Theodore Dalrymple came down hard on D H Lawrence recently (“an earnest, but not a serious writer”). Poet David Novak comes to the defence of Lawrence, twinkling buttocks and all.

Dirty Harry? A bunch of brave, indefatigable souls have applied their smutty minds to the vexed question of sexual innuendo in the latest Potter book. Way too many wand jokes, and none of them even close to Terry Pratchett’s magnificent verse (remember Nanny Ogg rendering ‘A Wizard’s Staff has a Knob on the End’?), but there is at least one halfway decent entry: “Well–it’s just that you seem to be labouring under the delusion that I am going to–what is the phrase?–come quietly. I am afraid I am not going to come quietly at all, Cornelius.” (Found on Nerve.com)

The concluding part of Amit Chaudhuri’s three-part series on travelling in Germany is out.

Someone needs to do a story on the spurious advance. Arindam Chaudhuri counts his chickens before they hatch, sending out a press release claiming a seven-figure book advance that his publishers then deny. The Babu humbly suggests that authors should shut up about their nonexistent advances and humungous but unsubstantiated book deals and let their work do the talking.

On the other hand, Vikram Seth’s (substantiated, confirmed, corroborated) Big Advance actually spurred a paper into doing a decent literary story for a change, as Pallavi Srivastava (her byline has been left off the story for some reason) finds out more about the two protagonists of Two LivesShanti Behari Seth and Henny Gerda Caro.

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