Bleak House

1. I know I’m supposed to scoff at the idea of Dickens World, which is opening in Chatham, Kent in April 2007. What can I say? I think it looks like fun and I’d like to visit. Go ahead and call me names. I’m a fool for stuff like this.

2. Sidney Thompson’s short story collection Sideshow, a Litblog Co-op Autumn 2006 nominee, has its own side story, involving an Atlantic Monthly editor who inquired as to the author’s race before deciding to reject the story. Jeff Bryant has the sordid details here. I don’t know if this all adds up to a scandal or not, but I do know that Thompson’s book is a good lively read.

3. When I heard that Twyla Tharp had created a Broadway dance musical based on the songs of Bob Dylan, I did not have high hopes. I love me a great Broadway musical, but Dylan’s rough and ragged songs don’t seem like the right raw material. According to the New York Times, which murders the play in today’s issue, I was probably right. I’m steering so clear of this show, I don’t even want to be caught in the same borough.

I also hear that John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick is heading for Broadway (via Critical Mass). I don’t like this either. I didn’t like the movie and I didn’t like the book, which represented the great Updike’s coast into mid-career commercial dullness (luckily, this coasting was not permanent, and the great Updike has occasionally returned since). I don’t plan to like this play.

4. Also via Critical Mass, here’s a fascinating piece on George Orwell’s distinguished career as a newspaper columnist.

5. Note that I said “via” twice in the above two notices. I like “via”, and I wonder lately why everybody is going with “hat tip” instead. It may be Frank Wilson’s fault. I find “hat tip” overly illustrative — every time I hear it I picture a hat tipping, and I’m tired of picturing hats tipping. I’m against “hat tip” and I wish everybody would just go back to “via” (via me).

6. Heading for the fringes, Bill Ectric interviews gay boxer and self-publishing author Alex Hutchinson.

7. Remotely Connected, the new free-form PBS blog, was yesterday’s Yahoo pick of the day! Yeah, that’s my face up there, yammering about Sesame Street.

5 Responses

  1. Reviewing the
    Reviewing the Interviewer

    Interviews turn me off – banal questions, similar responses, scattered ramblings, fluff and nothingness that miss the mark. But this one is a rare exception – brilliantly tight, pointed, candid, and interesting. Both Hutchinson and Ectric deserve high marks for this excellent interview.

  2. #6 and 7I read the story
    #6 and 7

    I read the story about sesame street.It sure sounds like it’s an uphill battle at times. I am a firm believer however, that it starts at home.

    I read the boxer story too. Interesting line about feeling attractive, center of attention etc.

    I`m still thinking about that one because I`ve had that feeling. I`ve always attributed that feeling to being the oldest in the family.

  3. Dickens WorldShouldn’t it be
    Dickens World

    Shouldn’t it be Dickens’ World? Why no apostrophe in the theme park’s name?

    And after reading A Tale of Two Cities the only way I’d go is if Dickens World had a red light district. You know, just to make sure the park was historically acurate.

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