Monday, February 28, 2011

Books alone are not enough

I'm down with e-books, I guess, if that's where we're headed.  But this really depresses me.
“The national bookstore chain has peaked as a sales channel, and the growth is not going to come from there,” said David Steinberger, chief executive of the Perseus Books Group. “But it doesn’t mean that all brick-and-mortar retailers are cutting back.” 
A wide range of stores better known for their apparel, food and fishing reels have been adding books. The fashion designer Marc Jacobs opened Bookmarc in Manhattan in the fall. Anthropologie has increased the number of titles it carries to 125, up from 25 in 2003. Coldwater Creek, Lowe’s, Bass Pro Shops and even Cracker Barrel are adding new books. Some mass retailers, too, are diversifying — Target, for instance, is moving away from male-centered best sellers and adding more women’s and children’s titles this year.
Cracker Barrel.  Cracker Barrel.  We have arrived, it appears, at a moment when a book is roughly equivalent to a roll of masking tape--a more or less interchangeable commodity that you can buy at any one of many retailers.  But a place to immerse yourself fully in it?  A place that curates it?  A place where anybody knows anything about it?  Nope.

If you had told me in the late nineties that Amazon customer comments would eventually be one of the only remaining sources of generalized literary expertise in the world, I would have laughed at you, then gotten a funny look on my face, then said oh my god, then retreated to a corner to whimper.  But maybe that's where we're at.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Podcast: Nicholson Baker

We had a great time yesterday with Nicholson Baker, who was visiting Cornell for a reading and to talk with students--he read from his most recent novel, The Anthologist, and followed up with an essay about giving public readings from The Size Of Thoughts.  This interview is one of my favorites that I've ever done--we discussed the relationship between Nick's activist and formally experimental modes, his thoughts about literary fandom, how he arrives at the form and structure of his books (the answer quite surprised me), and the impermanence of literary texts.  My thanks to the W6 readers who provided questions--I fit quite a few of them in!

We also talked, off-air, about his next book, due out in August, and I must say that it sounds like a doozy.  If you liked Vox and The Fermata, this might be the one you've been waiting for.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A brief review of Scrivener 2

I've had Scrivener 2 installed on my Macbook for a month or so now and thought I'd share my impressions of it.  This is a perfect example of my tendency to buy something I don't really have a pressing need for, but which seems like it might open up new avenues of something-or-other, so I go ahead and drop 40 bucks and then immediately wish I hadn't and then, several weeks later, realize it was the right decision after all.  Scrivener is appealing in theory, annoying in practice, then, finally, excellent in practice.

Let me explain.  The idea behind this word processor is that it is designed for creative writers--it eschews those features of, say, Word, that are of no use to us, and adds a bunch that are.  A Scrivener file is essentially a wrapper for a bunch of smaller files, which can include novel chapters and sections, notes, research materials, character and place sketches, and the like; one can view the text of a given file, or a cork board that shows note cards for each file, on which you can type descriptions of its contents.  This is incredibly useful when you're writing a novel and can't remember where and when certain things happen; it also allows you to move material around by clicking and dragging the note cards.  Files can be automatically backed up to a folder in your Dropbox--a great feature.  When you want to print out your manuscript or send it to your agent or what have you, you compile it into a pdf, doc, or other file; this exported file includes only your primary text and not all your notes.  In short, Scrivener is a writing organization system with a word processor at the center of it.

Perhaps the simplest and most delightful thing about it is the fullscreen mode, whereby all the auxiliary controls disappear and all you can see is your text, displayed as though on a piece of paper against a black background.  I thought at first that this would be a minor advantage for me, but in fact writing with this minimal interface is an extraordinary pleasure.  You can't see emails coming in, you can't see anything at all except your text.

Here's the annoying part.  There are two separate sets of formatting tools in Scrivener: one that determines how the writing looks on the page while you're working on it, and another that determines how it looks once it's been compiled and exported.  This of course is useful, if you actually want these things to be different.  But I am wedded to the idea that what I am looking at is my manuscript.  In other words, I don't like the notion that the text is one thing, the display of the text is another thing, and the exported appearance of the text is a third thing.  I want to see, while working, that I am, say, on page 47, and I like that "page 47" to mean something definitive.  In Scrivener, it doesn't.  Furthermore, Scrivener's stock templates for composition and export look terrible, in my opinion.  I hate Courier--it is fake, a skeuomorphic gesture, the typographical equivalent of the PT Cruiser.  I don't want my name on every page of my manuscript, or centered page numbers, or a copyright notice at the end, or the like.  I want my stuff to be clean and simple, and I want to compose and export it in Garamond Premier Pro or Bembo.

Luckily, all this is totally customizable.  But the controls for customizing these functions are complex and unintuitive, and the method for customizing the composition screens is completely different from the method for customizing the compile settings.  You have to learn how to do the same thing twice, and once you've learned it, you forget it all instantly.

I recently transferred my entire novel-in-progress into Scrivener (see screenshot), and the process nearly made me give up using it entirely.  But I bore down and figured it out, and now I've got a couple of very useful templates and compile settings that satisfy me.  The app's usefulness has already proved itself in spades--I've had to insert, delete, or move chapters, and have been able to do so without needing to select text or renumber those chapters.  The note cards have enabled me to find stuff easily, and it is great to have all my research material close at hand.

But I don't necessarily recommend this app for people who need their work to look a certain way, or who are bothered by cutesy mimetic stuff like cork boards, or silly features like a character name generator.  There is something to be said for the starkness of Word or OpenOffice, and I'll probably still use the latter for short stories.  But for novels, the advantages of the app outweigh its irritating quirks, and I'll stick with it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christopher Higgs on experimental literature

I wanted to take a moment to link to this impressive series of posts by Christopher Higgs on "experimental literature" on my current favorite litblog, HTMLGiant.  I especially like the last one, on the notion of blankness--something I've been obsessed with myself from time to time.

This is the kind of thing I think a blog is good for, but it's also the kind of topic I tend to run like hell from, as I do not have the kind of brain made for defining and categorizing.  (Case in point, the bit where Higgs makes a distinction between conceptual and experimental literature.)  In general I am too aware of, perhaps too fond of, the tendency of distinctions to blur and categories to bleed; I admit the usefulness of holding them in mind, but never seem to be able to do so myself.

Anyway, these are rigorous and interesting posts, well-illustrated and interestingly commented upon.  Give them a look.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Writers At Cornell is back

A little cross-blog action here, as I inform you that the first interview podcast of the year is up over at the Writers At Cornell blog.  It's with W6 friend Stewart O'Nan, author of many novels, including Last Night At The Lobster, Snow Angels, Wish You Were Here, and the forthcoming Emily, Alone.  He gave a great reading the other night at Goldwin Smith (interrupted, with just one sentence to go, by a fire alarm); during this interview we talked about his prolificity and work habits, his research acumen, and his adventures chronicling the Red Sox with Stephen King.  Click the link above, or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

This Thursday I'm going to be interviewing one of my favorite writers, Nicholson Baker, and will post the results Thursday evening.  Anything you'd like me to ask him?  I've already gotten a lot of good suggestions from friends--honestly, I'd happily talk to Baker for an hour if I could.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are E-Book Readers a Transitional Medium?

CAUTION: boring tech post ahead! I'm getting ready to review some small press books AND John Dufresne's book on writing a book in six months. Is it possible? Stay tuned!

The other day I was reading a blog -- somewhere -- in which a commenter prophesied that one day we would all have little e-readers in our pockets, like pocket calculators. It would be that normal.

Hm. I always had the idea that e-readers and phones/tablet computers would kind of merge. What's the point of having a dedicated technology for reading books, when you can have a thing that will let you read books AND do a ton of other things? Seems to me that the e-reader is a transitional technology, one that helps people give up paper books before doing all their reading on a regular screen. How necessary is the whole "e-ink" thing? Most people who seem really excited about the Kindle and other e-readers are, well, old: my age and the next generation up, the Boomers.

But what do you think? Will we all have cheap little dedicated e-readers in our pockets stocked with entire libraries of books? Or will that whole model fall aside, and we'll be reading on our phones, as well as ordering food, checking our glucose, and whatever?

(Apparently contrary to a lot of arguments I hear lately, I think the medium is important. Would the novel be what it is -- chapters, 300ish pages, with paragraphs, etc -- if the technology of the bound book weren't holding it together? I'm no so sure.)

Picture is of the MailStation, an e-mail-only device I used for about 6 months many years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who the hell is Arcade Fire?: The Aftermath

For those of us who like the band, Arcade Fire's Grammy win the other night was quite a treat--an unexpected bit of recognition for a good album.  But, like many people, I was struck by the meta-story that quickly supplanted the good news: the story that there are lots of people out there who had no idea that Arcade Fire even existed.

This is related to my previous post about the new NYT bestseller list, which makes a distinction--an arbitrary one, I think--between physical and virtual books.  Both items call attention to the weird divide between those people who get most of their information by reading it online, and those people who don't. That is, the divide between people for whom the virtual is not any less real than any other reality.

For people whose cultural knowledge comes from the internet, Arcade Fire is a famous band--indeed, for some of us, they're an overexposed band we're sick of hearing about.  (Not me, btw, I still like 'em.)  If you buy music on iTunes (or steal it from Mediafire, for that matter), learn about new music from YouTube, or read music blogs, you know Arcade Fire.  For those who consume music in the more traditional ways--listening to the radio and buying CD's at record stores--you probably don't.

It's the former people, I think, who have also digested the idea that the ebook is roughly equivalent to the physical book (at least by quantitative, if not aesthetic, standards), and don't really get why the Times should separate the two.  This isn't necessarily an age divide, or a political one, or even an educational one.  It's cultural.

We've reached the point at which hip obscureness is large enough to no longer be hip or obscure--indeed, it's a new, parallel mainstream, one that Rosie O'Donnell didn't appear to know about.  And was offended not to have been informed of.  That she expressed this emotion via Twitter is an added complication I don't think I have the mental energy to even contemplate.

Monday, February 14, 2011

More bestsellers

I don't suppose I'm the only person who gaped in horror when he opened up this week's NYTimes Book Review and saw this.  It's the new and improved bestsellers, divided into physical books, e-books, and then recombined, along with special charts indicating the differences between the two.

I don't mind that the New York Times is compiling this data; after all, it is of some use to some people.  Publishers, I guess.  People who market and publicize books.  Jeff Bezos.  But am I mistaken in believing that most people who read the Book Review do so in order to read about the contents of books, not their sales patterns?  And honestly, what normal reader cares what percentage of book sales are electronic?  Unless you are a dedicated technophile or luddite, it's all the same.  A certain number of Steig Larsson books have sold, a high number.  That information alone is more than most of us need.

It reminds me a bit of the shock--shock!!--that pundits and congressional Republicans profess when polls show, again and again, that no normal people give a rat's ass about deficit spending.  It's blindered insider baseball--people in authority mistaking their own concerns (or, in the case of the Republicans, feigned concerns) for those of the people they serve.  I can't imagine that the Times has been suffering under the weight of letters from readers, demanding more lists indicating who is making the most money in the publishing industry.  I didn't send one, anyway.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Two interesting things involving physical manuscripts

The first is this retrograde-tech art project by Maria Fischer featuring "hyperlinked" text connected with pieces of thread.  Wow:

To ease the access to the elusive topic, the book is designed as a model of a dream about dreaming. Analogue to a dream, where pieces of reality are assembled to build a story, it brings different text excerpts together. They are connected by threads which tie in with certain key words. The threads visualise the confusion and fragileness of dreams. [...] On five pages there are illustrations made out of thread. Their shape and colour relies on the key words on the opposite page. This way an abstract image of the dream about dreaming is generated.

That one is via Engadget, now the top legible tech blog that a sane person can actually read, in the wake of the horrid Gawker redesign.  The second is this little piece by Andrew James Weatherhead at HTMLGiant about Emily Dickinson's dashes.  That debate seems to have been settled (dash inclusion good, dash elimination bad), but Weatherhead notes that the actual character of Dickinson's actual dashes is quite variable, and that even post-dashgate editions differ in how they treat the dashes.

"This is kind of interesting right?" he asks.  Yes, optional-bracketing-comma man, it is!

Thursday, February 10, 2011



What seemed inconceivable for this college town just a few years ago is now a fact. There will no longer be an independently owned bookstore for new books in, not only Ithaca, but all of Tompkins County. After many years of hard work and much, much joy, I am sad to announce that I will be closing Buffalo Street Books. This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, one that many of you know I've been forced to contemplate for quite a while. The positives and negatives of owning and operating an independent bricks-and-mortar bookstore are many with the perks far, far outweighing the bumps but for personal reasons and a rapidly diminishing bottom line, I finally have no choice.

This has been, I think, a long time coming--Gary Weissbrot, our friend, and the owner of the store, nearly closed before, and it's an extraordinary achievement to have kept the place going for five years.  He deserves a lot of thanks for providing Ithaca with a wonderful environment for readers and writers, and we will miss the place.

This is the first time in my entire adult life that I will have lived in a town without a viable independent bookstore.  We have a Borders (though not for long, I'm sure) and a B&N, along with the Cornell Store, which has a small, decent trade-book section (about one-third the size of the sweatshirt section).  But really, I think this pretty much ends the period of my life when I go book shopping in bookstores, at least in my home town.  I don't like the chains at all, not because they're chains, but because their aesthetic depresses and repels me.  I'll be ordering from Amazon, either for delivery or download.  And every few months I'll drive downstate and visit the Strand.

End of an era!  Thanks, Gary, for giving it a little more life.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bad Reviews

I like this post on The Millions by Emily St. John Mandel. It brings to mind a few interesting questions: How important should feedback be to a writer? What's the point of a negative review?

We've talked a lot about feedback here recently. As for the point of negative reviews: I guess there are two valid raisons d'etre: as a kind of consumer warning ("Don't waste yer money!") or as a contribution to a larger discussion, both of which are mostly only relevant to big books. There's really no defending a negative review of a small press book by a non-famous writer -- ignoring that book, if you don't like it, is enough. Since so much of reviewing is a matter of taste, you risk sinking a person's nascent career because of your fickle whims. I don't approve.

Of course, the real reason for reviews is publicity... and if all of a publication's reviews are positive, that would undermine the validity of their reviews in general. A reviewing publicity organ needs to distribute a certain number of negative reviews in order to maintain its credibility. Kind of depressingly arbitrary, isn't it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How much bummer is too much?

I spent most of yesterday sitting in front of the fire, watching slush bucket from the sky and reading David Vann's new novel Caribou Island.  I would say that I liked it, but this isn't really the kind of novel one can say one "liked."  It was certainly absorbing, very psychologically astute, and elegantly, straightforwardly written.  But it's hard to imagine a novel being more claustrophobic and depressing.  It isn't just that it's about a couple in their fifties attempting to repair a failed marriage by building a tiny cabin together on a remote Alaskan island--it's that the emotions are so unrelievedly grim, so unrelentingly joyless, that you can forget, reading it, that happiness even exists in the world.  The one character in the novel who gets to experience happiness, the married couple's son, is able to achieve it only by cutting everyone else in the novel out of his life.  Another guy gets to have sex with a beautiful woman, but it's portrayed as shallow and morally repugnant, and the woman turns out to be an evil manipulator who makes him give her ten thousand dollars.

I was addicted to this book while I was reading it--I ate it up with the kind of abandon I can usually only achieve with a really good crime novel--but in the hours since I finished I've grown increasingly disenchanted.  It is accomplished but, to my mind, unnuanced--it starts out in hell and just stays there.  The two main players are a total asshole ("You're a monster," he is told, and he is) and an embittered nag ("You're a mean old bitch," she is told, and it's true), with a supporting cast of losers, stoners, and meanies.  The only character we are capable of somewhat liking, the daughter, is last seen, on the book's final page, riding on a boat, in the snow, toward the horrifying revalations that will destroy what's left of her pathetic life.

It isn't that Vann's writing is humorless--it isn't.  One can sense that the author stands outside this material, that he is intentionally creating an artifact of human misery outside his own experience.  But it is also clear that he set out to write a Very Serious Novel, with a lot of hatred and disgust and really terrible weather, and Very Seriously is precisely how Caribou Island is being received.

More power to him, I suppose.  But, to me, this book is too one-dimensional to feel serious.  It isn't that I want redemption, exactly, and I'm certainly not looking for sweetness and light.  I suppose I think that good ficiton ought to acknowledge that human existence is absurd, not just painful.  I mean--I already know it's painful, of course it is.  Life is pain.  But it's other things along the way, and those things give the pain meaning.  And those things are not in Caribou Island.

For all that, I sort of semi recommend it--it's a vigorous piece of work.  Just be prepared, once you put it down, to cancel your Alaska travel plans.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who Should Write a Memoir?

Every once in a while the New York Times Book Review publishes a total trashing -- it's rare enough that it gets a good deal of attention when it happens. I'll never forget Lee Siegel's evisceration of Alice Sebold's The Almost Moon -- reading a review like that is like hearing about a friend's divorce: it makes you feel simultaneously sick and intrigued. How awful it happened to them! And Thank God it didn't happen to me.

The latest victims are three memoirs taken down by Neil Genzlinger in the most recent NYTBR. I haven't read them, so I'm not going to comment on them in particular (though I guess that hasn't stopped me in the past) but rather on a couple of things Genzlinger says in his piece. The first is something I agree with, that No one wants to relive your misery. Well, okay, *I* don't want to relive your misery. I mean, I don't think I want to. But somehow I feel compelled to. It's weird. A few years ago I read probably the most horrifying memoir EVER: Ten Degrees of Reckoning by Hester Rumberg. It's about a family who travel around the world in a boat until a huge tanker crashes into them. The mother of the family watches as each of her children and her husband sink beneath the waves. She somehow makes it to land and is never the same. OF COURSE. It's a memoir of such abject misery I honestly don't know why it was published, though I know why it was written.

I agree with Genzlinger when he says,
Say you get stuck under a rock and have to cut off your own arm to escape. If, as you’re using your remaining hand to write a memoir about the experience, your only purpose in doing so is to make readers feel the blade and scream in pain, you should stop. You’re a sadist, not a memoirist; you merely want to make readers suffer as you suffered, not entertain or enlighten them.
Yet, as queasy as these sadistic memoirs are, I can't stop reading them. How awful it happened to them! And Thank God it didn't happen to me.

So I do disagree with Genzlinger: my disagreement is two-layered. First, I don't think the content of the life experience should determine whether a person writes a memoir at all. At all! People's lives don't vary much in terms of interestingness; what varies is how perceptive the writer is. If you're a terrible, blah writer, you could make being the first woman to open a rib joint on Mars sound stupid. On the other hand, someone like Alan Bennett makes his quiet life infinitely fascinating. Genzlinger implies you need either an interesting life or a talent for writing. I think you just have to be able to write.

Secondly, he blames writers for the flood of banal memoirs. But human beings have always written about their lives, for better or for worse, boring and silly or vicious or sadistic. That doesn't mean publishers have to publish it. Why do writers always get the blame for bad trends? Seriously, I don't know a single person who can crank out 300 pages of something they don't believe in. Every memoir out there had to be written -- someone had to memorialize her dog, or capture his traumatic disease, or remember a childhood.

But need does not necessarily translate to excellence. And it's the editor's job to notice that, in the end, isn't it? You can't blame a writer for lacking talent, but you sure can blame a publisher for pretending the subject will carry the day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Suggested memes for eager trendseekers

It turns out porno quilting
is a real thing.
I've got a lot of very fine ideas for hit nonfiction memoir/self-help titles, but am too lazy to write them.  Would you like to?  You don't even have to share the money with me, just thank me profusely in your acknowledgements section.  Which, by law, must be at least three pages long.

Passive Daddy's Parenting Boot Camp
My Year Of Only Snacking
Vodka Buddha
1000 Prescriptions: My Harrowing Journey Through Hell To Purity
Fertility By Proxy: A Love Story
Baby Talk Saved Our Marriage
Kickball King: A 40-Year-Old Man Repeats Fifth Grade
Chimp Vs. Child: A Homeschooling Odyssey
Pill Pals
Bros Before Hoes: How Four Heterosexual Men Discovered Communal Gardening
The Hirsute Nearsighted Men's Midnight Samovar Society
The Videogame Organic Cola Cure
Hipster Tent City: Six Months In A Vacant Lot In Flatbush
The Power Of Clowning
Vow Of Silence
Canning Therapy
The Swap: How My Sister And I Traded Husbands And Why We're Not Switching Back
Laced: How I Overcame Drug Addiction Through Tatting
In The Margin: My Year Living In A Highway Median Strip
Kickboxing Librarian Sex Goddess Speaks
Philosopher Dogwalker
Mating Call Of The Thai Noodle Daddy
Cry Every Hour
The Booksellers' Noonday Forced Laughter Club
Krumping With Aunt Sue: How L.A. Street Dancing Healed My Family
Driving My Neighbor's Kid From Houston To Anchorage
The Lego Sex Life Solution
Par None: How I Found Myself Through Ironic Golf Playing
The Unemployed Academics' Five O'Clock Actors' Studio
My Year Of Muttonchops
Scavenge For Life
How I Found And Kept True Love Through Celibacy
The Netflix Marriage
My Year Of Buying Every Single Thing I Wanted
Multiple Orgasms Through Prayer
My Year Of Being Constantly Stoned
My Year Of Lies
Porno Quilter

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Ward Six Way

You have seen, have you not, the hideousness that is AOL's leaked business plan?  If the idea of clicking that link gives you a headache, that probably means that you already know what it says.  The plan is essentially a blueprint for creating as much video-heavy, search-engine-optimized crap journalism as is humanly possible, as quickly as possible.  If there is an opposite to literature, "The AOL Way" is it.

I did, however, enjoy Horace Dediu's response today on Asymco, his very well-written tech-industry blog.  (Yes, I read such things, so sue me.)  And I think "The Asymco Way" is germane not only to this blog, but to anyone who creates content on the internet.  In short, Dediu says:

- Learn by writing. Teach by listening.
- Improve. Move the intellectual ball forward.
- Illuminate topics which are bereft of analysis.
- Be notable. [...] How likely is the idea to being widely re-published?
- Review. Encourage participation by reading all comments and reply to as many as possible.
- Repair. Declare and correct errors.
- Select. Publish only when the contribution is unique. Avoid redundancy, clutter and noise.
Yes to every one of those.  And, if I were going to create a "Ward Six Way" I might add the following: Respect one's fellow writers not only with praise, but with constructive criticism, when warranted.  Avoid cynicism.  Substitute rigor for snark.  Have a sense of humor.  Educate yourself well on a topic before commenting on it.

And Dediu's closing remark could be seen as a golden rule for anyone seeking a career in writing or publishing.  He writes: "What about the business model? I’m afraid there isn’t one. I’m still naive enough to think that if I build a great product then everything else will take care of itself."

Here's hoping we all stay naive, indefinitely.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What Happened to Harper's?

I've subscribed to Harper's Magazine for at least 20 years, since I got out of college. I also subscribed to The Atlantic then, but I always liked Harper's better (all the fiction in The Atlantic, we used to joke, had to have priests, Irish people, or boats in it, if not all three) and then The Atlantic stopped publishing fiction, except for once a year, so I stopped reading it. Harper's stayed good, even great; the fiction was wild and unpredictable (even publishing a whacked-out novel in serial by some crazy guy) and the non-fiction always surprising and smart. I even enjoyed Lewis Lapham's loopy rants. If the mag seemed to be less totally wonderful lately, I chalked it up to the natural cycles of publishing: everyone has their ups and downs.

But could Harper's be... over? You probably heard about the trouble they've been having with their publisher, who is laying off several editors. What it looks like from the outside -- and I certainly have no inside knowledge -- is that the magazine doesn't want to make the compromises it has to make if it wants to survive in the same world as Huffington Post and Gawker and Talking Points Memo and all those other constantly updating, endlessly interesting, free sources of news and journalism and culturey stuff. Their publisher has publicly ranted against the Internet. But is it even possible to be a print-only, general interest magazine anymore?

Well, The Atlantic seems to be doing okay. It has a real, busy, packed-with-news website, lots of bloggers, and it's spiffed up its journalism -- lots of attention getting articles like Caitlin Flanagan's anti-school-gardens screed. That knee-jerk nay-saying stuff is annoying as heck, but it gives people something to argue about. Anyway, The Atlantic feels alive.

Should Harper's take a leaf from The Atlantic's pages? Should they modernize and hyperactivate? Or go down screaming?