I had no idea but am glad to hear that Andrei Codrescu is shooting a documentary about the Mississippi River:
"Big River Blues" is a travel documentary using the Mississippi itself as "an instrument to gauge where we are now," Codrescu said.
It's intended to echo the work of wide-eyed travelers such as Jack Kerouac and Charles Kuralt, he added.
"I don't see those big cross-country journeys anymore. I see a lot of historical documentaries and CNN stories about disaster, but I don't see a seeker just going to find out what's there in the belief that America's an incredible place."
I somehow missed the news last week that the University of California, Irvine, has dropped its lawsuit against the family of Jacques Derrida:
The school, where Derrida was a part-time professor until his death, reached an "amicable agreement" with his family to keep a collection of his letters, speeches and academic writings from 1946 to 1998 but relinquished a claim to other papers, the university said in a statement Monday.
The university also agreed to pay about $16,200 of the Derrida family's legal fees.
A big chunk of some of that recently discovered Steinbeck material, including a handwritten first-draft of a novel called Sweet Thursday, went unsold at auction on Thursday.
The Independent Florida Alligator has more on the accusations of plagarism surrounding Mark Mitchell, the managing editor of the University of Florida's literary journal, including the withdrawal of Mitchell's book by the University of Indiana Press.
Speaking of people of questionable honesty, Ron Hogan tracked down the former JT LeRoy, Laura Albert, who is writing the liner notes for the new Smashing Pumpkins album/yawner. And news came out last week that those of us with copies of James Frey's A Million Little Pieces purchased on or before January 26, 2006, will be able to get a full refund.