Murdoch's Lover Takes Posthumous Revenge

Charles Davis writes " Elias Canetti, lover of the late Iris Murdoch has taken posthumous revenge on the author, who is regarded as one of the most accomplished writers of post-war Britain. The touching tale of her life with her husband John Bayley, her descent into ill-health and her eventual death five years ago in the film Iris only
served to strengthen her standing.

Canetti, a Nobel Prize-winning writer, has savaged her in newly
published posthumous memoirs, in which he rubbishes her writing, her intellect and even her love-making.
Story at
the Independent."


John Graves at home

Bob Cox writes "A Article on author Jon Graves.

Graves, the 83-year-old author of the classic Goodbye to a River, a National Book Award finalist in 1961, and several other impeccably crafted titles about man and nature, was an obvious recipient. But he agreed only after a close friend (Fort Worth behind-the-scenes power Ruth Carter Stevenson) talked him into it."


Collected artifacts of author Nabokov could go homeless

Bob Cox writes " that the St. Petersberg (Russia) museum which houses the artifacts of author Vladimir Nabokov is fixing to go belly-up without the help of major infusion of cash. Stories at the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times


Author's view of e-books, paper publishing, and why we need both

Peter Murray writes "Found on Slashdot:

xanderwilson writes "Author Cory Doctorow has released his paper/speech

for the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference this year into the
public domain. A very interesting read about his experience with Magic
Kingdom (which he is soon re-releasing under a more lenient Creative
Commons license), the failure of e-books, and filesharing as a tool for

I found the following story and ensuing discussion
on Slashdot interesting. The story is a writers perspective on dealing with issues such as e-books coexisting with traditional books, releasing material under a Creative Commons license and the impact on sales, and the positioning of various formats of an item under the premise that the work is not an 'object' but a 'practice.'


Granny Spice becomes queen of the libraries

Guardian Unlimited has this story about a popular children's author who has reigned at the top of the Public Lending Rights figures in the U.K.

"... Every author is thrilled to know their books are selling, but I share
with many authors an almost greater thrill when your books are borrowed
from libraries". ..."

Also in this article is a listing of "Most-Borrowed Authors."

FYI, PLR is an organization in the United Kingdom that pays authors "...payments from government funds for the free borrowing of their books from public libraries in the United Kingdom."



Appeals court says writer can bring copyright case against AOL

Pete writes "According to,
a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday partially reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed Harlan Ellison's copyright infringement case against AOL.In his April 2000 lawsuit, Ellison alleged the Internet service provider violated his copyrights by allowing unauthorized copies of his work to remain on its Web servers for two weeks even after he tried to notify them of the problem."


Send your Valentine a text message poem

The Scottish Poetry Library (SPL) has commissioned six of Scotland's leading poets (including laureate Edwin Morgan) to compose love poems suitable for text messaging, just in time for Valentine's Day. Ananova tells the story.

SPL director Robyn Marsack says, "There is a vast swathe of people aged between 18 and 35 who do not think poetry has a lot to offer them. Looking at all the people texting furiously on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, we thought of using mobile phone technology to make them reconsider." Marsack also said the poets were intrigued by the challenge of writing within the constraints of 140 characters, including spaces.

The poems can be downloaded from the Scottish Poetry Library website and sent anonymously on February 14.


Manuscript reveals dark side of Lawrence of Arabia's sex life

Charles Davis writes "An unexpurgated version of T E Lawrence's
Seven Pillars of Wisdom has fuelled claims
that the author was a sado-masochist.
The original 1922 edition of the wartime
masterpiece to be published next month
includes a lengthy account of Lawrence of
Arabia's rape by Turkish forces which
scholars believe may have been invented for
his own "delectation".
Much of Lawrence's life is the subject of
debate but signs of his alleged sexual
deviancy first emerged when letters showed
he paid a man to beat him with birches. Philip Knightley, a Lawrence expert,
believes the rape scene in the latest version, which is 200 pages longer than
the 1926 original, bears the hallmarks of a fantasist.
Story at The Independent"


Literary world tantalised by prospect of more Frame books

With Janet Frame's funeral over, the literary world is waiting to see what she may have left for publication after her death - with speculation there might even be a fourth volume of her autobiography.

Frame published her last novel, The Carpathians, in 1988 and finished the third volume of her autobiography in 1984 - but it traced her life only to the mid-1960s.

She was a compulsive writer of poetry, but had not published a poetry volume since 1967.

Her biographer, Michael King, said she was writing until as recently as three months ago, and was believed to have made a new will in the last few months when she knew she was dying.

Full Story.


National Writers Union on Amazon's "Search Inside the Book"

The NWU Online Activity Center has an open letter to National Writers Union Members on the "Search Inside the Book" program. They say although Amazon has disabled the ability to print the book pages
from Search Inside titles, it is very easy to extract discrete
information from books.
As more people get
broadband access to the Internet, looking up something on Amazon
may become widespread. What is more, pirating of entire books is
now childishly simple. All it takes is spending a little time on

The National Writers Union's Grievance and Contract Division and
Book Division recommend that all book authors consider contacting Amazon with a DMCA complaint and contacting their publisher in writing.
They are also concerned that is reportedly considering
a book search feature, which they say might similarly infringe writers'
copyrights. They caution to keep in mind the need to
obtain permission from holders of electronic rights for
distribution of their works.



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