This Week in Words – Aug 4

by Treehouse Editors

compiled by Rachel Bondurant

Treehouse has had a pretty good week. In addition to Ana Cristina Alvarez’s poem “Support” and her “5 Things” contribution, we also had a delicious review yesterday of Matt Bell’s Cataclysm Baby from our own Laura Casteel, poetry editor extraordinaire. As if all of that isn’t reason enough to brag, we also received some excellent feedback about our in-progress summer issue from Kirsten McIlvenna over at New Pages in her “Screen Reading” series of mini reviews. Many thanks to Kirsten and New Pages for the publicity and support!

On the less cheerful side of things, Gore Vidal died this week. The “prolific, elegant, acerbic writer,” according to The New York Times, died this past Tuesday at the age of 86 due to complications from pneumonia.

Also not such positive news, we have another case of dishonesty in writing, this time from a now former writer for The New Yorker. Apparently, Jonah Lehrer published made-up quotes from Bob Dylan in his new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works. Need I point out the irony?

The University of Virginia offers a sort of summer camp for bibliophiles which puts those of us more casual book lovers to shame. It isn’t just about the language of the books, you see; these academics, scholars, and antiquarians study exactly how the book itself was bound, pressed and printed. I still can’t decide if this would be an amazing intellectual experience or just a tad bit tedious.

A newly released Vladimir Nabokov story has been translated for the first time into English by, fittingly, the great-great-great granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy (Russians have to stick together, I suppose). It’s about boxing and less specifically the act of play, and the first few lines—previewed in this news story—are remarkably graceful. Better yet, the story is available free from the Times Literary Supplement.

Elie Wiesel will be adding to his already crowded collection of awards and honors this October when The Chicago Tribune presents him with their annual Literary Prize. Past winners include Arthur Miller, Margaret Atwood, Sam Shepard, and Joyce Carol Oates. Some people just get to keep the best company.

Finally, Publisher’s Weekly has released a list of the “Best Books of Fall 2012” on the off chance you’re at a loss for reading material. Fair warning: “Best” is their word, not mine. We just won’t know the truth until the fall.