Monday, July 12, 2010

Cool news from Bloglines

Well, I just checked into Bloglines and there are a number of new posts. Out of all of the new posts, the one that has excited me the most has to do with Mark Twain. It seems that Mr. Twain did not want his autobiography published until he had been dead 100 years. Well, it has been 100 years and the autobiography will soon be out. I am sure you have already guessed that I will be reading that book as soon as I can put my hands on it.

I think too much has been made about the books written by this man - the banning because of slavery. But Samuel Clemens was of a different time - a different era. Why can't we remember that? Poet and philosopher George Santayana is credited with saying "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Slavery remains with us today - look at Haiti and so many other parts of the world. It hasn't disappeared so why do people get their feathers ruffled because of a book that was written so many years ago?

Ok, I got that out. Another interesting post (and these both are in the Book news, reviews and author interviews from the UK) is about ebook deals not fair to the authors. Apparently, Tom Holland who chairs the Society of Authors, has called on the authors to demand more in the way of royalties from publishers. Instead of the standard 25%, Mr. Holland believes the royalties should be split 50/50. The problem lies in the contract because it lasts the life of the copyright. The fight should begin now, says Mr. Holland, so that the present contract language does not become set in concrete. Well, like I've always heard, it's best to cut them off at the pass. Looks like this could get interesting.

Well, I'm signing off for now as there is another post I want to read. It has to do with whether the novel is or is not dead. As you already know from my past posts, I am not a fan of fiction. It's alright for those who like it. But I don't like science fiction, or hobgloblins, or vampires, or those historical fictions with the woman who simply cannot live without that man. I have read my share of fiction and there are some writers I like such as Toni Morrison, Elmer Kelton, John Jakes, Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Agatha Christie. But give me Shelby Foote (although he did write some fiction), David McCullough, along with others listed in my previous posts.

I don't think the novel is dead. My question is whether we have any real classics today.

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