Monday, March 24, 2008

Book News, In Brief

We probably should have posted this last. You know, just in case you're feeling fragile.
Via A scientific guide to DIY suicide is to go on sale in the Netherlands to help people end their lives quickly and painlessly. The book, the first of its kind to be published, is by a group of respected scientists and psychiatrists. It contains detailed information on using drugs as well as committing suicide by starvation, including the quickest and least painful way to do it. There are also chapters on the ethical and judicial questions for those who aid suicides. Its authors are also planning English, French and German editions.

Aw, heck. Since we're already on the subject...
Via Wauchope: Harry Potter author JK Rowling said she had felt suicidal after her divorce from her first husband, the British paper Sunday Times reported. She had been suffering from depression and sought medical help and attended a therapy after her divorce from Portuguese journalist Jorge Arantes in the early 1990s, the author told the newspaper. Rowling added: "We're talking suicidal thoughts here, we're not talking 'I'm a little bit miserable'."

You still with me? Good. Only, we're not done discussing death just yet.
Via The Christian Science Monitor: The first people Roberto Saviano sees every morning are his bodyguards – the three Italian policemen who pick him up in a bulletproof sedan, drive him to the gym, or take him on errands. They haven't left him alone since Gomorrah – his fierce critique of the Neapolitan mafia, the Camorra – hit best-seller lists in October 2006, bringing fame, fortune, and death threats from some powerful and ruthless enemies. But today, because of international and British laws that don't permit him the usual retinue of government bodyguards here in London, he's been entrusted to me – 135 pounds of journalistic muscle. Mr. Saviano doesn't speak English, and I – a native Neapolitan, myself – do; so his agent thinks I'm some sort of protection for him, and I laugh half-heartedly when the agent jokes about me being his bodyguard for a day.
(For the full story, click the above excerpt.)

Having followed this morose theme thus far, why not end it all with a brief (o)bit on The Death of Traditional Literature?
Via According to a 2007 survey, more than 70 million people in Japan use mobile phones daily to surf the net, especially during long commutes. Inevitably, some have started to read, as well as write, novels on their handsets. Several novice mobile authors have emerged as writers, the Independent reported. Traditionalists, however, are not amused with the new style of writing which apparently lacks respect for Japan's 1,000-year literary tradition.

Editor's Note: Please refrain from posting suicide notes and/or last will and testaments in the comments section. Thank you.