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13 posts tagged with Literature by MiguelCardoso.
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Biography And Literary Worth

Philip Larkin: Great Poet, Shame About The Man? When is an excess of biography, i.e. high-minded, clumsily-disguised gossip, an impediment to literary appreciation? Nowadays, it seems always. [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 19, 2004 - 26 comments

Simenon And Great Crime Novelists

Inspector Maigret And The Strange Case Of The Immortals: The immensely prolific Georges Simenon, most well known for his Maigret mysteries, has just been published in 2 volumes by France's most prestigious collection, the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade. Crime fiction looks like it's slowly becoming respectable. What popular crime novelists would you like to see elevated to literature's highest pantheon? Or does it somehow ruin the fun a bit? For comparison purposes, I'd say The Library of America is the nearest English language equivalent. [First, second and fourth links in English; others in French.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 7, 2003 - 32 comments

Greed

Greed May Not Be Good, But It Sure Comes Easy And Feels Lovely, Thank You Very Much: Just how greedy are you? Lately I've been rereading Rabelais's outrageous, politically incorrect, magnificently written Everyman's edition of Gargantua and Pantagruel, in Thomas Urquhart's and Peter Anthony Motteux's no less magnificent translation [pdf file]. Everything in this 16th Century book seems to address us and challenge us to be - how shall I put it? - up to it. It's rolicking; bawdy; irresistible. Too much is not enough, indeed. Just how valuable is excess of all sorts? Very, I'd say. And this century presents unique opportunities for overdoing it in the most delightful way, wot, wot?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jun 27, 2003 - 13 comments

Gertrude Stein

The Unforgettable Gertrude Stein: A charming miscellany of first encounters with the fascinating writer and personality, compiled by Dana Cook. [From The New Yorker's excellent web guide to Gertrude Stein .]
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 28, 2003 - 4 comments

Fact, Fiction And Memoirs Masquerading As Novels

Is It Fiction If It Says "Fiction" On The Cover? Jorge Luis Borges brilliantly obscured fact and fiction presenting fiction as fact. Things seem to have swung round 180º and fact is now increasingly being sold as fiction. This certainly seems to be the case with Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved. She's Paul Auster's second wife and... Well... now even critics, like The New York Observer's Joe Hagan have joined the fun, as Slate's Katie Roiphe duly noted. Fact is now presented as fiction, without the traditional disguise of the roman à clef. I think it's sad. In fact, it's an attempt on the life of imagination itself. Perhaps these authors who write memoirs masquerading as novels could be sued under the Trade Description Act? [With thanks to the always excellent Literary Salon weblog. Thanks to ColdChef for pointing it out to me.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 23, 2003 - 28 comments

Steal This Link.

Steal This Link. It looks like the guys at Tenant Net are the latest to take Abbie Hoffman's classic piece of advice. Will the recession (not to mention, teehee, the US dollar being at a three-year low against the euro and the British pound) make it relevant and, er, practical, again? Or subversive even? [Via LinkFilter]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 10, 2002 - 11 comments

Enfants Don't Come Any More Terrible Nor Is Any Poète More Maudit

Enfants Don't Come Any More Terrible Nor Is Any Poète More Maudit than "bad, mad and dangerous to know" Lord Byron, which is why biographers can't resist delving into his multitude of sins, transgressions and crimes. Increasingly, the life of a great writer overshadows his work and the consequences of this mania look bleak indeed... [More inside]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 8, 2002 - 17 comments

Light, Secret Places And Books:

Light, Secret Places And Books: Photographer Sean Kernan's startling and beautifully literary interpretation of Jorge Luís Borges is based on his The Secret Books album and was reviewed on The Garden of Forking Paths, that definitive, ever-fascinating Borges website. It's a small consolation for those, like me, who would have have liked to be in Barcelona today for the opening of the Cosmopolis exhibition, which celebrates the stormy, but enduring identification of Borges with Buenos Aires. The relationship between writers and places is always interesting whenever they grow into each other to the point of almost becoming each other. Joyce is Dublin; Kafka is Prague; Pessoa is Lisbon. What other, less obvious identifications are there? Is the relationship more like mutual cannibalism, mythical reinforcement, a touristy marketing scheme or the peaceful symbiosis it's generally made out to be?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 30, 2002 - 40 comments

A Year Of Days In Poetry:

A Year Of Days In Poetry: Today is the day Chaucer died. James Beattie, Macaulay and John Berryman were born on this same day. This is just one of the ways of entering Ian Lancashire's magnificent, monumental Representative Poetry Online. The timeline, the glossary of poetical terms and the fascinating collection of poets' writings on poetry are equally rich and generous. In a word, bliss.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 25, 2002 - 10 comments

Could Donald Barthelme Be The Most Amusing American Writer Who Ever Lived?

Could Donald Barthelme Be The Most Amusing American Writer Who Ever Lived? Is wrestling fixed? Do bears shit in the woods? To my mind, he's the best American writer I've ever read. He's probably also the most underrated and least known master of the short story. Jessamyn's web site is full of his wonderful, endlessly re-readable tales. My favourite is probably The Funeral Of Edward Lear. But they're all quite dazzlingly funny and beautiful. [WARNING: once you've read this small selection you may well find yourself intelligently investing around $100 to get hold of all his books. He died in 1989 but he writes as if he were yet to be born - say tomorrow morning at the latest.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 24, 2002 - 27 comments

Clive James's Video Interviews

Clive James's Video Interviews are that rare thing on the Web: intelligent, sophisticated and witty. Among his many guests are P.J.O'Rourke, Piers Paul Read and Simon Callow, from the second series, and Martin Amis, Peter Porter and ballerina Deborah Bull, from the first. There's also a tantalising glimpse of a forthcoming conversation with Julian Barnes. Great stuff for literary-minded webbies![Requires Windows Media Player]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Apr 26, 2002 - 6 comments

A Good Online Literary Journal That Needs - And Pays For! - Unsolicited Material? No!...

A Good Online Literary Journal That Needs - And Pays For! - Unsolicited Material? No!... Yes! Pif magazine, edited by Camille Renshaw, not only welcomes unsolicited texts but actually pays for the stuff it accepts. It's strictly electronic - no snail mail accepted - and has plenty of ads from other zines soliciting submissions. It also gives writers a chance to offer their services. Although the subscription to the full contents is $25 a year, there's a lot of interesting free material on its website, e.g. an interview with Rick Moody. They've raised $10000 so far and there's a pleasing, against-the-grain spirit to the whole thing! Can things perhaps not be as bad as we think? (From browsing Metafilter, thanks to a very helpful comment by Muckster in this thread.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 17, 2001 - 4 comments

Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right

Finally the Nobel Prize For Literature Gets It Right Jorge Luis Borges didn't get it. Neither did Marcel Proust. But today V.S.Naipaul, arguably the best writer in the English language since Samuel Beckett died, was awarded the Nobel Prize. Doesn't this just show it helps not to be English(e.g. Irish, American, Indian or Trinidadian)to be able to write dry and timeless prose such as Sir Vidia's?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 11, 2001 - 29 comments

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