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Posts Tagged ‘John Updike’

Barbara Walters Stretches Definition of ‘Fascinating’

FishbowlLA understands that Barbara Walters‘ annual “Ten Most Fascinating People” TV special is about as rock solid as People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” shtick. It’s a harmless slice of holiday season ratings fluff, to be tuned in or not at the bored viewer’s own risk.

Nevertheless, in advance of this year’s edition airing December 14, The View doyenne is taking some heat for including the Kardashian family. It’s one thing for tabloids to keep milking this sorry situation, led this week by Star Magazine’s ridiculous all-caps groom-busting KRIS IS GAY! headline. But in the case of Walters, perhaps the ABC newswoman is simply relying on the etymology of this particular F-word:

1590–1600; fascinãtus, past participle of Latin ascinãre. To be witch, cast a spell on, verbal derivative of fascinum, evil spell, bewitchment.

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The New Yorker Chooses 9/11 for First e-Book

We’re not quite sure how much of an audience there is for e-books, but The New Yorker is certainly grabbing some attention with its first venture into the territory. The Cutline reports that the magazine’s first e-book — titled After 9/11 — will center on 9/11, and features writing that will make it attractive to readers:

[The book] includes vignettes from the magazine’s trademark ‘Talk of the Town’ section by Hendrik Hertzberg, John Updike, Jonathan Franzen, Susan Sontag, Calvin Trillin and George Packer; deeply reported features by Adam Gopnik, Seymour Hersh, Jane Mayer, Jon Lee Anderson and Steve Coll; criticism by Malcolm Gladwell; and fiction by Don DeLillo. It also includes Nicholas Schmidles recent account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The New Yorker’s Deputy Editor, Pam McCarthy, said that if the book is successful, the magazine will look to do more.

After 9/11 is available for $7.99 on the Kindle or Nook.

Media Critic Has Fun with SPOILERS Study

As far as FishbowlLA is concerned, there can never be too many clever references to the granddaddy of all cinematic achievements, Citizen Kane. A film critic friend of ours in San Francisco, Pam Grady, recently launched a blog called Cinezine Kane. Then there’s this laugh-out-loud lede capper from staff writer Mary Elizabeth Williams:

Call off your dogs, spoiler police. A new study from the University of California at San Diego suggests that knowing the outcome of a story doesn’t ruin it–in fact, it increases its pleasures. Rosebud is a sled, bitches!

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FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: In Memoriam

cronkite.jpgOur favorite part of any award show is the memorial montage commemorating the lives of all those who passed away in the past year. While this year’s headlines were populated by the tragic deaths of celebrities and other bold-faced names — from Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett to Patrick Swayze and Senator Ted Kennedy — our industry lost quite a few of its prominent members in 2009 as well. Here, a look back at some of the media’s brightest stars we said goodbye to this year:

Former anchorman Walter Cronkite was perhaps the biggest name in the media world to pass away in 2009, and he was honored by a star-studded memorial in September.

A number of famous columnists also left us without their prolific narratives about politics, celebrities and the English language in 2009. Conservative columnist Robert Novak died in August from a brain tumor, Vanity Fair‘s Dominick Dunne passed away later that month after a battle with bladder cancer. The New York Times‘ “On Language” columnist, William Safire, died in September from pancreatic cancer. Another columnist who we had the pleasure of working with last year, men’s wear expert Stan Gellers, died suddenly last winter, just a few months after the publication he had contributed to for more than 50 years, DNR, folded.

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Tina Brown Discusses The Book Beast: ‘It’s Really Important to Support Books’

070608_DianaExcerptBrownggwide.hmedium.jpgAnyone with even a passing interest in books is by now painfully aware of the struggles the publishing industry is currently undergoing. Troubles came to a head last December when widespread layoffs were announced at both Random House and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (which had already ceased accepting manuscripts). Meanwhile, book sections nation-wide have consistently been the early casualties of newspaper cutbacks — another one fell last week with the announcement that the Washington Post Book World would cease to exist as a stand-alone publication.

Enter Tina Brown, who just this week announced the addition of the Book Beast page to her recently-launched website The Daily Beast. According to Brown the page, which currently features a compendium of recommendations, new and newly relevant books (Oprah, and John Updike among them), video interviews with authors such as John Grisham, as well as book-skewed articles like a current piece on Norman Mailer‘s writing legacy, was just a natural extension of the book coverage The Daily Beast already provides. It is also a space Brown feels is very necessary at the moment.

“It’s really important to support books and I am so distressed by what is happening to the publishing world,” she told us over the phone yesterday. “Book sections are closing everywhere and as an author, and an editor, and even for a time a publisher with Talk Miramax Books, I just care very much about writers and what’s happening to them and how they spend their time writing all these fabulous books that can never even really get an airing.”

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John Updike Dead at 76

John Updike, writer and winner of every literary prize imaginable has died from lung cancer today reports the LA Times.

We like to remember him for his Simpsons episode. From his Wikipedia page:

In an episode of the animated series The Simpsons, “Insane Clown Poppy”, John Updike is the ghost writer of a book that Krusty the clown is promoting. The book’s title is “Your Shoes Too Big To Kickbox God,” a 20-page book written entirely by John Updike as a money-making scam.

One of a kind.