Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sharp-Dressed Writers and Unfinished Work

I have a lot of ground to cover, which is exactly the sort of thing that happens when you disappear for a week.

1. Flavorwire ranks the 10 best-dressed authors.

Yes, Tom Wolfe is on the list. I’m not going to insult his Kentucky-Fried wardrobe. It is, after all, dapper. But how is it stylish to always wear the exact same thing? If I play the same note over and over can I claim to be a good songwriter?

But I can’t knock the list too much because it includes Oscar Wilde, whose fashion sense influenced figures as disparate as Batman and Scooby’s friend, Fred Jones.

2. Meanwhile, TresSugar lists 10 famous unfinished novels.

Some big names — Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Jane Austen — appear but all of them are trounced by The Canterbury Tales.

Canterbury Tales might be the only book written in the English language that could not be more popular or influential if it were finished. Chaucer’s entire reputation is based on this book (and his willingness to write in English when French was the chic language) and he didn’t even finish it.

3. Editor & Publisher has fired its editorial staff.

According to a memo from its owner:
Editor & Publisher magazine will be utilizing more individuals for the print edition who are experts in their individual fields as opposed to reporters who track down experts and put the expert’s story into the writer’s words.

Communications are also expected to improve over a department that previously was spread over four states and three time zones.

Perhaps I’m being cynical, but I read that as “Get ready for a lot of recapitulated press releases.”

4. Finally, The Plain Dealer is reporting that local legend Harvey Pekar died of an accidental overdose from antidepressant medication.

-Jason Lea,

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