Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Google Books : Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian, China's Literary Wild Child : Sex Drugs Rock & Roll

Everybody is now getting into the act of suing search engines for including scanned excerpts of their books in search results. See, for example:

BBC News - Google is sued by Chinese author Mian Mian

My own book, Stars, Stones and Scholars is found at Google Books and I am very pleased about it, since it makes that book much more accessible to millions of potential readers. Indeed, links are offered to major online booksellers where the book can be purchased. Below is a scan of the front cover website page at Google Books of Stars Stones and Scholars by Andis Kaulins:


People who are interested in the book's amazing subject matter buy the book.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First European Prize for Literature Awarded in 2009 to Authors From 12 Countries - 23 to Follow in 2010 and 2011

The first European Prize for Literature, "[a] European Prize for emerging talents in the field of contemporary fiction", was awarded September 28, 2009, to 12 authors from 12 European countries - with 12 more authors from 12 other European countries to be selected in 2010, and 11 more authors from the remaining 11 other European countries to be selected in 2011. The announcing press release stated:
"The names of twelve European authors to receive the first ever European Union Prize for Literature were announced today by the European Commission, the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP).... In recognition of his oeuvre and literary success Henning Mankell, the well-known and bestselling Swedish author, has accepted the role of Ambassador of the European Union Prize for Literature for this year." [links added by this blog]
The idea, at the onset of this award, is for the prize to work as a medium of activation for European culture and to "highlight and promote the full diversity of European literature." After each European country has been honored at least once, the award is likely to be reduced to only a few authors, but from our point of view we definitely find the current process to be far more favorable. Very few books, in spite of their literary quality, span all cultures, so that a limited award necessarily involves national prejudices as to content, style and language.

For example, a universally-acclaimed book - not eligible for this award -like the 1995 Der Vorleser (The Reader) by German law professor and judge Bernhard Schlink is very rare. It was the first German book ever to reach the top of the New York Times Best-Seller Lists and last year the book was even made into a very successful Hollywood movie - The Reader. But most fiction is limited by the audience of the nation in which the author is located.

This European literary award was presented at a gala ceremony in Brussels, Belgium, attended by ca. 800 dignitaries, including European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

The works that received the prize are detailed at this .pdf.

Hat tip to Leigh Phillips at the EU Observer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Novelists Ken Follett, J.K. Rowling, Nick Hornby, and John Grisham : Scribd and the Issue of Copyrights and the Uploading of Book Texts Online

Scribd is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the Internet.

At ScribdBlog in their posting What ever happened to Fact Checking?, the Scribd Team goes one on one with the Times of London on copyright issues relating to Scribd, involving such famous novelists as J.K. Rowling, Ken Follett, Nick Hornby and John Grisham, who has the current Number 3 Bestseller on the New York Times list of hardcover fiction with his book, of all things, called The Associate, which Patrick Anderson of the The Washington Post calls "A DEVASTATING PORTRAIT OF THE BIG-TIME, BIG-BUCKS LEGAL WORLD."

We were gratified (but of course "legally shocked") at the Times of London article which incurred Scribd's wrath to learn that immensely popular and writingly gifted novelist Ken Follett's World without End (a New York Times No. 1 bestseller) had been uploaded to Scribd and had been viewed 500 times in five months.

We recently uploaded some of our own published works to Scribd. After only one month we have more than 500 views of two of our documents:

The Norse Pharaohs: Astronomical Decipherments re Tanum Hierakonpolis Nazca Sahara Near East DOC

The Origin of the Cult of Horus in Predynastic Egypt DOC


We are strongly considering entry into the publishing field with a novel of our own. Ken Follett and cohorts, look out, there is competition on the way!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Robert Frank classic The Americans published in a new version

The Americans
in German, "Die Amerikaner"
and in Chinese "美国人".
I got this book for my birthday this past December.

If you are down about the American economy and the prospects for 2009 and beyond, don't be. Take a look at this book - and at this first link about that book - to see how greatly much of America has changed in the 50+ years since the mid-1950's. Obama's America in 2009 is a vastly different place than shown in the photographs in "The Americans".

As written by Philip Gefter at the New York Times (Art & Design section online):

"“The Americans,” [is] an intimate visual chronicle of common people in ordinary situations drawn from several trips he made through his adopted country in the mid-1950s."

The Americans, by Robert Frank, a classic photographic study of the United States in the 1950's, was first published May 15, 1958, by Robert Delpire in Paris, followed by an English edition in 1959 via Grove Press in New York, in which the original French language by Alain Bosquet about American history was replaced by an introduction and captions in English by Jack Kerouac.

As written at aloHAA:

"The end result [of Frank's photographic journey through the USA in the 1950's] was the 83 images in the book that no American publisher would touch. It took a Frenchman, Robert Delpire, to publish “Les Americains” in 1958. Progressive publisher Barney Rosset produced the first American edition under his Grove Press the following year. Frank revealed a harsh, sometimes divided America that was a lot different from the rah-rah ’50s dream of “Father Knows Best.” His out-of-the-box compositions paved the way for William Eggleston’s profound color images of America that have garnered unanimous applause in the Whitney’s William Eggleston: Democratic Camera.” “No one has had a greater influence on photography in the last half-century than the Swiss-born Mr. Frank, though his reputation rests almost entirely on a single book published five decades ago,” writes Philip Gefter in the New York Times. "

The German publisher Steidl in Göttingen,
together with the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
in 2008 published a new version of the book in three languages:

English,
German (translation by Hans Wolf)
and Chinese (see e.g. 罗伯特·弗兰克的《美国人》 “The Americans” by Robert Frank).

Frank, 83 years old at the date of publication - a number which corresponds to the 83 tritone plates in the book, chosen out of 20,000 photographs - worked intensively himself on this new version of his now classic book, including for example using some negatives varying from previous editions.

The 13-character ISBN for the English version of the book is: 978-3-86521-584-0.
The 13-character ISBN for the German version of the book is: 978-3-86521-658-8.
The 13-character ISBN for the Chinese version of the book is: 978-3-86521-657-1.

This book is a "must have" for any library that includes materials on America.

For those of my friends in Nebraska, where I grew up, two of the plates in the book are from Nebraska, one of highway 30 between Ogallala and North Platte, and the other of Hested's department store in Lincoln. I've seen both, and, yes, that's exactly the way it looked.

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