(Link Gems is a supposed-to-be weekly round-up of interesting articles and essays from around the web)
First, and because I’m wary of all the activities that publishers are insisting writers undertake to market their own books:
- The Twitter, it is NOT for selling books (from The Red Pen of Doom)
Part of the reason is simply this: if you’re friends with 500 writers and authors, you can’t buy all their books. Because you couldn’t afford to pay rent.
- Hari Kunzru interviews Hisham Matar in Libya’s Reluctant Spokesman (from Guernica)
- Learn This Word – a good commentary on the UC Davis pepper spray incident (from Full Stop).
- Ben Okri on the Internet and African spiritualism (from The East African)
- The Most Popular Fence in Literature (from Caustic Cover Critic, a wonderful blog that covers book covers)
- On the Titling of Books (from Whispering Gums)
- If Tolkien were black – on African Americans authors, sci-fi and fantasy (from Salon)
- Is reading on the loo bad for you? – yep, someone actually did a study on this (from the Guardian).
- The Guardian ask : Which are literature’s greatest unseen characters? (The writer starts with JRR Tolkien’s Sauron but the commenters have added more suggestions )
- Assault on the Minibar by the Croatian author Dubravka Ugresic (from the Paris Review)
Two on Liberia and its recent elections:
- ‘The return of the one party state’ (from Africa is a Country)
- What Happened in Liberia? (from African Arguments)
- Nigeria: Jonathan must prove himself against growing tide of discontent (from African Arguments) – Ejiro Barrett on what GEJ should do in the aftermath of the national honors debacle.
Recently, at the ceremony for the conferment of Nigeria’s highest national honours, a shortage of medals for the awardees seemed a most awkward conclusion to an event that had been trailed by controversy. No matter how the event played out in the end, it was clear that the episode would escalate the scathing commentaries about the competence of Nigeria’s new government led by Goodluck Jonathan.
Sports (BTW, 2012 African Cup of Nations is coming !)
- How Mario Balotelli Became MARIO BALOTELLI!!! (from Grantland)
Either way, by the time the story had been digested by the international soccer public — meaning about 30 seconds after it first landed on Twitter — Balotelli was gone. He hadn’t died or skipped town, nothing as dramatic as that. Instead, Mario Balotelli, troubled but talented young striker for Manchester City, had been replaced by MARIO BALOTELLI!!, lurid media construct and certified sports lunatic. There’s not really a word for this role, but it’s a familiar part of modern sports culture. Somewhere on earth there is a human being named Mike Tyson, but the dude who wrestles forests and eats hood ornaments, the guy you and I click on whenever his name floats up out of the mists, has long since become MIKE TYSON!! And that was the transfiguration Balotelli underwent the moment the fire trucks rolled up.
- The Murder of Tayshana Murphy – Sadly, it’s been a year of losing talented young athletes. This time, it is a talented basketball player from NYC. (from Grantland).