The World's Most Mysterious Manuscript, a Toni Morrison Read-a-Thon, and More

by Staff

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:

City Journal laments America's descent into linguistic vagueness, a trend that apparently took firm hold in the 1980s and has been marching us toward nonsense ever since.

University of Arizona researchers managed to nail down the date of origin of "the world's most mysterious manuscript" to the early fifteenth century, but nobody can make sense of the strange text and drawings in the book, which are "unlike anything used in any known language." (Physorg)

On the occasion of country-wide protests forcing Hosni Mubarak to step down as president of Egypt, one writer recalls a poem allegedly insulting Mubarak that landed its author in prison in 2009. The Daily Kos post concludes: "He thought locking up a poet would save his skin. But it won't."

The last indie bookstore in Tompkins County, New York—home to Cornell University—announced plans to close its doors. (Cornell Daily Sun)

Are e-books and e-readers fostering a revival for serial novels? (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

To blurb or not to blurb? That is the question the Millions asked.

The University of Kansas is celebrating the eightieth birthday of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison with a twenty-four-hour read-a-thon of her ouevre. (infoZine)

President Obama's proposed federal budget includes a twenty-million-dollar reduction in library spending. (Library Journal)