June 18, 2003 |
An account of contemporary American book publishing probably should be titled "A Tale of Two Industries," and it might begin with a description of this extraordinary week: It was the best of times in the worst of times. The week began with the astonishing news that "Living History," former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoir, already has earned back Simon & Schuster's $8-million advance.
July 9, 2004 |
With a show business smile and a striped shirt he might have borrowed from Larry David, John West could be a well-fed Westside screenwriter. Instead he's dedicated, in his own way, to the much more august art of the pipe organ. "Fifty years ago, the organ was the biggest thing going," West said this week. "It could shake the earth and rattle the walls."
October 25, 2003 |
In the winter of 897, the recently elected Pope Stephen VI ordered the exhumation of his predecessor Formosus, so that the dead pontiff could be tried on a variety of charges, including perjury. The proceeding against the still fully enrobed corpse is recalled in history as "the cadaver synod" and -- unsurprisingly -- ended in the silent defendant's conviction on all counts.