Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Great Regulars: Elvis, meanwhile, is apparently the most

mentioned musician or band, appearing in 1,300 books, while the most mentioned film in literature is Star Wars: among 396 other titles, it's in Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude: "They did watch from the backseat. Dylan steered Heather's attention to crucial details, though Star Wars didn't carry the same impact here, flashing like a View-Master slide in the pinpricked bowl of night, as it did at the Loews Astor Plaza on Forty-Fifth Street."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Beatles' Hey Jude is literature's No1 music reference


An exiled Syrian author and journalist whose inside account of the revolution drew such ire from Syria's government that she was forced to flee the country has won a literary award from PEN for her courage.

Samar Yazbek was named by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy on Monday as the international writer of courage with whom she will share the PEN/Pinter prize.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Syrian author shares PEN/Pinter prize with Carol Ann Duffy


"Cootie", "disco" and "FAQ" are also in the mix, so if you've any ideas then do get involved. Can FAQ really be only 30 years old? Yes--according to the OED, "earliest verifiable evidence is from 1989, while a researcher at Nasa is said to have used it around 1983 in documents circulated to Usenet groups on the history of the space programme". A member of the public, "Patrick of Boston", has since found evidence of its usage in 1987.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Can you make a defining contribution to the Oxford dictionary?


But this morning, Bookslut has, joyfully, shown me that it isn't only science fiction novels that get covers they truly don't deserve. It pointed me towards the Caustic Cover Critic blog and its excellent takedown of Tutis, aka "the world's most incompetent 'publisher' of classics". Honestly, these covers are beyond belief, from the literal take on The Turn of the Screw to this Mills & Boonesque Balzac.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: World's worst book covers: would these make their authors cry?


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