David Foster Wallace Defines 'Primipara'; 'Dragon Tattoo' Merchandising Run Amok
Today in books: Stieg Larsson's longtime girlfriend isn't a fan of Rooney Mara or H&M's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo clothes, season's greetings from The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, and David Foster Wallace's vocabulary sheet from 1997.
Eva Gabrielsson was author Stieg Larsson's companion for more than 30 years before his death in 2004, and she says the late author never would have signed off on the merchandising bonanza that's accompanied David Fincher's film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which includes a clothing line released by H&M. She contends that if Larsson lived, or if he left a will behind naming her the executor of his literary estate, the build-up to the film's release would be treated as an opportunity to "call attention to violence and discrimination against women." Instead, the rights to the trilogy reverted to Larsson's uncle and father after his death. Gabrielsson also wasn't thrilled with star Rooney Mara for telling the press she doesn't consider the character of Lisbeth Salander to be a feminist. "Does she know what film she has been in?" Gabrielsson scoffed. "Has she read the books? Has she not had any coaching?" [AP]
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library has raised the bar on all future holiday cards from nonprofit literary organizations, thanks to the crisp, readable Slaughterhouse Five flavored greeting card they sent out this year, [Writer's Digest via Galleycat]
The folks at Lists of Note spent some time digging through David Foster Wallace's papers at the University of Texas and came up with a fine sample of the vocabulary sheets he would type up to study. Of the 25 words Wallace set out to learn in March of 1997, 'bolo' was the only one we knew, which is strange, given our lack of familiarity with heavy machetes from the Philippines. Our favorite, however, is primipara, which is what you call a lady who is pregnant for the first time. [Lists of Note via Page Views]
Spanish novelist Lucía Etxebarria -- who won Spain's lucrative Planeta, Primavera, and Nadal literary prizes -- announced on her Facebook page that she's giving up writing and looking for a real job because illegal downloads have sapped her profit margin. She says she arrived at the decision after learning "more illegal copies of my book have been downloaded than I have sold." Admittedly, she's in a tough spot. Spain is third in the world in illegal downloads per capita, notes The Guardian, behind only Russia and China. Adding to her frustration is the fact that her latest novel, The Contents of Silence, was published in October in print edition only, but illegal PDFcopies are widely available for download online. [The Guardian]