Tuesday News: No appeal for Google, Sarah E. Farro, old book spines, and WTF Jonathan Franzen
U.S. Supreme Court lets Google advertising class action suit proceed – SCOTUS refused to hear Google’s appeal of a 9th Circuit ruling that advertisers could proceed with their class action suit covering the years 2004 to 2008. The appeals court reversed an earlier district court ruling that the suit could not proceed as a class action (for one thing, each advertiser would receive a different measure of damages).
The 2008 lawsuit accused Google of violating California fair advertising laws because it misled advertisers about where the ads would be placed.
The Adwords service was primarily aimed at placing ads next to relevant Google Internet search results. But the plaintiffs said Google should have disclosed that ads would also appear in undesirable places such as error pages and undeveloped websites known as parked domains – Reuters
After the rediscovery of a 19th-centurynovel, our view of black female writers is transformed – U Mass English Professor Gretchen Gerona, author of Black London, has written an interesting article on African American author Sarah E. Farro, whose work has been all but forgotten in the 21st century, in part, perhaps, because she wrote about white English characters. Her novel True Love, a domestic romance, was published in the last decade of the 19th century, and was even exhibited at the 1893 World’s Fair. Farro is only one of two (TWO!) identified 19th C African American female novelists.
As literary scholar Elizabeth McHenry has shown, 19th-century black women’s literary clubs, which catered to mostly middle-class members and aspirants, primarily read prominent white English and American authors, in addition to black political writers. It was natural, then, that when Farro took up her pen she emulated her stated favorite novelists: Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray and Oliver Wendell Holmes – writers of popular fiction admired by black and white readers alike.
Had Farro’s role models been black female authors who had written novels about black women, she may have crafted a different kind of novel.
Today we assume that early African-American writers inevitably wrote about race, that 19th-century writers necessarily referred to experiences of slavery and struggle and that their access to literacy – let alone the Victorian literary canon – must have been limited. Finding Farro’s novel changes that. Because we didn’t realize that authors like Farro existed, we had limited our perspective on their work. – The Conversation
X-Rays Reveal “Hidden Library” on the Spines of Early Books – How were early books made? In part with fragments from other books, layered and glued on top of each other, to fortify the binding. Dutch researchers are using macro X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (MA-XRF) to view these layers, much as paintings under paintings are discerned.
As part of the experiment, the team scanned 20 books. According to a press release, their discoveries include fragments from a 12th century manuscript from the early English historian Bede as well as text from the Dutch Book of Hours. The X-ray was also able to separate out texts that had been pasted on top of one another.
“Every library has thousands of these bindings, especially the larger collections. If you go to the British Library or the Bodleian [in Oxford], they will have thousands of these bindings,” Kwakkel tells Alberge. “So you can see how that adds up to a huge potential.” – Smithsonian
Franzen has previously advocated cat genocide—saying, “The bird community’s position is, we need to get rid of the feral cats, and that means cats must die”—so it’s no surprise that he has blurbed Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, which was written by Peter P. Marra and Chris Santella and will be published this fall. It tracks the historical relationship between man and cat, and argues that a small, powerful cat lobby stymied legislation that would benefit humans and birds (mostly birds) everywhere. – New Republic