1. Author J. G. Ballard
2. Pankaj Mishra is angry about
the "Tandoori-Chickenisation of the literary palate in the west", or the "vastly increased preference for 'ethnic' literature among the primary consumers of literary fiction: the book-buying public of western Europe and North America." As an enthusiast for sites like Words Without Borders
and festivals like PEN World Voices, I suppose I should feel chastened, but I don't. I seek out international literature because it's my own literature. Who is Pankaj Mishra to tell me that I might not have more in common with, say, Alain Mabanckou or Indra Sinha or Wen Zhu than I do with the guy who lives next door? He may as well tell me to stop eating Indian food (because I don't really understand it
). A clever article, but in the end it's a familiar complaint and a cheap shot.
3, Don Gillmor investigates the history of Harlequin romances
4. Jill Lepore on Edgar Allan Poe
, whose work had "this virtuosic, showy, lilting, and slightly wilting quality, like a peony just past bloom".
5. A Japanese author invokes Poe with a pseudonym: Edogawa Rampo
6. About Last Night locates a true record of a popular Louis Armstrong myth
6. Updike on Africa
7. William Patrick Wend on N. Katherine Hayles' Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary
8. Emma Bovary, c'est online
9. Alleged Internet-hater Andrew Keen is just a big softie. His latest article suggests that "blogs are dead
" but then quickly devolves into a rundown of some exciting new WordPress real-time/social features. Even in this new mini-era of Twitter, the only thing blogs are dying of is popularity.
10. TechCrunch says web innovators should band together and stop the hype cycle
. I agree, but we have a better chance of solving global warming.
11. LitKicks poet Mickey Z. will be participating in "Earth: A Wake up Call for Obama Nation" in Washington DC on April 25