Kerouac Manuscript To Be Published

“It’s literary legend: how Jack Kerouac wrote his breakthrough novel On the Road in a three-week frenzy of creativity in spring 1951, typing the story without paragraphs or page breaks onto a 36-metre scroll of nearly-translucent paper. In fact, he revised the book many times before it was published six years later, and while the scroll came to symbolise the spontaneity of the Beat Generation, the early, unedited version never reached the public. Now, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication, the original, scroll-written version of On the Road will be published next year in book form for the first time.”

Fighting The Good Fight

Looking back, it’s shocking how long it took for Asians to be accepted in Hollywood as anything other than stereotypes and stock characters. But since 1965, the actor known in L.A. simply as Mako worked tirelessly to showcase Asian actors and build a dynamic Asian theatre tradition. “Though the invention of Asian American theater was a collective act, Mako was its center, its heart, its founding father, the glue that held all else together.” Mako died in mid-July, leaving behind a vast legacy.

Public Funding For Evangelical Rappers Draws Ire In London

“Speakers boom out a bass line that reverberates through the heart and throat and tickles the eardrums. Former gang members from New York’s hardest ghettoes rap ‘we wanna rock wit’ you, that’s all we wanna do’. But listen closely and the lyrics are far from a stereotypical rap homage to all things bling. The rappers are missionaries aiming to draw in the gangs of east London’s deprived estates.” The use of public funds to support them has attracted controversy, as have homophobic postings on the website of the group’s leader.

People Flock To Edinburgh’s Festivals. Is That Bad?

Is Edinburgh too established, perhaps even too successful, a festival city for its own good? “From Cape Town to Adelaide, from Dubai to Montreal, cities are turning to arts festivals to boost tourist numbers and civic prestige. (Indeed, Montreal boasts more ‘festival days’ each year than there are days in the year.) Edinburgh faces increased competition in the UK too. Liverpool will be the 2008 European City of Culture. The Manchester International Festival, under the directorship of innovative programmer Alex Poots, plans to concentrate on new and original work when it makes its debut next year. London, of course, will host the 2012 Olympics. Never mind the next few weeks: it’s the next 12 months that may be among the most decisive in Edinburgh’s cultural history.”

This Summer Sucks (Culturally Speaking)

“So far, this has turned out to be the long soggy summer, not only in the backyard and the basement, but also around the watercooler, at the pool, beside the surf. The only things buzzing are the bugs… It’s the pictures, television, books and music that got very, very small. There’s little to rave about or worth running to consume… You know something is awry when Al Gore is the summer’s breakout movie star.”

Who Says Mozart Is Old School?

New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival is departing from tradition to introduce a massive piece of digital installation art outside its Lincoln Center home. The artwork “uses artificial intelligence in a visual and aural play of the composer’s last symphony — the ‘Jupiter’… In the interplay between sound and image, Mozart’s music is taken apart, with computers searching for the right sequence of notes that was recorded by real musicians — before reconstructing the final, perfect end to the masterwork.”

Disney Hall Suit Settled

“A complex lawsuit over who should bear unexpectedly high construction costs for Walt Disney Concert Hall has been settled, with builders to receive $13.3 million from the hall’s parent corporation and an additional $4.5 million under architect Frank Gehry’s professional liability insurance policy.”

Using TV Talk To Sell Books (Not Just An Oprah Trick)

Ever since Oprah Winfrey got interested in books, the American publishing industry has known that getting a title on Oprah’s list is as good as buying a spot on the bestseller list. But Oprah isn’t the only one who can sell books: meet Richard and Judy, the UK’s favorite afternoon talk hosts, whose own televised book club is making major waves in Britain’s publishing world.


“In 1999 the choreographer Yoshiko Chuma happened upon a new obsession: cubes. As a shape, the cube is not particularly sexy, but the use of such movable seven-foot frames has invigorated Ms. Chuma’s imagination ever since… In Ms. Chuma’s cube works, musicians and dancers, who constantly reconfigure the frames to show how drastically yet subtly movement can transform itself with the slightest shift of an angle, interact with one another within and around the cubes.”

Schoenberg’s Famous Disciple Dies At 82

“Dika Newlin, a composer and musicologist who was deeply influenced by the avant-garde master Arnold Schoenberg and brought his style into the punk rock era, has died. She was 82… A composer of several operas and chamber works, Newlin began exploring popular music in the mid-1980s. Inspired by her college students, she sang and played keyboards in a band called Apocowlypso. More recently she performed as a flame-haired punk rocker and performance artist, singing works such as ‘Murder Kitty,’ composed solely of meows.”