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The last literary round-up of 2007!


by Jerome Weeks 31 Dec 2007

This year would end on a Monday, wouldn’t it? “Keeping it real”: Authenticity (or rather, “authenticity”) is a major bugbear for marketers of products to teens, the only people, it seems, who believe in a true self, true love and truth in advertising, if they can find it: “Teens are wired different than any another […]

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This year would end on a Monday, wouldn’t it?

  • “Keeping it real”: Authenticity (or rather, “authenticity”) is a major bugbear for marketers of products to teens, the only people, it seems, who believe in a true self, true love and truth in advertising, if they can find it: “Teens are wired different than any another consumer group. They navigate through media clutter with a heightened “BS” meter to sniff out hidden advertising agendas.”
  • How Granta magazine became Granta magazine.
  • Who knew that “pulling a rabbit out of a hat” may derive from an 18th century Surrey housewife who claimed to have given birth to a bunny? Michael Bailey, the former president of the Magic Circle, the London society of magicians, did, and he’s put it in a new history of magic.
  • God and Gold, Walter Russell Mead’s new history of how the maritime commerce of Britain and America came to rule the world, uses Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” to explain Britain (the Walrus, of course) and the U.S. (the Carpenter) — “ignoring the fact that these two characters are rapacious and hypocritical beings inhabiting a nonsensical world.” Richard Francis explains.
  • Our chiseled-ab superheroes were lard butts long before the rest of America followed suit.
  • A look at the year to come in British books, including Peter Ackroyd’s Poe bio, new novels from Peter Carey and Salman Rushdie and memoirs from J. G. Ballard and Julian Barnes.
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