Category Archives: Web/Tech

Tom Tryniski’s DIY Digitization

Some years ago, I worked at a small journal under an executive editor who was, to put it kindly, very old-school. Curmudgeonly might be another word you would use. Cranky might be a third. Along with the standard editorial duties, a fair amount of my time was spent trying to convince him that the move […]

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When in Doubt, Ask the Past

Everybody needs advice sometimes. Whether everybody wants it is another matter, but there’s a reason so many people love Cary Tennis, Dan Savage, and Dear Prudence (although I do NOT like the videos, Prudence—such a lack of intimacy). In my day, kids, we had the choice of Ann Landers and Dear Abby, and god forbid […]

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Jane Austen, Literary Godmother

If you were anywhere near the Internet yesterday, you probably know that it was the 200th anniversary of the debut of Pride and Prejudice. To which we say, Yay Jane! Two centuries of continuous publication is nothing to sneeze at, and the fact that the novel’s commentary on class, marriage, money, and perception still holds […]

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The IMPAC Dublin Long Whateveritis

We’ve made it to the middle of November, and it is with a grateful sense of continuity that I direct your attention to the recently announced IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Longlist. Regular readers know that this is one of my favorite literary competitions for a number of reasons: The books are nominated by librarians worldwide […]

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Presenting Bloom

We’re delighted to announce the launch of Bloom, a new literary site devoted to highlighting, profiling, reviewing, and interviewing authors whose first book was published when they were age 40 or older. Bloom is also a community of artists and readers who believe that “late” is a relative term, not an absolute one, and who […]

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Present Shock: On Ubiquity and Doing Things in One’s Own Time

Remember Future Shock? I was a bit young for Alvin Toffler’s manifesto on the disorientations of technological change when it first came out, but when I finally got to it another 15 years down the line, it was still relevant. At the same time, though, I was young enough to feel deeply smug when I […]

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The Royal Library of the Netherlands’ Word Problem

When it comes to digitizing older and orphan works, most of the copyright controversies I see cropping up have more to do with intellectual property issues than actual conflict. Which is about what you’d expect—any real litigation is going to be hammered out in court rather than in the public debate arena. But what happens […]

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NYRB, Lit Up

I’ve long maintained that my love of New York Review Books extended only as far as the realm of print—that aside from the wise choices in backlist matter it’s their graphic presence, their savory cover stock and tasteful graphics, their perfectly portable size, their handfeel—that makes an NYRB Classic such a harmonious physical object. I […]

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Printer’s Devil: Screwtape and Wormwood Take on Academic Publishing

The golden era of social satire is… yeah, OK, kind of over. In this age of irony, its time may have come and gone. But satire once had its uses, primarily to hold up a funhouse mirror to human foibles in an otherwise earnest world. Ideally, this was hoped to bring about social change through […]

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Train of Thought: The Underground New York Public Library

I’ve lived in New York for a long, long time, and while there are obvious things to hate about it—the dirt, the inequity, the weather, the armies of the oblivious, both native and tourist varieties—I have never not loved it here. Part of that is about the resources, the ready culture, but a lot of […]

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