paper trail

Jul 19, 2012 @ 12:07:00 am

What the Library of Immediacy will look like.

Outcry and a debate over the value of academic presses has erupted in response to the University of Missouri’s recent decision to close its publishing house and reinvent it as something different. In an email that went out this week, university officials announced plans to defund the press, and relaunch it as a new publishing operation run by four paid staffers and five grad student interns. In addition to scholarly books, the more than fifty-year-old press has put out collected works by Langston Hughes and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as other general-interest titles.

What do measures to protect independent bookstores look like around the world? In Paris and Israel, they take the form of fixing book prices (and some Parisian municipalities offer subsidies to the stores), while in the U.S., saving local bookstores is usually a community-driven effort. Speaking of which, while it looks like East Village staple St. Mark’s Books will be moving, New Yorkers can still help them out by participating in a “cash mob” this Saturday.

What would be on display at a museum for writers? That’s the question that the American Writers Museum Foundation has been grappling with for a while now, and it looks like they’ve finally come up with an answer: living literary dioramas. After a number of meetings with writers, academics, and museum consultants, it was proposed that the American Writers Museum would be organized around “a series of ‘vignettes,’ essentially stage sets, that will house a variety of exhibitions themed around a particular topic or era.” The vignettes will be arranged around themes, such as “Families,” “Working” and “Conflict.”

Occupy Wall Street’s People’s Library is heading to New York City’s Governors Island, in the form of an art project called “The Library of Immediacy.”

The New Yorker has added Andy Borowitz’s very humorous “Borowitz Report” to its long roster of blogs.

The Observer pins the rise of male escort services on, of course, Fifty Shades of Gray, while a British publisher uses the series as an excuse to rewrite literary classics as erotica.