The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Barnes & Noble stock shot up 24 percent in trading Thursday amid rumors that Microsoft is interesting in buying all of Nook Media's digital assets. The website TechCrunch has reported that it obtained internal documents stating that Microsoft plans to offer $1 billion for Nook's tablets and ebooks, the flailing rivals to Amazon's Kindle. Microsoft already owns a sizable stake in Nook. It isn't clear yet whether Microsoft has made a formal offer to Barnes & Noble, or whether the bookseller has responded.
- Michael Kammen on Jack Kerouac for the Los Angeles Review of Books: "He liked low-lifes better than the high life and spent many more days down-and-out than on a roll."
- Tim Parks describes the translator's urge to interpret, instead of translate in an essay for The New York Review of Books: "In short, there is a tension between reader and text that the translator experiences in a special way because, rewriting the text in his own language, he has to allow that tension to happen again for a new group of readers."
- Open Culture posts rare footage of a grumpy-looking William Faulkner, who in 1952 allowed a documentary crew to film him in Oxford, Miss., re-enacting various events in his life, including a speech at his daughter's high school graduation.
- Alex Jung considers Virginia Woolf, camp and the TV show RuPaul's Drag Race in an essay for the Los Angeles Review of Books: "I have often thought that if I were ever a drag queen, and more specifically that if I were ever a drag queen who was a contestant on RuPaul's Drag Race, I would play Virginia Woolf ..."