Sunday, June 25, 2006

This is what you shall do:

Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated personas and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips an face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body....

---Walt Whitman, from the Preface to the 1855 Leaves of Grass

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

So close and yet...

The writer of Virigin Suicides hasn't given us a third novel, but, well, read what Publisher's Lunch sent me today:

Pulitzer winner for MIDDLESEX Jeffrey Eugenides' GREATEST LOVE STORIES OF ALL TIME, an anthology of classic love stories, to Jonathan Burnham at Harper, with Jill Schwartzman editing, for co-publication with McSweeney's Books in October 2007, with proceeds going to 826 Chicago, by Lynn Nesbit at Janklow & Nesbit.

Book Review: Transmetropolitan

Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street
Written by Warren Ellis
Illustrated by Darick Robertson
Published by Vertigo

Having tentatively foisted the heavy fire door open and exited the rainy night, I mount the rotting stairs through the stinking, smoky, dubious air. The soles of my boots draw themselves from each print left in the…I’m not sure what, nor do I want to know. I’m up and face another door that meets with my jacket-clad forearm. Each chance taken is something else willingly given up.

I arrived at the party late, but people are still lying about with smiles of conversion and lights of redemption gleaming from their countenance. Thus I associate myself with the world of Spider Jerusalem.

Fashioned after Hunter S. Thompson, Jerusalem is a nasty bastard who hates the world, which hates him back. In fact, the distopian world is pretty hateful. And cynical. And selfish. And expensive. And invasive: bodily, spiritually, and psychically. Turn on CNN and think of a Bush dynasty lasting another decade. Get the picture? Yup. Pretty fucking bleak.

Which is why Ellis and Robertson’s collaboration remains so timely. Originally published in 1997, the Transmetropolitan series has been collected and reissued as a perfect-bound edition. As seemingly miserable Jerusalem is, even his cleverly half-shaded-half-rose-coloured glasses see a glimmer of light. It reminds us that we lunatics aren’t insane, we just haven’t taken over the asylum. But it is possible. And we can, if we want. Just turn on your brain and open your eyes.

These are the end times. It rained cheese last night. The Black Squirrel has been seen has been seen as far afield as Luton…And behold a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death…. If anyone in this shithole city gave two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about Truth, this wouldn’t be happening.
---Warren Ellis, from the introduction.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


The June 2006 edition of Harper's is only available at fine independent bookstores and magazines shops in Toronto. So there's no need to enter the giant-purple-people-eater megashop to find it. Heather, it seems, would prefer you to spend your hard-earned bucks elsewhere. This is fine with me. Who needs smelly candles with their freedom of speech? Makes me sneeze.

What caused this tempest in a java-cup? Art Spiegelman's article "The Art of Outrage," which reproduces and discusses the infamous Danish cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

This from Quill & Quire:
Chapters/Indigo hearts censorship
If you’re looking for the new issue of Harper’s, don’t head to Indigo or Chapters, ‘cause it ain’t there. The Globe and Mail reported on Saturday that the mega-chain has pulled each and every copy from its 260 stores Canada-wide. The reason? Those pesky Mohammed cartoons again!Indigo is crying foul over an Art Spiegelman article that contains all 12 of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's infamous cartoons, along with some new comix, including one penned by Spiegelman and, according to the Globe, “two by Israelis, ‘inspired’ by an Iranian newspaper's call in February for an international Holocaust cartoon contest ‘to test the limits of Western tolerance of free speech’.”The Globe also boasts a leaked e-mail that was sent to Indigo execs, instructing them on how to respond to customer complaints of censorship, which includes the ever-so-natural and spontaneous-sounding "the decision was made based on the fact that the content about to be published has been known to ignite demonstrations around the world. Indigo [and its subsidiaries] Chapters and Coles will not carry this particular issue of the magazine but will continue to carry other issues of this publication in the future.”And the final dash of salt to this wound in free speech's side? Harper’s publisher John MacArthur
chided, “I'd expect an American company to do this, not a Canadian.” Ouch.

The article also links with the Globe and Mail article

And while you're browsing in Pages or Book City or This Ain't the Rosedale, take a gander at the other titles that may not be available in the chain store.