essay 'What Is It Like to Be a Bat?' Be aware that there are like 30 million responses and counter-responses to this (as is the wont of analytic philosophers).
- Last week, Kill Your Darlings posted an article on how authors can use the internet to promote themselves successfully. I'll quickly note that I have a real problem with the way these arguments play out; it's not that they're wrong, exactly, but that they tend to be overly enthusiastic and cite the exceptional cases without paying attention to the very details that generally enabled authors to be successful through self-promotion or self-publishing in the first place (kind of like how the whole 'Myspace made Lily Allen famous' meme from many years ago ignored the fact that she has famous parents and thus access to contacts in the industry, which, you know, kinda helps.). Hopefully, I'll have time to write something about this soon.
- Jeff Bursey, author of Verbatim (which I'll be reviewing in a few weeks) reviews Thomas Bernhard's My Prizes.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Posted by Emmett Stinson at 8:08 AM