Saturday, April 30, 2005


And Another Thing...

I'll be on Iowa Public Radio's Talk of Iowa this Wednesday from 10 - 11 a.m. to talk about the paperback release of Not Even Wrong. Those not fortunate enough to live in the Hawkeye State can also catch the show live with Real Player at the KSUI website...


Radio, Radio

This morning's piece on bulletproof vest inventor Rev. Casimir Zeglen is now on the NPR Weekend Edition site. One thing I didn't explain very well on the air was why his vest was not a financial success: it's because it was comprised of thick layers of pure silk. So it was really expensive. Franz Ferdinand had one -- the archduke, not the band -- as did Kaiser Wilhelm and Teddy Roosevelt. But beyond some heads of state, there just wasn't a market for an invention as expensive as Zeglen's was.

Also, The Next Big Thing, on PRI, is rebroadcasting today my old Valentine Day's segment about Wired Love, Ella Thayer's 1879 "online romance" novel featuring two telegraph operators who have never met in person.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Raiders of The Lost Wax Method

In reading through an old 1947 copy of the Saturday Review of Literature, I came across what sounds like the most boring book title ever. And yet there's a surprisingly positive review for Nelson S Knagg's -- wait for it -- Adventures in Man's First Plastic: The Romance of Natural Waxes.

The jacket promises "The story of natural waxes -- a romance with all the adventure and excitement of a novel!"

Um... yeah.

Anyway, the reviewer notes:

This is no ordinary book about the history, geography, and technology of wax. Mr. Knaggs has made his book a vastly entertaining description of travel in foreign places.... His opening chapter describes the search for wax-bearing palms in the Amazon Region.... [others reveal] the secrets of the mummies of Egypt, or of casting by the "lost wax" method.... Possibly the title will not tempt many readers and this is too bad, for the book is unusually entertaining. It might well serve as a model of successful accomplishment in popularizing a technical subject.

Alas, Knagg was about half a century early for the vogue for just this sort of book. Photoshop up a snappy new cover and rename it Hot Wax: The Exotic Secret That Changed The World, and it'll move 5000 copies before anyone starts noticing the present-tense references to Studebakers and Adlai Stevenson.


Lost in Translation

Today's Washington Post carries Michael Dirda's review of Gregory Rabassa's new meditation upon his own life and work, Translation and Its Discontents: A Memoir. The translator of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and other leading Latin American writers, Dirda notes, "comes across a charming (if somewhat garrulous) old coot," and is not the least shy about revealing work habits worthy of Grub Street:

" 'I translated the book as I read it for the first time. . . . This would become my usual technique with subsequent books. I used the excuse that it gave the translation the freshness that a first reading would have and which ought to make others' reading of the translation be endowed with that same feeling.'" This sounds convincing until Rabassa goes on to add, with disarming candor, "I have put forth this explanation so many times that I have come to believe it, loath as I am to confess that I was just too lazy to read the book twice." If that seems a little shocking, there's more to come: "It's my notion, loose as it might be, that when I'm translating a book I'm simply reading it in English. The further technicalities, many of which I have obviously missed, are taken care of by the copyeditor. These are the writers who will perfect the work."

Fortunately, the authors seem to like Rabassa's translations anyway.

One of the more curious experiences I've had in foreign literature is reading, side by side, two translations of the Carlos Fuentes novel The Death of Artemio Cruz -- both the 1964 Sam Hileman translation, and the then-new 1991 translation of Alfred Macadam. I can't say the books were hugely different, but the shadings of meaning were very altered indeed: it's as if two illustrators were painting the same pictures with paints by different manufacturers: pretty close, and yet different. One thing it convinced me of was the danger of relying on "close reading" in interpreting any novel in translation: your assertions about an author can't pivot on any one word or phrase, because they are not the words they originally used -- in fact, depending on how loose the translation is, the source text might not have anything like it at all.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


The Peer-Reviewer's New Clothes

Bless your geeky hearts, MIT pranksters! A Reuters piece reported on CNN last Thursday explains:

Jeremy Stribling said Thursday that he and two fellow MIT graduate students questioned the standards of some academic conferences, so they wrote a computer program to generate research papers complete with "context-free grammar," charts and diagrams. The trio submitted two of the randomly assembled papers to the World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI), scheduled to be held July 10-13 in Orlando, Florida. To their surprise, one of the papers -- "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy" -- was accepted for presentation.

Stribling said the trio targeted WMSCI because it is notorious within the field of computer science for sending copious e-mails that solicit admissions to the conference..... Nagib Callaos, a conference organizer, said the paper was one of a small number accepted on a "non-reviewed" basis -- meaning that reviewers had not yet given their feedback by the acceptance deadline.

Oh. So that's all right, then.

The pranksters were, New Scientist reports, "Sick of receiving spam emails requesting submissions to the 2005 World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics - which charges $390 for each attendee..." Other news outlets have slowly been picking up the story, many of them simply rehashing the Reuters report without doing any actual, um, reporting of their own. But Thursday's Arizona Republic carries an AP piece which further updates this delightful little farrago:

"E-mails to a conference address and to organizer Nagib Callaos were not immediately returned Wednesday, and there was no answer at the Orlando telephone number listed under Callaos' name.... in addition to mocking academic jargon, the pranks shed light on what Stribling sees as a problem: conferences with low standards that pander to academics looking to pad their resumes, but which harm the reputations of more reputable gatherings.

"We certainly exposed this conference as being willing to publish any paper regardless of whether it's been peer-reviewed, which is kind of a dangerous precedent to set," Stribling said. "It's kind of dangerous to be able to pass anything off as scientifically valid." "

Want to try generating some learned-sounding gibberish of your own? Try head prankster Jeremy's website, which includes the SGIgen "random CS paper generator." It's the best wheeze since Alan Sokal pulled one over on the chumps (sorry, editors) of Social Text.

No doubt academy-bashers will try to make something out of all this, much as they did with Sokal. That probably shows that they, like the deserving victims of both hoaxes, can't be bothered to read carefully. Stribling himself points out that the Conference was clearly a "pandering" sort of affair: the problem lies not in scholarship itself, but when charlatans both inside and outside the academy adopt its rhetoric.


Raving and Drooling

Very few reviews for Thomas Lowry's Venereal Disease and the Lewis and Clark Expedition: so far I've only spotted the Complete Review and (curiously enough) today's Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. But as Lowry himself is quoted in the latter article:

"Comments about sex and venereal disease run rampant in the pages of their journals, yet they are mentioned only in passing in the many books about Lewis and Clark..... And what caused Meriwether Lewis' terminal insanity? What drove him to a truly bizarre mode of suicide, one in which he shot himself twice and then, some say, slashed his body from head to toe[?].... Lewis and Clark, on their immortal voyage of discovery, faced many perils: swelling rivers, thundering waterfalls, hostile Indians, blizzards, frostbite, starvation, grizzly bears, rattlesnakes, and the great unknown of the Rocky Mountains. Of these dangers, one of the greatest and most feared was venereal disease.... Four years after meeting with the Shoshones, Lewis was dead... long enough for tertiary syphilis to work its dreadful effects on brain and personality."

Not mentioned in the reviews is another curious sidelight: the work of archaelogist Ken Karsmizki in tracing the route of Lewis and Clark's campsites by looking for telltale mercury deposits in old privies, the remains of VD patent medicines gulped down and excreted by the exploration party. As the Detroit Free Press noted, "Lewis recorded purchasing 600 of the pills for $5 for the expedition. The practice of the day called for administering mercury until the patient began to drool -- a sure sign that he had had enough."



Googlewhack The Priest

Ah well: the new Abu Grahib report bumped my Weekend Edition segment to next week. But for those curious, this week's New Scientist carries my article on Casimir Zeglen, the Polish priest who demonstrated a innovative bulletproof vest he'd invented in 1897 by going around and getting... well, shot in it.

For the moment, at least, the utter obscurity of Zeglen now makes his name in my NS piece a googlewhack -- search for "Casimir Zeglen," and you only get one hit. (Until, at least, Google finds this blog...)

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Next Weekend's Stubble

I have a historical piece slated to run in the April 23rd issue of New Scientist -- something I dug up that hasn't been written about in a century -- and it looks like I might be on next weekend's Weekend Edition Saturday to talk about it.

The most I can say now is that the story involves priests, dentistry, and someone getting shot... what more could one want?


Bingo and Blackpool

I have a reflexive eye-roll when I encounter shows and books about the 1960s, because I find the repetition of the same tiresome bromides to be utterly enervating.

Which is why I am so delighted by this review of Dominic Sandbrook -- a "young historian who was not yet born when the 1960s ended" -- and his very promising-sounding new book Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain From the Suez to the Beatles in today's Times of London. It points out that our lazy cultural stock imagery for any era (60s America?: Cue Kennedy, Beatles at LaGuardia Airport, bombs dropping out of B-52s, Woodstock crowds, etc.) only reflects the shiniest slivers of a much more vast and complex mosaic.

Take, for instance, Great Britain in the years leading up to the Beatles:

Sandbrook believes that the British experience of the late 1950s and the 1960s was much more complicated, diverse and contradictory than has been claimed. He is surely right. The Sound of Music comfortably outsold any Beatles album. More people went to church than football. People did not revolt, but voted for socially conservative men such as Harold Macmillan, Wilson and Edward Heath. He seeks to rescue these untold millions of unsung people from what the historian E P Thompson called "the enormous condescension of posterity". There was no single national experience. There were millions of late 1950s and 1960s just as there were millions of wars. It depended where you were. People who spent the decade in Welshpool or Wolverhampton would not remember it for Lady Chatterley's Lover or the Pill, but for bingo, Blackpool and Berni Inns. There was a fundamental continuity in British life. As John Lennon observed: "The whole bullshit bourgeois scene is exactly the same except that there is [sic] a lot of middle-class kids walking around London in trendy clothes . . . apart from that nothing happened except that we all dressed up."

Sandbrook is resolved, however, that his book will not be all dressing up, but will strike a balance between cultural and political narrative. In his chapter The Affluent Society, he begins with some stark statistics: in 1950, nearly half our homes had no bathroom. It was a profoundly unequal society; nearly 90% of the population owned less than 4% of the wealth... Perhaps, though, Sandbrook has found the hinge on which our history in the 20th century will swing. I particularly enjoyed his modest coda: one Saturday in 1963, a million of us would rush out to buy the latest hit record. But a staggering 19m were looking forward to a day pottering in the garden.

Sandbrook's already written a refreshingly counterintuitive history of Senator Eugene McCarthy, which has just been released in paperback. Perhaps he can come back come over and write a US decade-history to shake US pop historians out of their lazy assumptions. (Please?) In the meantime, he's writing about second half of Britain's 1960s in his planned 2nd volume. Neither of which, incidentally, I see listed on Amazon US... you have to go to Amazon UK to find a British edition. Will some US publisher please pick these books up?


Iris Chang

There is a lengthy and sobering profile of Iris Chang (The Rape of Nanking) and her suicide in today's San Francisco Chronicle:

[Chang's editor Susan] Rabiner believes that neither the subject matter of her work nor the intensity of her work habits precipitated Iris' manic-depressive symptoms. "Iris was suffering from clinical depression," she said, "and it deepened rapidly over a period of about three months. People tend to think that clinical depression is like a bad-hair day. It's a disease. If she had a brain tumor, people would better understand"....

Iris' reluctance to take medication may indicate the difficulty she had accepting her illness as an illness. "For anybody who experiences mental illness for the first time, it's very hard to accept that it is your biology that is making it happen. It's very hard to believe that there is something wrong with your mind," said Dr. David Lo, director of Santa Cruz Mental Health Services and former director of Chinatown Mental Health Center in San Francisco.

Though she died in November, I see that Chang's website is still up and running, along with its links to Speaking Appearances and Contact Information for Iris Chang -- a haunting memento mori for a life cut off in mid-sentence.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


The Mack Daddy of Covent Garden

Before there were tart cards in British phone booths, there was Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies:

For almost 30 years from 1757, Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies was the essential gentleman's accessory for a night on the town. Historian Hallie Rubenhold estimates it sold at least 250,000 copies. It offered very particular advice, guiding clients to the doorstep of Miss Smith, of Duke's Court in Bow Street, "a well made lass, something under the middle size, with dark brown hair and a good complexion"; warning them off Miss Robinson, at the Jelly Shops, "a slim and genteel made girl - but rather too flat"; and kindly including Mrs Hamblin, No 1 Naked-Boy Court in the Strand.... The alleged author was as famous as his book. Jack Harris, real name John Harrison... His ghosted autobiography called him "Pimp General to the People of England".

But now, The Guardian reports, it appears that the real author was Samuel Derrick, poet and actor, and wannabe friend of Dr. Johnson.

The Guardian, though, has not included any of the really randy descriptions from the guide that are buried halfway into a more detailed account over at the Times. Like most such things once considered dirty, the Guide is now a fascinating sociological artifact. In reviewing Bradford Mudge's When Flesh Becomes Word: An Anthology of Early Eighteenth-Century Libertine Literature, this same Times article quotes Mudge's very useful observation on such matters: "Pornography names a debate, not a thing; (it is) a controversy about where to place the boundary between legitimate and illegitimate cultural artefacts, not an unchanging category of stylistically similar, generically consistent objects”.

The Times notes, interestingly, that in the old days the British Library had a special place reserved for their really smutty stuff:

The North Library was reserved for: those consulting rare books; ladies (under an arcane 19th-century rule) who sought refuge from unwelcome attention; and anyone reading items from the “closed” cabinet. The “dirty desk” was directly under the eye of the librarian. The story went that readers were required to keep both hands visible at all times.

They had the "closed cabinet" and shy ladies assigned to the same location? Oh, you cheeky librarians...


A Dandy Afternoon, Isn't It?

Teddy Jamieson of The Herald of Glasgow interviews Robert Elms about his new memoir/history of dandyism The Way We Wore:

"I think that the tribalism and dandyism of British youth are gone," argues Elms. "Think about that litany of British youth culture that went from Teddy Boy via mod, skinhead, punk, new romantic. There hasn't been one for 20 years or more really, so I think some of it might have finished."

Maybe, he says, it's because we are a more consumerist culture these days. We buy more and, more importantly, there's more to buy. "When we were growing up we only had clothes and records. Clothes were how you showed you knew what to wear and what to do and how you got your status."

That's no longer the case. But the dandy hasn't totally disappeared. A few weeks back Elms went for breakfast with Outkast's Andre 3000, rapper, actor and as Elms himself says "a fantastically well-dressed man".

The one time I met Elms he was also a sharp dressed man indeed; I, on the other hand, had been traveling with backpack full of old books and not enough changes of clothing. Fortunately, listeners couldn't see us. Come to think of it, it seems a bit ironic that such a good dresser hosts a radio show.

One of my favorite new acquisitions, John Timbs's 1875 compendium English Eccentrics and Eccentricities -- with hand-colored plates! -- almost immediately delves into dandyism with an account of the immortal Beau Brummel. Timbs notes that aside from being a famously snappy dresser, Brummel could also be a sly little bastard:

Brummel was addicted to practical jokes, one of which may be related. The victim was an old French emigrant, whom he had met on a visit to Woburn or Chatworth, and into whose hair-pouch he managed to introduce some finely powdered sugar. Next morning the poor Marquis, quite unconcious of his head being so well-sweetened, joined the breakfast table as usual; but scarcely had he made his bow and plunged his knife into the Perigord pie before him, than the flies began to desert the walls and windows to settle upon his head. The weather was exceedingly hot; the flies of course were numerous, and even the honeycomb and the marmalade upon the table seemed to have lost all atraction for them.... the buzzing grew louder and louder every moment. Matters grew worse when the sugar, melting, poured down the Frenchman's brow...

Inevitably, this ends with the Marquis running out of the dining hall pursued by an immense swarm of crazed bugs, and the hoots of his fellow diners. And I suppose this might not be the first time that trick was pulled in that household -- Beau's grandfather, after all, was a pastry chef.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Welcome to the Jungle

Today's San Francisco Chronicle reviews Brad Matsen's Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss:

The bathysphere's dives are pure drama. During the first descent, a shower of sparks from the electrical cable could easily have ignited the oxygen-rich atmosphere and roasted the divers. They made it 803 feet down into the violet-blue water, with conga lines of bioluminescent hatchet fish and "large, dark forms hovering just past the edge of the darkness" of their lanterns. The second dive, to 1,400 feet, revealed spectral auroras -- "galaxies of bioluminescent streaks flash across the windows in a submarine pyrotechnic display that was beyond belief" -- but also gave the men the shim-shams. Had the customized quartzite windows given way -- it had cracked in tests -- Beebe and Barton would have been riddled by the popping leaks as if by bullets.

The deepest dive was made under the expectant eyes of the National Geographic Society, which had ponied up $10,000 for a big story. Although the craft had shown signs of weakness during unmanned trial runs, Beebe and Barton made it down to an incredible 3,028 feet, broadcasting their descent live on NBC radio (and with a pathetic Barton vomiting during the rocky descent. Beebe to Barton: "Oh God, Otis, not now.").

Mentioned in passing in the review is the fact that William Beebe was the author of numerous popular books on nature -- although until I looked him up, I didn't realize just how many. Particularly intriguing sounding: one of his last titles, Unseen Life of New York: As a Naturalist Sees It (1953). It seems Beebe, after a lifetime of observing nature in the Antarctic, the Galapagos, and Bermuda, brought his binoculars and magnifying glass to bear upon Manhattan.

Though, as Bill Buford once pointed out in his 1998 New Yorker piece "Thy Neighbor's Life," telescopes also enjoy suspiciously strong sales in Manhattan -- even though you can't, um, see the stars very much there...

Saturday, April 09, 2005


Strange Birds

I'd have thought this week's TLS review of Jon Fjeldsa's ornitholgy volume The Grebes was an April Fool's joke if it weren't for the April 5th issue date. The grebe, it seems, is a mighty peculiar bird:

The Great Crested Grebe, promoted by Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop to be the avian patron of journalists everywhere, has many unusual and appropriate habits. This bird needs a daily diet of light and fluffy feathers, either eaten from its own back or from the backs of friends and colleagues. It likes permanent liquid surroundings, and staggers inelegantly on land, particularly when failing to differentiate a road from a river at night. It depends on fiercer birds to protect the exclusivity of its possessions from rivals, and sometimes rewards those guards with a small egg in exchange..... The threatened grebes of Lake Titicaca hold a “bumping ceremony”, followed by a kind of synchronized line-dance by birds in an upright posture, sometimes more than twenty at once in a rushing row.

Really, any article that refers to Lake Titicaca should be a hoax -- but no, this is a real book. Even so, the grebe still has a ways to go before it can top duck necrophilia.


The Sump Pump of the Mind

In today's Guardian, Lawrence Norfolk examines what music writers listen to while they write:

You tune in and out, not listening and then listening again, or seeming to (seeming to yourself, that is). Music is the thing that allows you to fool yourself you are working, that you are not "failing to come up with something". Something has to fill those dustbowl moments (and minutes, and hours). Against the sterility of over-focused concentration, music maintains a certain level of attention, functioning as a sump into which unproductive brain power can be drained off.

The topic interests me for purely selfish reasons; I mean, nobody asks what car mechanics listen to while they work... Though I'm guessing it involves a lots of Thin Lizzy and frequent Clear Channel station identifications.

Anyway, not addressed in his article are two rather more prosaic reasons. In my case, I have tinnitus -- a condition I didn't help much by spending a decade in bands, drumming next to bass rigs -- and the ringing means I actually find it uncomfortable to work in a quiet room. Also, and perhaps more applicable to most other writers, there's the simple fact that if you're in noisy neighborhood or building, the predictable flow of music helps blot out the random noise of the outside world.

I can't quite buy into Norfolk's idea that relation between writing and rock music is somehow key to this:

The question "Why music?" remains. Why not have the TV on? Or the radio? The answer depends, I believe, on the fact that writers have a peculiarly vexed relationship with music in general, and with rock music in particular.

Well... no. Why music? Because I can focus with someone singing in my ear -- but not with someone talking in it. My wild guess is that it's because language and music processing are distinct cognitive activities, and so they don't interfere with each other.

Maybe that's why I also find that music with indecipherable lyrics is particularly useful -- lately, I've been writing a lot to the Swedish band Dungen, and I don't what the hell they're going on about...

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Follow The Money

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Pietra Rivoli's The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy, which begins with a souvenir t-shirt the author finds at a Walgreen's in Fort Lauderdale:

The label on the back of the souvenir leads Rivoli to the Miami silk-screen firm that imported the blank shirt from an exporter in Shanghai. Rivoli interviews the Chinese entrepreneur who directs her to the farming region where the cotton was grown. "I think the cotton is grown very far from Shanghai," says the Chinese exporter in heavily accented English. "Probably in Teksa." "Where is Teksa?" Rivoli asks, assuming it to be some remote region in China. To her surprise, however, the raw cotton has originated not far from the hometown of President George W. Bush, deep in the heart of Texas.... "The winners in my T-shirt's life,'' she writes, "are adept not so much at competing in markets but in avoiding them.".... "On a per acre basis, subsidies paid to [US] cotton farmers are 5-10 times higher as high as those for corn, soybeans and wheat."

Rivoli's technique of what one might call "economic travelogue" is a genre that has been around a while -- one modern example is Leah Hager Cohen's Glass, Paper, Beans -- but with the rise of globalization, it promises to become ever more instructive and twisting and turning in its paths. I can only hope we see more books like this.



The next time Newsweek gets too fond of fooling around with Photoshop, they may wish to keep the fate of their predecessors in mind. Here, in full, is an article I came across yesterday in The Elyria Weekly Republican of April 8, 1884:

A remarkable case has just been decided in Brockville. A young woman of unimpeachable character and great personal attractiveness named Sarah Horner had her likeness taken at John F. Bradley's photograph gallery. Miss Horner's father died recently, and she supported herself with her needle. When the photographs were finished they were so unlike her that she refused to take them. Bradley was very angry, and revenged himself by adorning one of the photographs with a moustache and painting a cigar in the mouth. A second he decorated with a large pair of red spectacles, and in the third he gave the face a blotched and disgusting appearance. Then he framed the the three pictures, wrote some doggerel verses under them, and hung them outside his studio. The villagers gathered around and much scandal was the result. Bradley went further, and circulated disgracefully embellished photographs of the girl among the young men of the place. The direct result of all this was a lawsuit, by which Miss Horner received $200 damages.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


The Midday Wallace

In a previous post I wondered aloud who the most known but worst selling writers were, versus the bestselling but least-known: Kierkegaard, who never topped 300 copies on the sales of any one book, seems a pretty good candidate for that first category. So does William Faulkner, who -- according to Rick Moody in this month's Believer -- apparently never topped 5000 copies before finally getting a Nobel Prize.

This week's newpapers present two fine examples of the opposite situation. Writing in TLS, Michael Caines says of 1920s mystery writer Edgar Wallace:

Wallace wrote 173 novels, twenty-four plays and 200 short stories. During the 1920s, one in four books sold was one of his; only the Bible outsold him. “Have you read the midday Wallace?”, went the jibe.... An undemanding, formulaic approach makes Wallace something of a guilty pleasure (Bertolt Brecht was once caught reading a Wallace under cover of Das Kapital’s dust jacket).

Amusingly, Wallace's career started disastrously when he personally ran a prize contest for any reader who could solve his, ahem, fiendishly difficult mystery. Turns out pretty much everybody could, and it nearly bankrupted him.

Meanwhile, the Guardian takes a brief look at another massive seller you (or least I) have never heard of:

In 1960 Dr Hessayon - a graduate of Leeds University, with a PhD in soil studies - first published The House Plant Expert, a guide to, well, house plants and their discontents. Since then his book has sold 14m copies, been translated into 22 languages, and become the most popular book on gardening ever written..... Written in a stern, no-nonsense style, Dr Hessayon's books are almost unrecognisable when compared with many modern gardening books, which, with their glossy display photographs, look more like works of art than how-to guides. Dr Hessayon's books, on the other hand, are not meant for the coffee table. Their design could be best characterised as "1980 East German tourist brochure", but without the exuberance.

So I guess I'll be turning to In Search of Lost Roses for my nightstand reading instead.


The Tom Tom Club

The manuscript for my next book, The Trouble With Tom, is now safely in the hands of my publisher and slated for a November release: you can see its cover and catalog writeup here.

Also duly noticed in the fall catalogue -- Michael Schumacher's Mighty Fitz: The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, which is timed for the 30th anniversary of the shipwreck. Hmm. Karnak predicts: Gordon Lightfoot will mysteriously crack the iTunes Top 10 on November 10th....

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