Articles by Bill Morris

March 23, 2011

Is Copyright a Guardian Angel or a Killer of Creativity? A Conversation with Alfred Steiner 5

“In the art world when one artist copies another artist, it only helps the artist being copied.”

March 12, 2011

Is All publicity Good Publicity? 6

Is all publicity good publicity? Are all reviews—even bad ones—good for books? The answer, according to a new study [pdf] by the journal Marketing Science, depends on whether the writer is well known or unknown. The study examined the impact of a New York Times review on the sales of more than 200 hardcover titles. […]

March 8, 2011

Grief, the Cruel and Fickle Muse 21

Grief, all of a sudden, is hot.  Books by authors who have lost a loved one are becoming so common they’re now a classifiable snowflake in the unending blizzard of memoirs.

March 2, 2011

Open City Closes 0

Open City, a showcase for edgy writing for the past 20 years, is closing down due to the withdrawal of several sources of funding. “These things are not institutions,” founder and co-editor Thomas Beller tells the New York Observer.

February 15, 2011

To Blurb or Not to Blurb? 27

This seemingly innocent question was put to me for the first time a couple of weeks ago when a paperback review copy of a non-fiction book arrived in my mailbox.

February 8, 2011

Typewriter Art 1

Luddites rejoice! If you still use a manual typewriter, you already know that they’re superior to laptops for writing. Now comes proof that they’re also better at making art than text-based computer art programs like ASCII and its “colored cousin,” ANSI. The video’s narrator tells us, in German, that many of the subjects autographed their […]

February 3, 2011

Staff Pick: Sarah Bakewell’s How to Live 5

It’s a ripping story, splashed with bloody horrors and punctuated by moments of serene beauty.

January 26, 2011

Jay-Z is Not a Proudhon of Hip-Hop 10

All art comes from art.  To admit this is not to concede that there’s no such thing as originality any more than it’s a license to borrow without attribution and then call it your own. 

January 14, 2011

When We Aspire to Write Like Ourselves: A Conversation with Carl H. Klaus 13

I wanted to see if I could create literary non-fiction out of short-term memory.

December 28, 2010

Will You Beat Hagiographers Please Be Quiet, Please? 11

The army of Beat hagiographers operates under the illusion that dissecting the personal lives of writers is essential to – even preferable to – understanding their writing.