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Suck On This, Reverend Rufus Griswold

from the San Jose Mercury News

Poe’s first book goes for record $662,500

Associated Press

NEW YORK — A rare copy of Edgar Allan Poe’s first book has sold for $662,500, smashing the previous record price for American literature.

The copy of “Tamerlane and Other Poems” had been estimated to sell Friday for between $500,000 and $700,000 at Christie’s auction house in New York City.

The 40-page collection of poems was published in 1827. Poe wrote the book shortly after moving to Boston to launch his literary career.

No more than 40 or 50 copies of “Tamerlane” were printed, and only 12 remain.

[ click to continue reading at the SJ Merc ]

Posted on December 11, 2009 by Editor

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McCarthy’s Olivetti

from the NY Times

Cormac McCarthy’s Typewriter Brings $254,500 at Auction

Cormac McCarthy's typewriter.Christie’sCormac McCarthy’s typewriter

The little typewriter that clacked out about 5 million fairly renowned words over 50 years — with the able assistance of the novelist Cormac McCarthy — ended up being worth a lot more than anyone expected.

A heavily weathered, light blue, Lettera 32 Olivetti manual machine that Mr. McCarthy said he bought in 1963 for $50 and used to type all his novels, including a couple that won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, sold Friday at Christie’s to an unidentified American collector for $254,500, more than 10 times its high estimate of $20,000. (The price includes Christie’s commission.) The proceeds will be donated to the Santa Fe Institute, a nonprofit interdisciplinary scientific research organization.

Glenn Horowitz, a rare-book dealer who handled the auction for Mr. McCarthy, told The New York Times earlier this week: “When I grasped that some of the most complex, almost otherworldly fiction of the postwar era was composed on such a simple, functional, frail-looking machine, it conferred a sort of talismanic quality to Cormac’s typewriter. It’s as if Mount Rushmore was carved with a Swiss Army knife.”

[ click to continue reading at the NY Times ]

Posted on December 10, 2009 by Editor

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Eric Woolfson Gone

from The Telegraph UK

Eric Woolfson

Eric Woolfson, who has died aged 64, helped to create the best-selling Seventies rock concept band The Alan Parsons Project (APP) which released 10 albums and sold some 45 million copies.

Woolfson (left) with Alan Parsons Photo: Michael Ochs/Getty

Never a conventional band, the APP was designed to make records in the way that Kubrick or Hitchcock made films, with production values rather than star names always paramount. Woolfson and Alan Parsons himself were the permanent core partnership, with countless guest musicians coming and going during recording sessions – the APP never played live.

The multi-talented Woolfson was lead singer, songwriter and lyricist, executive producer and pianist, but – with a modesty not often found in the industry – was adamant the band should not bear his name.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on December 10, 2009 by MJS

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Cruel And Unusual Punishment. Torture even.

Posted on December 9, 2009 by MJS

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Who Shot Emiliano Zapata

from the LA Times

Zapata photo shrouded in mystery

For years it was thought that German-born Hugo Brehme took the famous shot of the Mexican revolutionary with crisscrossed bandoleers. But technology has pointed historians in another direction.

By Ken Ellingwood

Emiliano Zapata

“It’s an emblematic image in the history of Mexico,” says Mayra Mendoza, deputy director of the government’s photographic collection in the central state of Hidalgo. “Who gave us this photo?” (Associated Press)

Reporting from Pachuca, Mexico – The famous rebel poses in full regalia, his right hand gripping an Old West carbine, his left steadying a sword that dangles from the waist. You recognize the bushy mustache, broad sombrero, crisscrossed bandoleers.

It’s an icon of Mexican history: a black-and-white photograph of Emiliano Zapata believed taken in 1911, a year after the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution.

Published in a Mexican newspaper two years later and reproduced since then in history textbooks and on postcards, T-shirts and shopping bags, the Zapata image is almost as famous as that of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

With so much exposure, you’d think the photograph had little left to reveal to the world. Yet an intriguing question hovers: Who took the picture?

[ click to continue reading at the LA Times ]

Posted on December 9, 2009 by Editor

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Michael’s Secret

Posted on December 8, 2009 by Editor

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Japan’s Island of Art

from The Washington Post

Exploring Naoshima, Japan’s island of art

By Glenn Kessler

The easiest way to make our three children groan has always been suggesting a visit to an art museum.

So it was with some trepidation that on a recent family vacation to Japan, my wife and I decided to schedule a two-day visit to an island that’s almost entirely devoted to contemporary art. The stopover would be a splurge, since the cost of rooms and meals on this arty isle is over-the-top even by Japan’s inflated standards. But we hoped the total-immersion tactic might finally put an end to the griping about touring art museums.

Naoshima, in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea, is barely 10 square miles in area, but it has become one of the world’s leading centers of modern art. In 1992 the Benesse Corp., a Japanese publishing and educational company that owns Berlitz, established the first museum, Benesse House, to display artworks it had acquired. Now, internationally renowned artists compete to display their work all over the island. There is also a second museum, featuring Claude Monet’s water lily paintings; a series of striking art installations amid the houses of one village; outdoor art scattered along the coast; and a third museum under construction.

Not only that, but the main museum is also the hotel. After the day-trippers have left the island, a handful of guests have free rein at Benesse House, able to wander the halls at their leisure examining pieces by Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and other greats in a strikingly modern space designed by Tadao Ando, one of Japan’s most famous architects. The museum is completely integrated with the sea and the sky, so a vivid Jean-Michel Basquiat canvas looms over you as you eat breakfast in the morning while gazing at the horizon.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 7, 2009 by Editor

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Posted on December 5, 2009 by MJS

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James Frey and His Son Leo Siddhartha Frey

from StrollerDerby for RED

James Frey shares his devastation over losing his son

Posted by editors on December 1st, 2009 at 9:00 am


This World Aids Day, author James Frey shares his devastation over losing his son and asks us to help all of the chidren who still have a chance.

On July 3rd, 2008, as my wife held him in her arms and I held his hand, my son, Leo Siddhartha Frey, died. We were in a small room in a hospital in New York, a room that was, and is, part of the NICU, a room where families who knew their children were going to die went to spend their last moments together privately and in some kind of peace, though I would never describe the time as peaceful. As we watched him, and told him we loved him, and cried, Leo took a final breath and his heart stopped beating and he passed, and part of me passed with him.

It was, and still is, an unimaginably horrific experience. Whatever loss or pain or sorrow I have ever felt or known pales in comparison. I wept, literally, for weeks. To this day I cannot look at pictures of Leo, and cannot talk about him without breaking down. I have never written about him, never spoken publicly about him, and after this, may never do so again. He was my son. I wanted the world for him. I would have given him anything and had so many dreams for him, though I truly wanted him to have the opportunity to find his own. Every day he was in the hospital I got down on my knees and begged God to save him, to spare him, to let him live, to let him grow up and know love and happiness and find his way. I said take me, take me and grant him what I have known. Take whatever time I have left and give to him. I begged and pleaded and cried. It made no difference. Leo got sicker, and weaker, and he died. In many ways, I will never recover from it.

When I think of (RED), I think of Leo, and I think of the children who are dying. I think of the pain and misery their families will feel when they are gone. I think of what my wife and I have felt and lived with and experienced and I never want anyone else to have to experience the same things. I think of the fact, and it is a fact, that many of these children could be helped and saved and given life. They can find their dreams and pursue them. They can know joy and beauty and love. They can take their first steps and learn their first words and go to school and have their first dates. My son never got to do any of those things. Nothing we, or any doctor on earth, could have changed it. But we, you and I and our families and our friends and our coworkers, can change it for the children in Africa who are living with AIDS. We can give them the gift that we have been given, and that so many of us take for granted.

They need our help. They need money to purchase drugs. They need doctors who can help them learn to live with their disease. They need hope and to believe that they will see tomorrow. Give them that chance. As someone who knows the pain of losing child, knows the personal apocalypse of losing a child, knows the emotional devastation that I felt and will always feel because my child is gone, I beg you to help. Anything you can afford will make a difference. For them, their parents, their families. It will make a difference. For our world, which is so full of violence and horror and poverty and hopelessness and despair, it will make difference. – James Frey

james1 300x200 Guest Blog: James Frey Shares His Devastation Over Losing His Son

(RED) saves lives. So please choose (RED), get involved and make a difference in this world. In celebration of World Aids Day, James Frey created a one of a kind hand painted Bugaboo Cameleon stroller – inspired by his children and love of letters. The auction commences today and runs for ten days. Please visit to place a bid and help save lives.

[ click to read at StrollerDerby ]

Posted on December 2, 2009 by Editor

Filed under Site News | | 1 Comment »

For those pre-dawn runs to the mailbox when you’re just not sure it’s really safe out there.

Posted on December 1, 2009 by Editor

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Borders UK Gone

from The Bookseller

Administrators begin ‘closing down’ sales at Borders UK

Borders UK launched a closing down sale this weekend, with all 45 branded Borders and Books Etc stores across the UK affected. The news will fuel concern among both publishers and rivals that the chain could be set to launch a fire-sale of stock.

It also came as a shock to staff who had not been told before the news emerged late on Friday (27th). According to one insider, stores were delivered the new POS on Saturday morning, which included huge ‘Store closing!’ banners, and discount POS up to 90%. Stores are currently selling stock with between 20% and 50% discounts.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 1, 2009 by Editor

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Largest Finger Painting Ever

from Top Art News

Giant Finger Painting Sets World Record

Chinese students, finger painting, Guinness World Record

HONG KONG — As American children were celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, around 3,300 students were setting a Guinness World Record in China. The children created a giant finger painting carrying the anti-drug slogan, “Not Now, Not Ever, Say No to Drugs.”

Measuring nearly 23,000 square feet, the oversized painting is part of a series of large-scale anti-drug publicity and education activities launched by theWestern Police District, the Narcotics Division and the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN).

The kids received a Guinness World Record Certificate and made a pledge to continue their commitment to fighting drug abuse.

[ click to continue reading at Top Art News ]

Posted on December 1, 2009 by Editor

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