Some news about books and ebooks from around the web:
- Oxford University’s 300-year-old poetry professorship has become the center of the biggest gossip maelstrom in the literary world recently. It’s got more than its share of sex, lies, and betrayal. If you’ve missed it, here’s the story in brief. It started about a month ago, when Nobel laureate Derek Walcott withdrew his candidacy following the resurfacing of a sexual harassment complaint against him from 1982, a resurfacing that Walcott called “low tactics.” Oxford refused to delay the election (an odd way to hire a teacher, to say the least), and Ruth Padel ended up winning, becoming the first woman to hold the post in its history (here she is reading a poem). Barely a week later, Padel resigns, after allegations that she sent emails to journalists reminding them about the complaint against Walcott. She denies the allegations and a big ugly fight ensues. Now Walcott has a job in Canada, and many others are lining up for the Oxford post. So this is what it takes for poetry to get in the news.
- Here’s a great find at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? about a Russian writer suing a journalist over a bad review, and the implicit corollary that readers could sue writers over bad books.
- Quick takes: the UK won’t adopt a 3-strikes anti-piracy law; an interview with Ars Technica suggests that Sony (or at least their PSP division, understands that DRM sucks for customers; here’s a massive summer reading list from Jacket Copy; the upcoming documentary Bad Writing looks awesome; I’m not a big fan of the Google Books settlement by any means, but I don’t like this alternative either; more data on the effects of piracy on sales; this new Pixel Qi, which is not an E-Ink ereader, looks pretty good; the Pirate Party actually won a few seats in the EU parliament; and the recession hits libraries.
- Random of the week: for every crazy good parkour-style stuntman, there have to be at least a thousand wannabes out there breaking themselves. I don’t know the probability of spontaneous dance-offs during NCAA baseball tournament rain delays.