Harvard Library Contains Book Made From Human Skin

Harvard dead skin bookLook closely at the accompanying image. Neat, it’s an old leather book. Well, look more closely because this motherf*cking book was once a person.

Harvard University has just confirmed that their massive library contains a volume bound in human skin. The 19th century French owner of the tome wrote a note explaining the choice…

“This book is bound in human skin parchment on which no ornament has been stamped to preserve its elegance. By looking carefully you easily distinguish the pores of the skin.”

It’s “meditation on the soul life and after death” and the skin came from the back of a female mental patient who suffered internal bleeding and died suddenly in the hospital. In other words you can (sort of) rest easy, because she wasn’t slaughtered for the sole purpose of book makin.’ In a way, her body was put to good use…  Continue reading “Harvard Library Contains Book Made From Human Skin”

Novelist Jonathan Franzen Heckled at Reading in Portland, OR

Jonathan Franzen James SpaderOn Thursday I went to a reading by author of The Corrections, and Freedom, Oprah-feuder, luddite and Time Magazine’s last “Great American Novelist,” Jonathan Franzen.

He read from a new piece he’s working on, a piece that consists wholly of footnotes on Karl Kraus, the Austrian satirist who Franzen relates to and calls “The Great Hater.”

Franzen spent much of the night comparing Kraus’ hatred for newspapers to his own hatred of technology, specifically Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Amazon.

Right after delving into why he dislikes Amazon (‘Like, half my friends own independent bookstores’), a woman who I assume was over 35 yelled, “I BOUGHT YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON!”  Continue reading “Novelist Jonathan Franzen Heckled at Reading in Portland, OR”