The Book Booth: Red Carpet Edition



The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore, as well a brick and mortar in small town Washington State. Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

It's Oscar weekend and Hollywood is all a twitter for its big gala. I would be, too, if I had seen any of the nominated films. And I'm sure I will, once they get around to Netflix. My pet gripe this week about undeserved Awards is that in 1966, Born Free (how many times have you sang that one in the shower recently?), beat out both Alfie and Georgy Girl for Best Song. What were they thinking? And, yes, I still hold a grievance after 46 years.

On to the Book news of the week. I do like the short story form. At its best, it can combine the best qualities of both the poem and the novel. The good news is that Leslie Kaufman of the New York Times believes the short story is having a resurgence.

But wait a minute! Not so fast says Laura Miller over at Salon. Ms. Miller is right about publishers being wary of publishing short story collections. They just don't sell very well, no matter how critically acclaimed they might be.

There is still an on-going kerfuffle over the public domain. Stephen Joyce, grandson of James, famously threatens lawsuits over what he perceives to be infringements on the Joyce Estate (so far as to threatening lawsuits over readings of Ulysses on Bloomsday). The latest is a lawsuit over the characters of Arthur Conan Doyle, and I don't mean Professor Challenger. One enthusiast is suing the Doyle estate by trying to have the courts declare Holmes and Watson in the public domain. And I'll refrain from ranting about the Bono Law that extended copyrights for all works at the behest of the Disney Co. and the Mouse.

Modern Library has issued new editions of Truman Capote's Complete Stories and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Michael Bourne has some reflections on Capote the man over at the Millions that makes for sad reading.

For those of you who enjoy the gavel of the auctioneer, now comes your opportunity to bid on a recently found rare poem, penned by the worst poet ever to write in the English language, William Topaz MacGonagall. If the example of his work given by The Guardian is any indication, the accolade is well-deserved.

And if money is no object, check out the library of Donald Oresman, courtesy of New York Magazine.

History is something that both Modernist and Post-Modernist authors have struggled with over the long century past. Publishers Weekly has a very interesting list of novels that involve themselves with dealing with the past.

And, yes, it is Oscar weekend. Via ABEBooks, Scott Brown (no, not that Scott Brown) has a good article on collecting Film history.

And although film and fiction may seem to be competing narrative arts at times, the relationship is symbiotic. Walker Percy's The Movegoer and David Madden's Bijou both explore in fiction the impact Hollywood has had on their characters. And HuffPo has a list of books that you may or may not have known were based on books.

A splendid weekend to you all and tell us what is on your nightstand! Or Netflix queue,as the case may be.