Norway Suspect Wrote a 1,500-Page Manifesto, Agents as E-book Publishers, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

GalleyCat reports that Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist accused of murdering more than ninety people in Norway, wrote a fifteen-hundred-page manifesto. Entitled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," it calls for a revolution, and suggested attacking both “literature conferences and festivals” and “annual gatherings for journalists.”

Slate reviews a provocative new work by Christopher Krebs called A Most Dangerous Book: Tacitus's Germania From the Roman Empire to the Third Reich—detailing the influence on German ethnic identity of Germania, a text by the Roman historian Tacitus (best known for his blistering histories of the emperors Claudius and Nero). Of Germania, which was rediscovered in the Middle Ages, the reviewer writes, "If the last surviving manuscript had been eaten by rats in a monk's library a thousand years ago, the world might have been better off."

Following a growing trend of literary agencies acting as e-book publishers—among them the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, and the Wylie Agency—agent Jessica Alvarez of BookEnds, LLC, discusses her agency's stance on self-publishing on the agency's blog.

Apple is using an iron fist in regulating its App Store, enforcing its policy that all iPad and iPhone applications go through Apple when users purchase products (Tech Crunch). E-book sellers such as Kobo, and the Wall Street Journal were forced to remove external links to their products from their apps, and the Google Books app has been removed from Apple's App Store entirely. (9To5Mac)

Have you ever wanted to get involved when a group of drunken teens are acting obnoxious in a public setting, such as in a parking lot, or on a bus or train? Novelist Jeffrey Eugenides did last week, on his way home to New Jersey, and has a black eye and stitches to prove it. (New York Post)

Consumer Reports released its latest study on e-readers and tablets, determining an e-reader is best for reading books, and a tablet is better for magazines. And, as devices go, the new Nook beats the latest Kindle.

The late novelist and essayist Reynolds Price taught literature at his alma mater Duke University for over fifty years, acting as mentor, friend and father figure to generations of students. Novelist David Guy remembers his former professor in this essay for the American Scholar.