Things are heating up in the editor’s mailbox at the New York Review of Books: In response to Rita Dove’s 1,720-word “Letter to the Editor,” a critique of her review of Dove’s The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry, Helen Vendler quips, “I have written the review and I stand by it.” Slate duly revisits a history of dismissive replies. The best? Joan Didion’s reply to a letter critiquing her review of Woody Allen’s Manhattan: “Oh, wow.”
Mayor Bloomberg, speaking on John Gambling’s radio show, says of the curtailing of press freedom at Occupy Wall Street: “We didn’t keep anybody from reporting.” He also added that the NYPD did “a great job” of handling the occupation. Are we talking about the same protest?
Amazon.com’s controversial new price check app enrages booksellers. In an open letter to founder Jeff Bezos, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher calls it the “latest in a series of steps to expand your market at the expense of cities and towns nationwide.” Meanwhile, Diesel Bookstore is offering its customers free “Occupy Amazon” coasters and buttons.
Tonight at the Russian Samovar, FSG is hosting an event featuring music critic Will Hermes and novelist-memoirist Ellen Ullman. It’s a good pairing: Hermes’s Love Goes to Buildings on Fire covers a transformation in New York City (and its music) in the 1970s, while Ullman’s By Blood, a novel about psychoanalysis, obsession, and the Zodiac killer, captures San Francisco during the same decade.