THIS WEEK IN LITERARY HISTORY

Thomas Hardy gets wasted, sells his wife and child, and thinks, "This is an awesome idea for a novel."

Earworms

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September 2010
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More Matter With Less Art

speakers corner
Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, parties, nations and ages it is the rule.

–Nietzsche

The thing about Twitter is that I can’t truly express how I feel about Twitter in 140 characters, though this item clocks in at a mere 139.

Right now in the Bookfraud household, we are in the midst of renovating a property we hope to inhabit by the end of 2023. Wife, bless her, has done enough research to complete a dissertation on home remodeling; just ask her about sofitt vents or vitreous or low-VOC paint (I dare you). The whole exercise makes me realize why she’s such a good writer. When writing any story, Wife does copious research, be it on 19th century clipper ships or birders tracking woodpeckers. She gets the detail right and infuses her prose with it. Me, I be lazy and just write whatever comes to mind, which usually involves sports, beer, sex or some combination of the above.

When Fidel Castro slams Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over anti-Semitism and how Ahmadinejad’s idiotic invective is making Israelis paranoid, you know that we are officially in bizzaro world or that Castro must be pretty close to giving up the ghost.

Meanwhile, this blowhard makes me want to reattach my foreskin.

Oh, yeah, and this, too.

suburbs
Going to bat for the Jews

Now that we’ve started renovating, I’ve done a tally of the shit that we’ve gone through in the past five years, and it forms our own private Harper’s Index of Bookfraud Hell:

  • Number of home renovations: 2
  • Number of home renovations we really could not afford: 2
  • Number of moves: 4
  • Number of bed bug infestations: 1
  • Number of months that life was ruined by said bed bugs: 10
  • Number of times bed bugs nearly ended my marriage: 43
  • Number of parental deaths: 1
  • Number of reports of major parental illness: 2
  • Number of times laid off: 1
  • Number of months in advance having to sell property on short notice, in the worst housing market since the Great Depression: 3
  • Number of cross-country moves: 1
  • Number of bags that flew off roof onto Interstate at 70 mph: 3
  • Number of traffic accidents caused by bags flying off roof onto Interstate at 70 mph: 0
  • Number of properties viewed in new city before buying one: 42
  • Number of additional months our douchebag landlord allowed us to stay in our rental while renovating said purchase: 0
  • Number of times Bookfraud has considered suicide: 9,355

Unlike love, publishing publicity is a limited resource. It can make or break book sales, and though it certainly isn’t the only variable in separating the best-sellers from the also-rans, a competent book publicist still remains an author’s best friend. That’s why this article, which was posted sometime before the invention of Red Bull or Ambien, is fricking depressing. It just reinforces the truth that if you want to write fiction, do it for the love, not the money, unless you’re James Patterson.

suburbs
Welcome home

As he dabbles in poetry, fiction, a PhD in English and other endeavors unrelated to acting, the confession by James Franco that he pulls on Charlie a lot somehow just seems perfect.

Finally, I want to ask the chucklehead who plans on burning a copy of the Quran on 9/11 if he could at least have the decency to wait until after Yom Kippur do so, or at least don’t burn it on the Sabbath. Shit, doesn’t anybody respect us Jews?

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