1. Ed Champion isn't won over
, Christopher Moore's comic spin on Shakespeare's King Lear
, which is enough to warn me away (I considered spending time with the book, but the cover art didn't pull me in either). In other Lear
news, I'm just plain happy that an Anthony Hopkins film version of King Lear
has been cancelled
. Hopkins was marvelous in Remains of the Day
but has been disappointing in many big roles, mainly because he can only play one character, the "Anthony Hopkins guy". I really wasn't looking forward to seeing King Lear with an icy stare and trembling lips. Meanwhile, Al Pacino's Lear may still happen
, and while I also don't need to see a surly over-caffeinated King Lear, I believe Pacino has a greater range of character than Hopkins.
Another requirement for an actor attempting Lear
is humility, since the King must play straight man to his Fool and read his best lines while upstaged by a storm. This is why I liked Kevin Kline's modest Lear
, and would be happy to see this one recorded for posterity as well. Historic King Lears we can still enjoy include Paul Scofield
, Ian Holm
, Laurence Olivier
and, a personal favorite of mine, Albert Finney in The Dresser
2. Not ... another ... unpublished ... Kerouac novel ...
I am glad the estate is publishing the archives, but I don't like the hyped-up hardcover release formats and I find it strange how much excited press coverage Kerouac bottom-scrapers like And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks
and Atop An Underwood
or the new The Sea Is My Brother
get, as if any reader would be better off reading these books instead of, say, Big Sur
or Desolation Angels
or Doctor Sax
or Town and The City
or Visions of Cody
or Wake Up
or even Good Blonde
or Satori in Paris
or Vanity of Duluoz
I think Kerouac had excellent judgement about his own work -- that's why he carried manuscripts of so many of the above-mentioned novels in his rucksack for years waiting for the world to eventually smarten up and appreciate them. But the novels he was carrying in his rucksack for years were Subterraneans
and Visions of Cody
and Doctor Sax
, most decidedly not Atop An Underwood
or And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks
or The Sea Is My Brother
. I trust Kerouac's judgement.
3. I enjoyed Roy Blount Jr.'s well-written editorial
about whether Amazon's text-to-speech feature violates authors' rights
, but I'm really not getting excited about this boring controversy. To quote a description I once read of a 1970s bar brawl between David Bowie and Lou Reed, watching the Kindle team battle the Author's Guild is sort of like watching two old ladies try to pat fires out on each other's bellies.
4. Tom Watson, author of Cause Wired
, takes on Rush Limbaugh for the Huff
5. Norman Mailer
6. Cam'ron is working on a television comedy project
, and cites Larry David as an inspiration. I can't think of many hiphop artists who could make this work, but Cam has the talent and the crude/funny chops to pull it off, and I hope it happens.
7. Apparently Alan Aldridge, the artist who drew the cover for Elton John's excellent 1975 autobiographical album "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy", was the Chip Kidd of his time, at least in England
8. Rambling on
. (If you click through you'll get to Frank O'Hara, but we're taking the slow route).
9. Jack Tippit's cartooning rat race
, from a 1950s cartoonist's insider sheet.
10. Laura Albert
is writing a new work of fiction at Five Chapters