paper trail

Jun 20, 2011 @ 4:00:00 am

On the Road, the app.

What kind of book makes for good e-reading? Two of the most popular iPad book apps offer examples of what the fledgling art of the e-book could become. TS Eliot’s The Wasteland has a wealth of features annotating the poem, offering curious readers (or puzzled students) new insights into the allusive text. The digital version of Jack Keroauc’s On the Road is jazzed-up with audio recordings, notes detailing his route, biographies of the real people his characters were based on, and a collection of documents from the Viking archive. The Road iPad app isn’t for those Kerouac fans who are, as the author wrote of his favorite people in the novel's most famous passage, “mad to live, mad to talk,” but it certainly would appeal to readers “desirous of everything at the same time.”

Novelists Michael Kimball and Justin Taylor discuss their craft, with Taylor telling Kimball: “In the end, all the characters are versions of myself. Open the novel to any page, any line, and you will find me hiding there.”

The new issue of FSG’s blog Work in Progress includes an interview with John Waters, whose book about his idols, Role Models, was recently released in paperback. Young people looking for their own role model need look no further than Waters, who says: “Everybody, no matter what—even the most deranged homeless person—has taste. They know which bottle they want to collect more, which shopping cart they want to fill. Everyone has taste and it’s how you define yourself against the world.”

Tonight, BookCourt hosts memoirists Kelle Groom and Nick Flynn.