Authors

Rescuing the voices of poets

Charles Davis points to
This IHT Story on a project converting old tapes to digital recordings, since the tape on which it was originally recorded was starting to disintegrate that is being done at poetry centers around the United States.

\"Some of them already have to be cut and spliced because they are very fragile or even have breaks in them,\" Veskrna said. \"Age isn\'t the only problem. A lot of the tape stock was less than ideal to start with. Companies were experimenting with chemical formulas used to make magnetic tape, and some of those experiments were less than successful in terms of longevity. If these recordings aren\'t transferred to other formats soon, we could lose quite a lot of them forever.\"

Stephen Jay Gould dies at 60

Biologist and author Stephen Jay Gould died of cancer Monday. The NYT obit (registration required) says he passed away in a bed in his library, surrounded by books.

Angelou\'s words now may be just right

Here\'s One from AccessAtlanta that says Maya Angelou has softened a controversial quote proposed as the inscription for Savannah\'s first monument to African-Americans.

\"We were stolen, sold and brought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others\' excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together,\" Angelou has said in lectures.

The inscription, if approved, would include this addition:

\"Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy . . . \"

Thanks to Bob Cox for yet another story.

Author laments \'loss of book choice\'

This BBC Story says British writer AS Byatt has hit out at what she sees as the deteriorating quality and range of literature on sale in the majority of UK book shops, and is saddened by the apparent triumph of marketing over choice on the book market. They say recent examples of heavily promoted titles could include the Harry Potter books.

\"Whereas once you would have had a very large choice of novels, such as every novel by Anita Brookner, Julian Barnes and Ian McEwan, now you find a random one or two novels by those people,\" said Byatt.

Novelist Spurs Passion Over Parking

Here\'s An LATimes Story Bob Cox sent over on romance novelist Danielle Steel.
She has 26 residential permits in her tony Pacific Heights neighborhood--more than any San Franciscan this has unleashed passions not normally associated with her 50-odd romance novels.
There has not only been angry sniping from neighbors but also miffed letters to the editor and a recent local newspaper headline that read: \"Danielle\'s Parking Orgy.\"

\"No single-family home should ever be allowed to have 26 parking permits,\" said Myron Zimmerman, who lives across the street from Steel. \"It\'s way too excessive. She already has a huge underground garage and extra outside parking on her property. It puts people around here in a bind. If we have any kind of social event, we\'ve got to hire valet parkers.\"

Explore Boston\'s Trail of Authors.

20020430 \"Where
literary greats once trod.
\" Hike Boston\'s trail of
authors: \"... tie on a comfortable pair of shoes and follow the Literary
Trail through Boston, Cambridge, and Concord. This self-guided, 20-mile
tour, developed by the Boston History Collaborative, takes you where some
of America\'s best-loved authors – Emerson, Longfellow, Thoreau, Hawthorne,
and Alcott – met, wrote, and lived.\" -By Frances J.
Folsom  -CSMonitor

 Lit-Trail.org
- \"The Literary Trail of Greater Boston: A Living Tradition.\" 
From the Boston History Collaborative.

LISNews
Keywords:
author -|-
distance
ed
?-) histor*
-|- travel

A story of monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare

Lee Hadden writes: \"There is An Article in the April 26 issue of the Times about the
original of the concept \"If a million monkeys pounded away on a million
typewriters for a million years, would Shakespeare\'s works be reproduced?\"


They say Folklore ascribes the vision of a typing pool of monkeys to T(homas) H(enry) Huxley, But the notion is older than Huxley, and may go back to Cicero:

“If anybody believes that this is possible, I do not see why he should not think that if an infinite number of examples of the 21 letters of the alphabet, made of gold or what you will, were shaken together and poured out on the ground it would be possible for them to fall so as to spell out, say, the whole text of the Annals of Ennius. In fact I doubt whether chance would permit them to spell out a single verse!”

AP: \"Vonnegut May End Public Appearances.\"

Witty, personable, popular, author \"Kurt
Vonnegut\"
[Google], informally suggested he may no longer make public
appearances.

20020422 \"Vonnegut
May End Public Appearances.
\" -AP via FindLaw Legal News

Amazon.com\'s Used Book Controversy Response: Grassroot or Astroturf?

While Bezos claims Amazon\'s used book sales \"lead to higher sales of new
books\" [LISNews: \"Bezos
Bites Back.
\"], and Authors Guild\'s Aiken responds, \"We don\'t assert
all used book sales hurt the industry.  We say that Amazon\'s particular
way of marketing used books is harmful for authors and for publishers,\"
AP reporter, Hillel Italie, points out that \"neither side has produced
numbers backing its argument.\"

\"Amazon
chief defends sale of used books.
\" -By Hillel
Italie  -AP
via  -NandoTimes

Now if only there were a giant database keeping track of all those sales
so that Bezos could clearly show how recent releases are actually helped
by offering them side by side with used copies for a fraction of the price... 
/sarcasm: off

LISNews Keywords:
amazon

Twain archive adrift

Ryan writes: \"The SF Chronicle has a little article about the Mark Twain Project going on at Berkeley\'s Bancroft Library, and its funding situation. Which is bad, of course.

But its curator--Robert Hirst--it is in Clemens-like good spirits about the whole deal. \"The importance of the place is inversely proportional to its flashiness and ability to raise money,\" he says.

Mark Twain Project page.\"

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