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June 03, 2004

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» Gone Fishing from Booksquare
The entire book world has packed up and left town. Except the book world in Chicago -- they pretty much stayed home. BEA is this week, and, while we expect all sorts of exciting announcements (Clinton arrives, Clinton speaks, Clinton leaves), we have a... [Read More]

» My California debuts from L.A. Observed
Angel City Press and CaliforniaAuthors.com took their new anthology of travel and adventure essays to last week's Book Expo America in Chicago. And it was a hit wih the West Coasters, they say. My California is the book of donated... [Read More]

» My California debuts from L.A. Observed
Angel City Press and CaliforniaAuthors.com took their new anthology of travel and adventure essays to last week's Book Expo America in Chicago. And it was a hit with the West Coasters, they say. My California is the book of donated... [Read More]

» Blogging panel report at last week's Book Expo from 2020 Hindsight
Thanks to Kevin Roderick at L.A. [Read More]

» Bloggers of Cumae Debate Immortality from Idiotprogrammer
Mark Sarvas blogs about Book Expo and the usual suspects. Nice summary. While making a literary allusion on a blog comment, I discovered to my delight that I truly didn't know the full background of the legendary Sybil of Cumae. Here's a gr... [Read More]

» Bloggers of Cumae Debate Immortality from Idiotprogrammer
Mark Sarvas blogs about Book Expo and the usual suspects. Nice summary. While making a literary allusion on a blog comment, I discovered to my delight that I truly didn't appreciate the full background of the legendary Sybil of Cumae. Here'... [Read More]

Comments

Ed

Great reporting on the road, man. Keep the tales coming.

Dan Wickett

Rough? Not at all - I don't think you could have transcribed notes from a tape of that session any better.

Looking forward to seeing you at Unbridled on Saturday evening!

Keep up the great work in the mean time.

Sarah

BEST!!!

Such great coverage, Mark. Keep it up.

manley

great coverage!!!

CAAF

So good & interesting, Mark!!! I love the coverage mixed with the commentary. Go on with your bad self!

p.s. I hope you manage drinks with Peck _and_ Clinton.

Jimmy Beck

You rule, natch.

ARC

Great coverage, except I can see your underwear.

Sam

Terrific coverage, Mark ...

The comments to this entry are closed.

TEV DEFINED


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."

SECOND LOOK

  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

    Bs

    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe

    Rider_4

    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."