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Patient Zero

Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey is Chuck Palahniuk's eighth novel. It takes the form of an oral history of one Buster 'Rant' Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors and relations have their say on this (in Chuck Palahniuk's words) 'evil, gender-conflicted Forrest Gump character'. His work is controversial, but I imagine a few Palahniuk fans who read The Blue might have missed the fact that he has a new book out. [ Previously ]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 9, 2007 - 24 comments

"The woman sat up straighter. She looked the man in the eye."

Reclusive author Cormac McCarthy's television début yesterday was apparently a bit of a letdown. Watch it here. [Previously]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 7, 2007 - 85 comments

Bookstore burns books

It's a sad old story but the reading of literature continues to decline. Prospero's Books - a Kansas-city used bookstore - is so desperate to thin out its collection it has started to burn books. Co-owner Tom Wayne says he is unable to sell many of his thousands of books, or even to give them away to libraries and thrift stores, so he started a pyre in protest.
posted by stbalbach on May 29, 2007 - 66 comments

The Demon of Delightfulness

An informative, gossipy and surprisingly engaging 6-page exploration of the life of Charles Dickens, including his up-and-down relationship with the U.S. press, his inexcusable behavior during his messy and very public separation from his wife, the "histrionic flair" of his performance career, and, of course, his works, including the one George Bernard Shaw called "a more seditious book than Das Kapital." Lots of interesting images, too.
posted by mediareport on May 24, 2007 - 17 comments

Yeah, bite me!

Stories of Bram Stoker to enjoy on the 110th anniversary of the publication of Dracula.
posted by Wolfdog on May 18, 2007 - 3 comments

"The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

On this day in 1915 the ocean liner Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat, which helped turn public sentiment in the US against Germany in The Great War. FirstWorldWar.com is your go to site for all things War to End All Wars related, from how it began to propaganda posters to maps to memoirs and diaries to the weapons and battles to audio and video and to the justly famous poetry of World War One. Also check out the feature articles and encyclopedia.
posted by Kattullus on May 7, 2007 - 12 comments

Will Self's writing room in excessive detail.

A 360 degree view in 71 photos of Will Self's writing room. Damn, that's a lot of post-its. (related)
posted by Ufez Jones on Apr 30, 2007 - 28 comments

Classic Short Stories

Classic Short Stories — "Fewer and fewer people these days read short stories. This is unfortunate—so few will ever experience the joy that reading such fine work can give. The goal of this site is to give a nice cross section of short stories in the hope that these short stories will excite these people into rediscovering this excellent source of entertainment." Authors represented include Saki, Edith Wharton, O. Henry, Guy de Maupassant, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Gabriel García Marquez, H. G. Wells, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekhov, Charles Dickens, William Carlos Williams and Katherine Mansfield.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 26, 2007 - 27 comments

Shakespeare's Birthday and his Masterpiece, Hamlet

To honor the Greatest's birthday, one could consider his greatest work by reading this excellent post by matteo which touches upon the religious issues facing our confused Protestant hero, the student at Wittenberg, who doubts orthodoxy, cannot decide if he is a scourge or minister, but ultimately accedes to a belief in divine Providence. Or, if you would rather dive into an intriguing amusing royally f'ed up "unique" analysis of the play, check out this extensive theory (?) [cache] of Hamlet which corrects our accepted and flawed interpretation by explaining that a literal reading of the play tells us, among other things, that King Hamlet was never killed; that Horatio--our narrator--is the King's son and prince Hamlet's half brother; that the guy we incorrectly think of as Claudius is in fact King Hamlet; and that prince Hamlet's father is Fortinbras. Oops. Boy do we have egg on our faces.
posted by dios on Apr 23, 2007 - 40 comments

The Eldritch Dark: The Sanctum of Clark Ashton Smith

The Eldritch Dark. No, not about Mr. Lovecraft, but a sprawling site dedicated to Clark Ashton Smith, a friend and frequent correspondent. Along with Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, Smith is an early contributor to Weird Tales whose stories stand the test of time (his work directly inspired Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison). He thought of himself primarily as a poet.
posted by mediareport on Apr 2, 2007 - 10 comments

Joyce in postcards

Joyce Images—postcards of Ulysses. [A little backstory.]
posted by cortex on Apr 2, 2007 - 26 comments

Thai fiction

Modern Thai fiction, in English et plus en français.
posted by carsonb on Mar 26, 2007 - 12 comments

This is the YouTube poetry post.

Poets on YouTube: Bukowski; Dylan Thomas; Jim Morrison; Allen Ginsberg; Sylvia Plath; Billy Collins; Cookie Monster; and what the hell, even Jacques Brel.

But there's plenty of readings by amateurs as well: for example, lilcutiewithabooty06 reads e e cummings; Michael reads cummings really fast; Tom Waits and Bono read Bukowski; bearded men read Lewis Carroll and Shakespeare; and what if Emily Dickinson had a ukulele?

Mouseover links to see titles; feel free to add your favourites.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 26, 2007 - 29 comments

No Dogs Bark by Juan Rulfo

“No dogs bark” by Juan Rulfo is the story of a father carrying his son, a mortally wounded bandit, through the mountains to find a doctor. In Spanish and in English translation.
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 19, 2007 - 18 comments

Celebrity Deathmatch: Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa

The cause of the famous feud between Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa has finally been revealed. A photograph, taken right after Llosa punched Márquez has even been published. It's got it all, violence, Swedish stewardesses and a piece of steak used as band-aid! Literary feuds don't get much better than this!
posted by Kattullus on Mar 17, 2007 - 21 comments

It will never replace a hardcover book - it makes a very poor doorstop.

Huck Finn, Heart of Darkness, A Tale of Two Cities, and others - free audio books. Text and audio on the web, or downloadable mp3s with embedded text.
posted by Wolfdog on Mar 4, 2007 - 15 comments

Look! It's the Sea-Unicorn, and a big one, too

The Jules Verne Collecting Resource. If you're a Verne fan or a book collector at all, this site is an absolute treasure. There are pictures of almost every single edition of his works, major and minor, as well as everything even slightly Verne-related, including: movie posters, matchbooks, autographs, playing cards, cards for stereoscopes, postcards he sent, board games, Jules Hetzel's excellent covers and posters for his work (more here, and this one is amazing), the man himself, and god knows what else - pretty much everything.
If it's not here, it's somewhere else, like the extraordinary maps which adorned some editions, or the virtual library with links to all of his works, the many, many incredible illustrations therein, and even one scanned manuscript (in French, obviously). Hope this makes somebody's day as much as it made mine.
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Feb 25, 2007 - 16 comments

Raphael Aloysius "Ray" Lafferty, the self-described "cranky old man from Tulsa, Oklahoma"

A thoughtful man named Maxwell Mouser had just produced a work of actinic philosophy. It took him seven minutes to write it. To write works of philosophy one used the flexible outlines and the idea indexes; one set the activator for such a wordage in each subsection; an adept would use the paradox feed-in, and the striking analogy blender; one calibrated the particular-slant and the personality-signature. It had to come out a good work, for excellence had become the automatic minimum for such productions. "I will scatter a few nuts on the frosting," said Maxwell, and he pushed the lever for that. This sifted handfuls of words like chthonic and heuristic and prozymeides through the thing so that nobody could doubt it was a work of philosophy.
Slow Tuesday Night by one Rafael Aloyius Lafferty (more within)
posted by y2karl on Feb 25, 2007 - 15 comments

Behind Iron Bars

Behind Iron Bars. A short comic of the Spanish Civil War. From the latest, international comics, edition of Words Without Borders.
posted by OmieWise on Feb 15, 2007 - 8 comments

American Writers on America

Writers on America is a collection of essays by various American authors on different aspects of America. It was conceived in the direct aftermath of 9/11 as a way to introduce readers to a United States that is not prominent in American pop culture. It is published by the US State Department and distributed by embassies. Michael Chabon writes about growing up in the utopian planned city of Columbia, Maryland. Bharati Mukherjee writes On Being an American Writer rather than an Indo-American one. Charles Johnson writes about a great uncle who started a milk company, and after that went belly-up in the Great Depression, founded a construction business. The other authors with essays in the volume are Elmaz Abinader, Julia Alvarez, Sven Birkerts, Robert Olen Butler, Billy Collins, Robert Creeley, David Herbert Donald, Richard Ford, Linda Hogan, Mark Jacobs, Naomi Shihab Nye and Robert Pinsky. On Voice of America Eric Felten interviewed Mark Jacobs, George Clack, executive editor of the publication and Joseph Bottum, books and arts editor of the Weekly Standard. NPR interviewed Clack and Elmaz Abinader [RealAudio] about the project and On the Media interviewed Clack by himself.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 10, 2007 - 34 comments

electronic literature

Electronic Literature Collection, volume 1
posted by signal on Jan 24, 2007 - 5 comments

Flatland the Movie

Yesterday I discovered that the book Flatland by Edwin Abbot had been made into a movie in 1962. You can see a trailer of it on Google video. A remake of the movie narrated by Martin Sheen is set to be released this year. There also appears to be a rival remake.
posted by tracy_the_astonishing on Jan 19, 2007 - 27 comments

"Run, you pigeons! It's Robert Frost!"

Dark Darker Darkest is an essay in this week's New Republic by Christopher Benfey on the newly published Notebooks of Robert Frost (here's a more conventional book review by Mark Ford in The Financial Times). Glyn Maxwell, a couple of years ago in the same publication, wrote a short article, Beautiful as He Did It, about Edward Thomas and his relationship with Frost. Should you want more direct contact with the famous poet, you can read Richard Poirier's 1960 interview with Frost that appeared in The Paris Review (pdf) or listen to him recite a few of his better known poems.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 16, 2007 - 6 comments

Borges

Jorge Luis Borges "excerpts from two of the six Norton Lectures that Jorge Luis Borges delivered at Harvard University in the fall of 1967 and spring of 1968. The recordings of these six lectures, only lately discovered in the Harvard University Archives, uniquely capture the cadences, candor, wit, and remarkable erudition of one of the most extraordinary and enduring literary voices of our age. Through a twist of fate that the author of Labyrinths himself would have relished, these lost lectures return to us now--in Borges's own voice." In English - mp3
posted by vronsky on Jan 10, 2007 - 46 comments

Tillie Olsen, 1912-2007

Tillie Olsen, 1912-2007. "She had forced open the language of the short story, insisting that it include the domestic life of women, the passions and anguishes of maternity, the deep, gnarled roots of a long marriage, the hopes and frustrations of immigration, the shining charge of political commitment. Her voice has both challenged and cleared the way for all those who come after her."
posted by amro on Jan 10, 2007 - 15 comments

Google Books uncovers old literary crimes

Dead Plagiarists Society. Using Google Books to uncover old (and recent) literary crimes. "Given the popularity of plagiarism-seeking software services for academics, it may be only a matter of time before some enterprising scholar yokes Google Book Search and plagiarism-detection software together into a massive literary dragnet, scooping out hundreds of years' worth of plagiarists—giants and forgotten hacks alike—who have all escaped detection until now."
posted by stbalbach on Dec 24, 2006 - 43 comments

The Prix Jack Trevor Story

The Jack Trevor Story Memorial Prize "is generally awarded for a work of fiction or body of work which, in the opinion of the committee, best celebrates the spirit of Jack Trevor Story. The conditions of the prize are that the money shall be spent in a week to a fortnight and the author have nothing to show for it at the end of that time." The 2006 winner of the prize is Steve Aylett.
posted by Iridic on Dec 11, 2006 - 6 comments

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Sexual Fables. Western philosophy, literature, and thought from a distaff point of view. Full of multidisciplinary goodness, and the intertextuality is pretty neat. The art's pretty good, too.
posted by John of Michigan on Nov 27, 2006 - 3 comments

Good times, good times!

Autodidactic goodies on a budget: Free computer books and online lectures, seminars and instructional materials from a variety of renowned institutions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Nov 21, 2006 - 19 comments

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie

Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie [via]
posted by mediareport on Nov 6, 2006 - 16 comments

The Winedark Sea 2.0

Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of how the language of Odysseus and his people found a home on the web. Of how the newest mass medium came to house a library of Ancient Greek literature. Of how the sounds of a dead language could find a new life online.
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 2, 2006 - 19 comments

FLA FUR BIS FLE

"Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come to You, My Lad," "Casting the Runes," and other stories by M.R. James, the master of the ghost story.
posted by Iridic on Oct 31, 2006 - 22 comments

Leslie Scalapino, poet

"[M]y writing's not making a distinction between physical/muscular action and mind action or between events of history and minute events between people." -- Leslie Scalapino. Leslie Scalapino is an American poet associated with the language poetry movement. -- How2 Special Feature on Scalapino. -- Excerpt from The Forest is in the Euphrates River. -- Audio links to Scalapino reading from and discussing her work. -- Another audio link, to Scalapino reading from her book The Pearl. -- Excerpts from The Tango. -- Scalapino's Nov. 11 2006 reading at The Poetry Project in NYC. -- Scalapino is the daughter of controversial Berkeley scholar Robert Scalapino, who founded Berkeley's Institute for Asian Studies. -- Scalapino defends her father. -- Scalapino co-edited a volume of poets against the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. -- Scalapino's discussion of "relation of writing to events" with Judith Goldman.
posted by jayder on Oct 29, 2006 - 6 comments

Pynchon Paper Dolls

Thomas Pynchon Paper Dolls Something light because, yes, it's the run-up to the November 21st release of Against the Day, the new 1000 page doorstop from Thomas Pynchon. The Modern Word is using the time to update their already vast Pynchon site. Good luck. (A whole lot of other paper dolls previously.)
posted by OmieWise on Oct 27, 2006 - 37 comments

'That is all very well, but who is to bell the Cat?'

Aesopica: Aesop's Fables in English, Latin & Greek
posted by anastasiav on Oct 25, 2006 - 17 comments

101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived

101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived is a book chronicling the most impactful (non-religious) fictional characters throughout history. While they only tease with the first 50 characters on the book's homepage, the hard hitting investigative journalists at USA Today have uncovered the entire 101 for your arguing enjoyment.
posted by jonson on Oct 25, 2006 - 101 comments

New online archive of contemporary British poetry

"Welcome to the Archive of the Now. The Archive of the Now is an online and print repository of recordings, printed texts and manuscripts, focussing on innovative contemporary poetry being written or performed in Britain. It is part of the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing, at Brunel University in west London, UK. At present, the Archive consists of readings by 65 UK-based poets. This number will continue to grow, and includes newly commissioned, recently acquired and historical recordings."
posted by jayder on Oct 22, 2006 - 5 comments

Cormac McCarthy

See the child. He is pale and thin, he wears a thin and ragged linen shirt. He stokes the scullery fire. Outside lie dark turned fields with rags of snow and darker woods beyond that harbor yet a last few wolves. His folk are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water but in truth his father has been a schoolmaster. He lies in drink, he quotes from poets whose names are now lost. The boy crouches by the fire and watches him. Night of your birth. Thirty-three. The Leonids they were called. God how the stars did fall. I looked for blackness, holes in the heavens. The Dipper stove. The mother dead these fourteen years did incubate in her own bosom the creature who would carry her off. The father never speaks her name, the child does not know it. He has a sister in this world that he will not see again. He watches, pale and unwashed. He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.” --Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 18, 2006 - 41 comments

An Adventure in the Paper Trade

As he read, Mr Sterling became convinced he had to publish the book. Jed Rubenfeld's "The Interpretation of Murder" had an intriguing cast of characters, an engaging plot and a dash of kinky sex. It was a historical thriller, one of publishing's hottest recent categories. It had the potential, he thought, to be the next "Da Vinci Code."
The Wall Street Journal details the fascinating mechanics of modern-day book marketing as Henry Holt & Co labors to birth this year's must-buy publishing phenomenon.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Oct 16, 2006 - 14 comments

"While I support freedom of speech, I also believe that writers have choices about what they write and a responsibility for exercising those choices in an ethical manner"

Landfill is a new short story by Joyce Carol Oates. The story has caused controversy due to it being partly based on the real life death of a College of New Jersey student. At first, Oates was bewildered by the outcry, but later she apologized.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 15, 2006 - 28 comments

Orhan Pamuk receives the Nobel Prize

Orhan Pamuk has been awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel website has a short audio interview with Orhan Pamuk in English. Here is the AFP article which has a good rundown of his career. And finally, here's an essay he wrote this summer called Who do you write for?
posted by Kattullus on Oct 12, 2006 - 44 comments

Text Etc. - the craft and theory of poetry

Text Etc. is a sprawling, highly engaging, nearly obsessive look at the craft and theory of poetry, including sound patterning, fractal criticism, poetry heresies, brief, clear intros to theorists like Bakhtin, Lacan and Foucault, writing instruction and much more.
posted by mediareport on Oct 6, 2006 - 11 comments

the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon; the moon is beautiful

What Good Are the Arts? asks John Carey’s recent book of the same name. The New Criterion think Carey’s thesis is informed by cynical political motives rather than earnest convictions, and accuses Carey of dabbling in the risky art of aesthetic relativism: Obviously, art is ultimately about “the search for truth” (a lesson we’d do well to remember before society falls apart). But as Carey and others point out to the contrary, the Third Reich was all about art—and yet, art under the Third Reich had precious little to do with “searching for truth.” So just what good are the arts? Here’s what a few others have to say on the subject.
posted by saulgoodman on Oct 4, 2006 - 45 comments

Continuing (your) education all over the Internet

Qoolsqool is "a free and open educational resource for educators, students, and self-learners around the world."
posted by anjamu on Sep 29, 2006 - 9 comments

Every wandering bark

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116: read firmly by Eleanor, skimmed through somewhat hurriedly by Megan, recited from memory by the cowboy hatted Bill, and delivered with a vaguely cockney accent by Will. There are others, as well.
posted by Iridic on Sep 27, 2006 - 10 comments

...515 to material with a homosexual theme or “promoting homosexuality,” ...

Banned Books Week -- 25th anniversary year. How to deal with a challenge, what you can do generally, and of course, lists, and more lists. Captain Underpants is a more recent entry, i notice.
posted by amberglow on Sep 25, 2006 - 42 comments

Spam yourself with the classics

Choose a (public domain) book and Daily Lit will e-mail it to you bit-by-bit every day. Finally, War and Peace delivered to your inbox in only 675 bite-sized pieces. [via LH]
posted by camcgee on Sep 14, 2006 - 15 comments

Tao Te Ching in many languages

The Tao Te Ching in dozens of languages and translations, with a lovely side-by-side comparison tool.
posted by Wolfdog on Sep 10, 2006 - 19 comments

From Albanian to Wayuunaiki, Arabic to Welsh

Lyrikline: A German site showcasing more than 300 international poets reading their work in 39 different languages.
posted by Iridic on Sep 8, 2006 - 7 comments

He Knew His Fanfiction Was All Right

Prepare yourselves, teenaged Trollope fans! You have just four months remaining in which to send your Barchester Towers fanfiction to the Anthony Trollope Society's annual £1000 Short Story Competion. Previous champions have been feted at luxurious club dinners by titans like Andrew Davies and P.D. James. Could you be next to join their august ranks?
posted by Iridic on Sep 7, 2006 - 7 comments

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