Library in Istanbul's Gezi Park
Taking a cue from Occupy Wall Street, more than fifteen Turkish publishers (including Sel Publishing House, which has previously faced obscenity charges for publishing books by William Burroughs) have stepped up to donate books to an impromptu library that’s being assembled in Gezi Park—the site of Turkey’s peaceful anti-government protests.
The manuscript of Samuel Beckett’s novel Murphy has only been seen by several people other than the author himself, but it’s expected to sell for over a million dollars when it goes up for auction next month. In addition to notes and “extensive corrections,” the six-notebook manuscript includes “lively sketches of [Beckett’s] friend and mentor James Joyce, of himself, and of Charlie Chaplin.”
Joyce Carol Oates gets The Onion treatment: “As an author with a half century of literary success behind me, I can assure you the only way to make it in this industry is to meet as many publishers as you possibly can and then fuck them.”
Kurt Vonnegut thought Little Red Riding Hood was “too simple, too well-known, and too stupidly brutal” to work as a musical, and instead, in a letter to Jed Feuer, proposed setting an adapted version of it in a “backwoods, fundamentalist village run by a Jerry Falwell and vigilantes under his direction.” H/T Maud Newton.
In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Aussie cultural critic Clive James argues that while “America does polite literary criticism well enough,” because it’s a country where “consensus is considered normal and controversy is confusing,” the U.S. could never match “the bitchery of British book reviewing and literary commentary.”
Amazon has announced that it will produce Alpha House, a TV show about a handful of “misbehaving senators living together as Washington DC roommates.” The show was written by Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau and will come out later this year.