Between The Covers: 16/01/2011
Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
Sunday 16 January 2011
Thanks to The Bookseller's First Edition news service for the always illuminating "accelerators" chart.
This shows which books have been around for ages but have put on a sudden sales spurt. This week, inexplicably, it was Paul McKenna's book and CD combo I Can Make You Thin (Bantam Press, £14.99), soon to be followed by his I Can Make You Happy (£10.99). It looks as if James Caan has chosen the right time to publish Get The Job You Really Want (Viking, £12.99), then. Time to get cracking on the seminal work How To Become a Best-Selling Author, ready for publication in January 2012.
If there is relief to be had in 12,500 people complaining to the BBC about the baby-stealing cot-death plot of EastEnders, it is that at least these people are inside watching TV instead of going to the theatre. Imagine if they saw Euripides' Medea, in which a woman punishes her husband's affair with a princess by murdering all his children, or Titus Andronicus, which has a man avenge his daughter's rapists by grinding their bones and feeding them to their mother in a pie. On the other hand, let's not give the EastEnders scriptwriters ideas ...
However, it's going to be a good year for literature on the BBC: last week it announced that a three-part adaptation of Dickens's Great Expectations is due next Christmas and that Emma, by Jane Austen, will also be adapted for the autumn. Add to that documentaries on Milton and Donne and a poetry series by Owen Sheers, and book worms might be safe to get back into the telly.
A postscript to the splutter-fest surrounding the recent launch by an American publisher of an edition Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain which has the word "nigger" replaced some 200 times with the word "slave" – a publication guaranteed to enrage white middle-class intellectuals who don't know whether to be more upset about the word or about censoring it. In the absence of a verdict from God personally, Between the Covers is obliged to concur with the US Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, who admits to being "disturbed" by the word in the book, but objects to efforts to censor it. In which case, thanks to the E-Books blog, which points out a 2009 edition of Joseph Conrad's The Nigger of the Narcissus re-titled The N-Word of the Narcissus. In order "to remove this offence to modern sensibilities", every occurrence of the dread word in the text has also been changed.
Next up: Othello: The Bloke from Venice, and The Taming of the Independent Modern Woman, by William Shakespeare.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict