Friday, July 16, 2010

Round Up: The End of Times

Friday round up time, with Laura from Combreviations:

Hello, friends and future friends. It's been a long week out here in the universe, and hey, some things happened. The apocalypse is not one of those things, even though we do so love it. But wait, there may be signs of it forthcoming. MacMillan replaced a book bought second hand! Authors are admitting book trailers are awkward and stupid! It seems that alchemy is making a comeback! And Batman is getting a pop-up book!

Okay, so maybe these aren't signs of end times, but of just awesomeness. Also awesome is this history of the slush pile and these favorite food books of chefs. My favorite is when Junot Diaz lists his influences, including "The Breakfast Club," although his detention "did not fucking look like the detention in the fucking Breakfast Club." Awesome. Plus check out the preview for James Franco as Alan Ginsberg, and the Old Spice guy on libraries (and some people wonder if libraries are worth the money. Thou shalt not gainsay the Old Spice guy!). So much awesome, the end of times must be nigh. No? Too much apocalypse fixation?

Well, okay, I guess some things aren't so great. Authors struggle over where to do readings, and Alan Moore is over heroes. And even if the apocalypse isn't coming, it would behoove you to find out what kind of dystopia is best for you. Also, Billy Collins is over e-books, because they ruin poetry or something like that. And what is up with fiction authors inserting themselves in their work? They might just turn out to be literary one hit wonders.

I think that's enough me time for all of you (although if it's not, visit me at Combreviations, where I have been slacking hardcore and have almost no new content). Besos and bisoux, and see you all next week!


  1. Great roundup this week, Laura. IMHO everyone should stop worrying about the literary End of Times and reflect that eras of upheaval are also times of growth and new opportunities for many. Now that American advertising has finally embraced wit and well-written copy (oh Old Spice Guy and The Most Interesting Man in the World, how I love you!) I am filled with renewed hope for wordsmithing in general.

    As for fiction writers inserting themselves into their work, let me remind y'all (we Brits need to adopt that handy pronoun) about Dorothy L. Sayers, whose Wimsey books became much more rounded out, if a little quotation-ridden, when she wrote herself in as Harriet Vane. That was in the 1930s. And farther back, Henry James wrote about writers, The Aspern Papers from the 1880s being the only example my poor tired brain can bring up right now. All is vanity, as 'tis said in Ecclesiastes, and there is nothing new under the sun.

  2. I must try to convince the library where I work to somehow incorporate the Old Spice guy into our marketing. At least post the video on our Facebook page...

    Great round-up. I'm off to go read everything about THE END OF THE WORLD and dystopias because I do so love them.