Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Twitter me

Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover? The Bookseller magazine sponsors a literary contest for books badly named. Odd titles like “Curbside Consultation of the Colon,” and my favorite, “Reusing Old Graves” closely followed by “Strip and Knit with Style.”

My vote for best opening line of a novel goes to: “Goddamned rooster.”

Highbrow alert: Anne Carson has written a translation of “Oresteia” which is brash and slangy, according to one reviewer who goes on to criticize her compound word-coinage. He says such writing smacks “both of Madison Avenue and a blog-clogged cyberspace in which most punctuation has been sucked into a black hole.” I think he means Tweets.

Here’s another: in an essay about boarding houses as literary devices, Caleb Crain writes, “…the unceasing drama of boarding house life – the flirtations, drunkenness, mutual irritation, backbiting, whining, eccentricity, conspiracy, chiseling and deceit – may come as a surprise. The closest modern parallel may be the comments section of a blog.”

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