paper trail

May 14, 2013 @ 12:59:00 am

Witold Gombrowicz

Witold Gombrowicz’s final book will be published in Polish at the end of this month under the title Kronos. The book, considered to be a companion piece to Gombrowicz’s Diary (which Eric Banks reviewed for Bookforum in 2012) covers his life in Poland, Argentina, and Berlin, and is rumored to be a mishmash of everything from his “erotic ventures” to lists of his “finances, travel, meetings, invitations and exchanges of gifts and letters.” At a press conference in Warsaw last week, Gombrowicz’s widow confirmed that this will be the last Gombrowicz manuscript to see publication. "This is the integral text", Rita Gombrowicz told interviewers, "and I tell you there is absolutely nothing more to come."

This is kind of a genius idea: For his latest book, South Park and Louie writer Vernon Chatman commissioned professional cheaters (you know, the people who write term papers for cash) to take on bizarre writing assignments. He then published the collection under the title Mindsploitation: Asinine Assignments for the Online Homework Cheating Industry. Here’s a sample assignment: “My midterm thesis essay paper is an exploration of Alternate Endings To Great Works of Literature. All I need from you is to... provide a new ending to Catcher In The Rye where Holden Caulfield turns into a crawfish and goes into some kind of retail business.”

In a Texan twist on speculative fiction, a number of books have come out lately that imagine a reality in which the Lone Star state breaks away from the U.S.

The French government has proposed a law that would tax smartphones and tablets in order to fund “cultural products” such as books, art, and music. If approved, the law is expected to bring in roughly $112 million a year, and proceeds would be distributed among cultural organizations that operate within France.

Today in Brooklyn book news, the Brooklyn Public Library is starting an oral history collection about community members affected by Hurricane Sandy, and a new tumblr documents the literary (and less-than-literary) finds turning up on stoops across the borough.

Sheila Heti writes a dispatch from the Cúirt literary festival in Ireland, which describes, among other things, having lunch with a Nobel laureate while wearing a nightgown.