paper trail

May 17, 2010 @ 7:00:00 am

Remain alert and have a safe day.

Slouching towards Williamsburg with a Macbook and a book deal: The "hipsterati" and those who hate them have created a vortex of satire and meta-satire that book publishers love to throw money into

Russian lit is safe for toddlers, as long as it is in Touch 'n Feel form, ("Run your hand over Raskolnikov's scratchy face. He is feverish and pale") but Moscow subway stations decorated with Dostoevsky's gloomy visage could cause people to hurl themselves onto the tracks.

Triple Canopy's Molly Springfield profiles the Mundaneum, an early twentieth-century Internet, and its visionary creator Paul Otlet. Now with Otlet's scheme realized, tech-writer Nicholas Carr claims to prove that the Internet is rotting your brain.

But perhaps cellphones aren't (a new study is inconclusive); CellPoems has just won an award from the National Book Foundation. The journal texts (and posts) work by poets like Billy Collins and Charles Simic, who write playful poems in which every letter counts—just hold the phone away from your head as you read.

Tonight at Housing Works the Slate Gabfest podcast is going live, with Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner conversing about books and culture, and engaging literary wallflowers with an audience-participation drinking game.