paper trail

Nov 22, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Listen to This author Alex Ross.

Was Gawker’s posting of scanned pages from Sarah Palin’s forthcoming book illegal? Gawker has been court-ordered to take them down, with a trial set for later this month. Denton v. Palin may be the car-crash/catnip trial of the century.

The Google team has posted an e-book, 20 Things I Learned About Browsing and the Web, which is perhaps a preview of what the long-rumored Google Editions publishing imprint’s product would look like. If so, the format is what we’d expect from the slightly evil geniuses at the G-team: slick and user-friendly, but still an anemic approximation of an actual book.

In the new Vanity Fair, there’s a disarming dispatch from Christopher Hitchens, detailing his struggle with esophageal cancer (he notes that the disease is in Stage Four, and “there is no such thing as Stage Five”). Writing with suave directness, he describes the awkwardness of encounters with friends, family, and strangers as they seek to find a common language to discuss his illness, and in his usual fashion, holds himself to a rigorous standard of candor and intellectual honesty, proposing that “as the populations of Tumortown and Wellville continue to swell and to ‘interact,’ there’s a growing need for ground rules that prevent us from inflicting ourselves upon one another.”

Tonight at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, the New Yorker’s Alex Ross (Listen to This), Ann Powers, Robert Christgau (the “dean of rock criticism,” who has a new blog called Expert Witness), Greg Tate (author of Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture), and other contributors to The Best Music Writing 2010, kick off the first night of a two-evening reading. This year’s volume of the famed series is especially engrossing; as author Glen Boyd writes, it is “the broadest, most diverse collection of music criticism offered up to date.”

At MobyLives, Nathan Ihara posits “2010 was a tipping point when it comes to our concept of originality, art, and theft.”