paper trail

Jun 21, 2013 @ 12:11:00 am

Protests in Greece after the closure of the ERT, the state-run radio and TV broadcaster.

Sopranos creator David Chase once told one of his assistant producers that “I’ll never be truly happy in life . . . until I kill a man . . . not just kill a man, but with my bare hands.” Ken Tucker reviews Brett Martin's Difficult Men—about the producers of Mad Men, The Wire, and other TV series—in the latest issue of Bookforum.

Brazilian academics have applied techniques of analysis devised for studying online social networks to Homer’s Odyssey and found “good evidence that the Odyssey is based, at least in part, on a real social network and so must be a mixture of myth and fact.” To conduct their study, the team examined the relationships between the 342 characters in the book, and the more than 1,700 relationships between them. They found that, like real-life social networks at the time, the social world depicted in the book was “small, highly clustered, slightly hierarchical and resilient to random attacks.”

A video of a violinist playing in the offices of Greece’s state broadcaster following the government closure of the broadcaster—and the firing of 2,600 of its employees—has gone viral and mobilized international support for Greek journalists.

Who goes to a gun show for reading material? Many gun nuts do, reports Patrick Wensink in a very strange dispatch for Salon. Upon arriving at the annual Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, Wensink was shocked to find “a thriving chapbook culture while surrounded by hollow-point bullets and guys spitting tobacco into Mountain Dew bottles. The gun show’s book booth was four tables long and jammed with racks of chapbooks,” including titles like Improvised Rocket Motors, Homebrew TNT, Combat Knife Throwing, and, our favorite, Poor Man’s James Bond. For more on the topic, read Jeff Sharlet on Dan Baum's Gun Guys from our Feb/March issue.

If, per Roland Barthes’s famous dictum, the author is really dead, then why is our culture so fascinated with literary celebrity?

Book Riot’s readers have voted Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series to the top of their “most hated” book list—with Catcher in the Rye as a close second.

A blogger who successfully raised $2,000 on Kickstarter to publish a book on the "art" of picking up women has come under attack on the internet. New Statesman has described Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women as “a manual for sexual assault” (you can read excerpts here to see why) and raised the question of whether Kickstarter should be more judicious in monitoring publishing projects.