Versus to Verses
Me'Shell, Ma Belle?

Books Are a Limited and Outmoded Technology and Must Evolve or Be Destroyed1

A mite of an overstatement there, but now that I have your attention you might as well read on:

St. Louis-based attorney Evan Schaeffer is proprietor of Notes from the (Legal) Underground, a weblog displaying a range of extra-legal (but not unlawful) interests not dissimilar to this Fool's own. His main page sports the motto: "A blawg that asks the question--Can lawyers be entertaining?" To which the appropriate response can only be: "Objection: Asked and answered."2

One of the many valuable services Evan renders in his site is to keep track of and encourage weblogs maintained by law students. In this week's Weekly Law School Roundup #3, we come upon a link to the pseudonymous Unlearned Hand and this report on an appearance by author Michael Chabon at the recent Virginia Festival of Books:

Chabon was much more soft-spoken than I had expected. I somehow envisioned a boomy bass-filled voice, but was instead greeted by a somewhat dimunitive man with a somewhat diminutive voice. He read a deleted chapter from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which I've not yet gotten around to, even though I bought it as soon as it made it to paperback. Though I thus did not have a very good sense of who the characters were, it was not at all difficult to detect Chabon's devotion to detail, the way he immerses himself in the world that he creates. After the reading, he talked about this at length, the division of his life between the fantasy world of his novels and the more mundane world that he really lives in, and how it was largely this dichotomy that he was trying to explore in Kavalier and Clay.

Did you catch that? "A deleted chapter" from Kavalier and Clay, material to which any of the novel's innumerable fans would wish to have access. Why, it's no wonder that print media are being supplanted by digital formats: authors can delete entire chapters will'ye nil'ye without being obliged or expected to include the material in the Special Letterboxed Extended Unrated Directors' Criterion Collectors' Edition with Bonus Discs and Extra Calcium. It's just not right. This cannot stand. The public's voice must be heard, its every demand fulfilled. Information wants to be free, I tell you, free! To the barricades, citizens! Or not, as you prefer.

1This post concerns the novelist Michael Chabon, whose surname is pronounced "Shay-bahn". Not being certain that this fact is well known, I resisted using a title such as "Chabon Calling" or "Chabon You." You can substitute one of those in your mind if you prefer it.

2Any actual courtroom lawyers reading this weblog may also find valuable tips and practical reminders in Evan's Illinois Trial Practice Weblog. And no, this is not some sort of quid pro quo for the kind link to my presidential debates post below.


Rick Coencas

I'm currently reading the first volume of The Escapist in comic book form. A must for all lovers of Kavalier and Clay. And it features Luna Moth!

Unlearned Hand

If you really want to get your hands on the deleted chapter, it was published in the current issue of the Virginia Quarterly Review.

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