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Round-up: A Richard Nash extravaganza!

October 7, 2010 \pm\31 1:34 pm

  • Cursor is happening! Cursor is happening! Cursor is actually holy shit happening! If you happen to be a publishing nerd, you’ve probably been following Richard Nash’s not-so-quiet revolution, building a better publishing infrastructure from the web up. That project is called Cursor, and just this week, Nash announced Cursor’s first imprint, Red Lemonade, and the fall 2011 slate. I am excited. I am crazy, crazy excited.

Nash, if you’re unfamiliar, is a bold and divisive editor, formerly head of the iconic (and totally badass) Soft Skull Press, and a big proponent of social media and radical change in the industry. He is also prolific as fuck, and his speech titled “Publishing 3.0” at Canada’s 2010 BookNet lit a fire under the butts of many an idealistic and open-minded publisher (including yours truly). I embedded the speech below. It is a bit long, but if you haven’t seen it, think of it as a call to arms. Think of it as a new audience, a new economy, and a new approach to how you, the writer, get to present and disseminate your content to the world. Mark my words: if someone can save publishing in the digital age, it’s Richard Nash.


  • In other Nash-related news, Counterpoint Press (Nash was editorial director of Soft Skull under Counterpoint until leaving in 2009 to create Cursor) has fallen on some hard times and will be closing its New York office. GalleyCat says this isn’t the end of Soft Skull, but it’s still a sad day for those of us who came to love publishing in its heyday.
  • If publishing isn’t your bag, perhaps you will be interested in this new soulless career opportunity: using a barcode scanner on used books in thrift shops and selling the valuable ones on Amazon. Slate has a fascinating first-person account.

  • I imagine you could get a good price for the books in this traveling lighthouse library. (Via The Rumpus)
  • And the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature goes to… someone I’ve never heard of! Congratulations, Peruvian novelist/fringe politician Mario Vargas Llosa!
  • A lot of folks got a first look at Google Editions, the web giant’s long-gestating e-reader, this week at the Frankfurt Book Fair. PW has the skinny.
  • “Why I stole Franzen’s glasses,” by James Fletcher. The answer isn’t “Because it was a slow news week,” but then again, that kind of is the answer. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read about “Glassesgate” here.
  • Hey, remember that unbelievably pretentious letter an MFA professor at Columbia sent to her former students a week ago? And then all the ensuing debate about the merits and self-fellatio of MFA culture? Well, I think we should keep that going.

Anelise Chen’s lengthy and excellent insider essay (via The Rumpus) isn’t exactly a response to Hospital’s letter, but the accusation that MFA’s are a Ponzi scheme is certainly in the spirit of the response to Hospital. When I read the original letter, my first thought was “Fuck you. Seriously, fuck all of you people, and stop convincing young, idealistic artists to go into debt to watch you masturbate.” It’s funny in the way the entire Bush presidency was funny – it’s so absurdly misguided, you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Anyway. Chen knows what she’s talking about here. It’s a fascinating read, and there’s still a lively discussion in the comments section a week after publication. Check it out.

Have a great weekend! Support Cursor! Don’t steal anybody’s glasses!

  1. October 7, 2010 \pm\31 5:40 pm 5:40 pm

    Haha, We Who Are Against the Stealing of Glasses.


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