3:AM columnist David Thompson reviews Why Truth Matters in Bookmunch. * The third Althorp Literary Festival (17-18 June). See today’s interview with Caroline Spencer in The Observer. * Morrissey, the “Alan Bennett of pop”, is profiled in The Indie. * Harper Lee and the Mockingbird mystery. * The future of edgy publishing: Social Disease. * Alain de Botton tells The Independent on Sunday that he hates football and will avoid the World Cup altogether: “I may well find myself talking to more women than men because of it”. * Tom Stoppard‘s new play (see also Stoppard on AE Housman). * Remembering Angela Carter. * Helen Rumblelow in The Times: “By describing adolescent experiences through an adult filter, the new movement gets to have its cake and eat it. They share the Beats’ passion for youthful exuberance and folly, but endear themselves to a mature audience. The spirit of On the Road is alive and well, but now in modern packaging”. * The French rock revolution. * Will Self in the Telegraph: “His only concern is that he writes too much. ‘At least 1,000 words for publication every day. I’m incontinent about it. Of course, it’s all exquisitely crafted. Hmmm. Who was it who said of Jack Kerouac, ‘he doesn’t write, he types’? That’s what I worry about too. But I work at it. I work at my typing.’ We laugh. He pauses. ‘I’m afraid if I stop, I’ll be overwhelmed. But mostly it’s genuinely that I have so many ideas. I think that what blocks so many writers is a platonic view of the text — the need to write an ideal. I’ve always subscribed to the other view that everything is a version. The best I could do at the time. That comes out of being a working writer. I don’t have a private income or a sinecure of any kind. It makes good sense for me not be too precious, and to hope that somewhere between the art and the craft it will out”. * Pen Pusher magazine. * The Hotel Chelsea Blog. * Books, Bands & Bellinis. * 3:AM‘s Richard Cabut: Mother Nature gets her kit off. * A literary sex-slave cult is uncovered. * Drugs Are Nice in Londonist. * Be Your Own Pet film. * Rupert Thomson interviewed over at Maud Newton‘s. * An interview with 3:AM poetry editor Tao Lin. * London’s Last Chance Disco. * The ever brilliant Steve Aylett on the inevitability of a nuclear catastrophe, Ronnie Kray and more: “Unfortunate things used to happen to people when I sent them books for cover quotes. I sent the re-print of The Crime Studio to William Burroughs and he died a week later; I sent Bigot Hall to Stephen Fry and he went insane — temporarily”. * Batwoman returns as a lipstick lesbian. * Jamie Byng of Canongate, Chuck Pahlaniuk, William Burroughs, Richard Hell, DBC Pierre and Brooklyn’s indie publishers (via dogmatika). * All hail the Book Depository. * Robert McCrum on the multiplication of literary festivals in Blighty and the parallel rise of the novelist as celebrity (“In 2006, the novelist has become a cross between a commercial traveller and an itinerant preacher”). Among many other things, he broaches the subject of the “IT revolution”: “Certainly, the microchip and the internet have transformed booksellers, rejuvenated publishers, galvanised readers and given unpublished writers the kind of audience they had hitherto only dreamed of. Moreover, that truly modern phenomonenon, the blog, has enfranchised a new group of wannabes, creating the sensations of authorship (with none of the pain). Now almost everyone is a published writer. Literary life has become, perhaps for the first time, global, democratic and uninhibited. The bookshops are better equipped and the books they sell are better printed, better designed and better marketed than ever before. There’s a huge audience, and apparently no shortage of money. It’s an almost perfect environment for a new writer of talent”. * The Arctic Monkeys‘ secret gig at the Old Blue Last (film). * Benjamin Kunkel interviewed in Austinist. * Nick Cave tells Nerve that his facial hair is here to stay. * An interview with Kevin Ring, founder of Beat Scene magazine. * Georges Bataille placed life before art. * Alasdair Gray is working on a new novel, Men in Love. * Like looking into wells filled with drowned toddlers: Douglas Coupland and the Google Generation. * Heavenly worms: Matt Thorne reviews Alan Warner‘s latest. * Steve Almond resigns from Boston College over its decision to invite Condoleezza Rice. * Douglas Coupland on becoming a “day writer” (“I do miss the 3am writing jags”), the future (“I get very jealous of the future, because I know I’m not going to be around”) and the “flawed afterlife” offered by the Internet: “…[M]any of us now exist in a secondary fashion, a meta-fashion, thanks to the internet, and the second you is related to but isn’t quite you, so I thought it would be an idea to exploit this. If I put my own name into Google or Yahoo, I will discover that a kind of meta-Doug exists. I exist in there, my name, but it’s not me: it’s a mix of truths, half-truths, nonsense, misunderstanding, rumour, misinterpretation. But the thing is that Meta-Doug is going to exist for a lot longer than the real one is in this world. Once I’m gone, this other me is going to keep on going on the net, cut and pasted and repeated: in the future we will all exist there, in this flawed afterlife”.
First posted: Sunday, June 4th, 2006.