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Showing posts from December 7, 2003
Bollettino Our friend T. in New York City just sent us a letter about The Book of the Prick. This surprised us, as we had been thinking of the review of that book ever since we read it in the December 8th New Yorker. The reviewer was the biographer of Colette, Judith Thurman, and she expressed a common prejudice in her review: �Cazzo is the vulgar Italian word for the male organ, hence the title, whose "closest English rendering," Moulton writes, "is probably 'cockery'-but that is too close to 'cookery.' . . . 'Prickery' might work, but it lacks the specificity of the Italian word. In English, 'prick' is a word with many meanings; in Italian, 'cazzo' can mean only one thing. In the text, I have translated 'cazzo' as 'cock,' but 'Book of the Cock' sounds like it might have something to do with poultry, so for the working English title, I settled on 'Book of the Prick.' " Anglo-Saxon sexual
Bollettino LI�s readers should check out Umberto Eco�s essay on the fate of books at al Ahram , an Egyptian weekly. The re-commencement of the Library of Alexandria (a silly, theme park project, in LI�s view � what was burned in 600 is good and gone, and by no Humpty Dumpty tricks are we going to piece that civilization back together again) is the occasion for Eco�s meandering meditation on the meaning of texts, and the chances for their survival as texts in the age of the Net. He begins with a marvelous classification of memory: organic, mineral, and vegetal: �WE HAVE THREE TYPES OF MEMORY. The first one is organic, which is the memory made of flesh and blood and the one administrated by our brain. The second is mineral, and in this sense mankind has known two kinds of mineral memory: millennia ago, this was the memory represented by clay tablets and obelisks, pretty well known in this country, on which people carved their texts. However, this second type is also the electronic