Maude Hutchins

Maude [Hutchins] is best known for her novel “Victorine,” which the New York Review of Books Classics series is reissuing in August. The catalogue copy says it all: “Hutchins had one theme—sex—which she explored with an extravagant, needling, disconcerting genius.” The novel, about a twelve-year-old upper-middle-class New England girl on the “visionary” cusp of puberty (Castle’s word), sounds ultimately less interesting than the unwritten biography of Maude, who has probably been given a slanted portrayal in the respectful biographies of her husband.

From the New Yorker Book Bench blog.

University of Chicago students would recognise that surname. Robert Hutchins was President at the University of Chicago from 1929 to 1951, and was largely responsible for two defining characteristics of a UofC education — the Common Core and a relatively lousy reputation in most sports. Hutchins took the UofC out of the Big Ten and halted the football programme — something that the Athletics Department probably rues till this day considering the importance of football to, well, just Americans (esp. males).

Sheaffer Craftsman lever-filler: 1947-1949

#33 nib, “350” under the imprint: yep, it’s a Sheaffer Craftsman. Lever-filler so made sometime between 1947-1949.

Barrel and cap and scratched and nicked, but someone polished them and the damage doesn’t look that bad. Legible imprint. Clear visulated section. The plated furniture gleams against the deep Persian blue. Still looks good!

The #33 nib’s a Medium, but unfortunately all the tipping seems to be gone. Writing with it is like writing with a nail. Generous ink flow though.

The seller’s offered to replace the nib with another #33 with tipping, when I drop by his table at the NY/NJ pen show 🙂


Me and the Other Half like the shape and colours of these Sheaffers, though the size is a bit small. The pen is pleasant to touch with its very slight rubber-like texture. And the heart-shaped breather hole makes the nib look even cuter ^_^

The Other Half has two already — one Pastel Grey Tip-Dip Craftsman (I think that’s the right model) and a Pastel Green Admiral lever-filler with Feather Touch nib.

Hollywood does China: varying degrees of success

Today’s RSS feeds bring in 2 interesting pieces about China:

A Variety Asia piece on how Hollywood studios are seriously reconsidering their plans in China.

A quick summary:

– co-productions not working as well as initially assumed
– import quotas for foreign movies
– unpredictable censorship & no standard classification system.
– “chronically weak filmgoing culture”.
– online, DVD piracy provide better alternatives

Still, China is an extremely lucrative market:
– Box office this year is expected to hit $590 million, up 21% from last year’s $489 million.
– Growing local film industry: 400 local film productions expected this year, a big jump from 350 last year.
– China Film Group now joined by state-backed companies such as Bona or private firms Huayi Bros.. Others like Chengtian have foreign capital and are pulling together production and distribution slates that make them credible partners.

But recently China authorities have become stricter on content regulation.

Market changes possible, but elements are beyond the control of Hollywood studios:
1. If more multiplexes increase demand for new, fresh content
2. If more private sector companies in production and distribution sectors emerge, which studios can partner with

While Hollywood studios are scratching their heads, other Hollywood players have made further inroads, like CAA. Variety Asia analyses the reasons for their (relative) success in this article. Even if you think CAA’s strategy is coherent in hindsight, the article’s still worth scanning for the differences between US and Chinese/Taiwan/HK styles of doing business in the media sector.