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
[Google], informally suggested he may no longer make public

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

Topic:\'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.\"

chief defends sale of used books.
-By Hillel
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:


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.\"


History meets mystery

Bob Cox alerted us to History meets mystery, where they wonder Was \'The Bondwoman\'s Narrative\' written by a female former slave in the 1850s? Henry Louis Gates Jr. thinks it was.

\'\'I concluded,\'\' says Andrews, whose books include \'\'To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography,\'\' \'\'that either this person is the most unusual white writer I have ever seen from the mid-19th century or a black narrator who had not yet turned her writing into something that would be sufficiently conventional to be published. I think that there is a lot of evidence that the author was a black woman. But it\'s not an open-and-shut case.\'\'


University promises ultimate Shakespeare resource

Charles Davis writes \"
The University of Birmingham is launching a comprehensive
website for devotees of William Shakespeare.

The Touchstone site aims to make the bard\'s life and works
available from a single source.

It will provide information on all professional, amateur and
academic activity and details of research collections.

The resource has been developed by the University\'s
Shakespeare Institute Library and backed by the British Library.

It launches fully on April 23, to coincide with the date commonly
regarded as Shakespeare\'s birthday in 1564.

The site is available at: \"


Amazon Used Book Sales Draw Author Ire

From the NY Times:

Authors are rebelling against new efforts by (news/quote) to spur sales of used books, a practice that has become a major source of revenue for Amazon but pays nothing to writers or publishers.

The Authors Guild, a trade group for writers, yesterday sent an e-mail message to its 8,200 members, advising them to stop helping Amazon sell books by linking to it from their own Web sites, citing Amazon\'s \"notorious used-book service.\"



Selling off, selling out Malcolm X

Bob Cox sent along This Story on \"An extensive, historically-important archive of handwritten and typed speeches, correspondence and photographs\" that belonged to Malcolm X that was up from San Francisco auction house Butterfields, I just found This that says they are holding off, due to \"a possible irregularity.\"


J.K. Rowling on A&E Biography

"J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and Me" will be presented on A&E\'s Biography tomorrow. Friday, March 22, 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Check your local listings.

The blurb says the show includes video footage of Rowling painting pentagrams on church doors and offering blood sacrifices to Satan. Just kidding. It says she was influenced by The Simpsons, though.


Harper Lee sends rare letter to help one city, one book effort

Dave Lull passed along
This Story that says Duluth got an interesting endorsement for its \"Reading: Bridge to a Wider World\" program, featuring \"Mockingbird\".

A letter from Harper Lee, which is interesting especially in that Lee no longer gives public appearances or publishes anything. The letter was sent to the Duluth Public Library.

\"In these barbaric times what could be a more civilized adventure than for one city\'s people to come together to read one book at the same time?\", Lee wrote.


Homespun Authors Wonders of Florida

Bob Cox sent in This List of \"classics\" from St. Petersburg Times, Enduring stories that are passed from one generation to the next, building a lifetime of reading memories along the way.

They include Strawberry Girl, by Lois Lenski, Lion\'s Paw, by Robb White, Alexandra, by Scott O\'Dell, Tampa Boy, by George Ryland Bailey.


Stephen King\'s New Book Is on the Beam, Literally

the new york times says Stephen King is at it again.
His publisher isoffering samples of the book, \"Everything\'s Eventual,\" to consumers with personal digital assistants via telephone kiosks on the streets Manhattan neighborhoods.

Those who point their gadgets at telephone kiosks equipped with the Streetbeam technology will get five or six paragraphs from \"Everything\'s Eventual\" downloaded onto the devices. They say it may also be shared with other owners of similar hand-held computers.


Are Authors Abused by Used?

This Wired Story talks about used books sales now that sites such as eBay and Amazon have been listing used books next to the new ones. They say publishers and booksellers take sales figures, among other factors, into account when they make decisions about future advances, print runs and orders on the author\'s next book. Unfortunately for the authors, proceeds from preview copies, remainders and used books don\'t go to the publishers; and thus aren\'t counted by the publishers as sales.

\"\"I have to admit, a little piece of me died each time,\" said Ursu, who has tracked sales of her book since its release three months ago. \"For a first-time novelist, every sale matters, and I think those used books that are right there on the page attract people who normally would buy a new copy.



Author\'s Attempt to Promote Book Backfires

NYTimes Story on David A. Vise, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post and author of the new book \"The Bureau and the Mole.\"

He bought 20,000 copies of his book, then returned about 17,500 copies and asked for his money back. A rival publisher grumbled that Mr. Vise appeared to be trying to manipulate best-seller lists by bolstering sales of his book.

He said he never meant to manipulate best-seller lists or to profit from reselling his books, and conducted all transactions in the open, under his own name. \"My goal was to increase awareness of `The Bureau and the Mole,\' \" he said.


Dispute leaves author puzzled

Russell Banks can\'t understand why some parents of Canandaigua Academy students objected to the use of his book, \"The Sweet Hereafter\", in English classes.

Full Story

\"\"Anybody who picks up a paper and reads about the priest being indicted for pedophilia knows this goes on, and to pretend it doesn\'t, is to lie. It\'s the same thing with drug abuse, domestic violence and school bus accidents and then the question becomes, \'How do you deal with that?\' To some degree, everyone has to deal with these issues more or less.\"


Virgina Hamilton Dead at 65

Someone passed along This NYTimes Obit on Virginia Hamilton, Writer for Children.

They say \" an internationally recognized writer for children whose work celebrated the African- American experience as an essential component of American life, died yesterday in Dayton, Ohio. She was 65 and lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio.\"


Michael Moore On Tour

Michael Moore is hitting the road in support of Stupid White Men:

On Tuesday, populist filmmaker-writer Michael Moore will start out on a 13-city book tour that almost never happened - for a book that was nearly shredded.

The saga of \"Stupid White Men\" (HarperCollins), Moore\'s book lampooning President George W. Bush as well as much of Establishment America, is one of a major U.S. publisher flirting with self-censorship in the wake of Sept. 11.
\"They wanted me to pay for the privilege to censor myself!\" Moore says. \"Suddenly, you\'re in Kafka-land.\"

It\'s also a tale of how an intransigent author, a host of angry e-mail-writing librarians and a nascent outcry within the publishing world itself turned the contretemps into a 1st Amendment triumph - and the book itself into a best seller . . .

More from The Chicago Tribune.


Stephen King ready to close book as writer?

CNN Says Stephen King will only publish five more books, and a limited series for ABC, and then, he\'s ending his career in publishing.

Most people could hope to do that much in a life time.

\"You get to a point where you get to the edges of a room, and you can go back and go where you\'ve been and basically recycle stuff,\"



PUSH is dedicated to new authors and new voices.

They say... \"These writers tell it like it really is. No preaching. No false endings. No stereotypes or contrivance. Just an honest dose of reality. These books are funny, observant, heartbreaking, and heartstopping.\"

The Tm & © says Scholastic Inc, but there is little in the way of any more info.


Pippi Longstocking creator dies

Bob Cox sent along the Salon Story on the death of Astrid Lindgren, creator of the braided, freethinking Pippi Longstocking, died Monday. She was 94.

\"I write to amuse the child within me and can only hope that other children may have some fun that way too,\" Lindgren once wrote.



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