is a 19-year-old Harvard student whose first novel, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life
, just cracked the New York Times bestseller list. The problem? The Harvard Crimson
and SF Gate
assert that the author plagiarized
much of it from two books by Megan McCafferty
. Of course, it's not like this kind of thing hasn't happened before with young writers.
Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads
Digital images, plus the occasional sound file, for the Bodleian's massive collection. In addition, Samuel Pepys
was an enormously important collector, and the Early Modern Center at UCSB has digitized his collection
--again, with some sound files. See also the Francis J. Child Ballads
, taken from Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
. (For previous MeFi sojourns in the wonderful world of ballads, see here
, and here
The 1st Blooker Prize,
awarded to books based on blogs, goes to the Julie/Julia Project
led a remarkable life: in addition to being an internationally renowned writer
, he was also an actor
, a filmmaker
, a gay icon
, a bodybuilding exhibitionist(possibly slightly NSFW)
, and leader
of a paramilitary organization.
Yet, all of this is often overshadowed by the even more remarkable way he ended his life. [more inside]
The Literature Map.
Type in an author, and it tells you who wrote similar stuff. Includes a nifty floaty effect. And you know, I never knew that Jane Austen and Socrates had so much in common
going straight to paperback. Because
, you know, nobody reads them
What to read
. A list of lists for book recommendations, includes a compiled "Great Books" Lists
with a World Literature list
and lots more.
William Blake's Grave.
Museums and galleries only have a few weeks left to save William Blake
watercolour illustrations accompanying Robert Blair
’s poem “The Grave
”, before they are dispersed
at auction in New York on 2 May.
I first read "Ask the Dust" in 1971 when I was doing research for "Chinatown". I was concerned about the way people really sounded when they talked, and I was dissatisfied with everything else I had read that was written during the '30s. I wanted the real thing, as Henry James would say. When I picked up Fante's "Ask the Dust," I just knew that was the way those kids talked to each other—the rhythms, cadences, racism.
on adapting John Fante
's novel for the big screen
. More inside.
The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages, in association with the University of Rochester, has long made available an impressive collection of medieval English texts in electronic format. More Middle English texts are available at the University of Michigan's Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse
, UVa's Middle English Collection
, and Project Gutenberg's Middle English
Melville's Marginalia Online.
The study of Herman Melville's
creative process has long been hampered by a lack of primary sources. Melville's long lost annotations (they were written in pencil and subsequently erased) to the 1839 book The Natural History of the Sperm Whale have been restored
through high-tech innovations such as squinting and digital photography. The results are available here
in a PDF file. [more inside]
Reconstructing Aunt Sally's Secret Recipe.
Addressing the Retranslations Fallacy, a common misconception about how the Bible we read has been handed down to us. [via]
Beyond metaphysics, there is 'pataphysics
. Beyond metaphor, there is pataphor
Graphs, Maps, Trees. The Valve
is hosting a literary event for professor Franco Moretti's new book, Graphs, Maps, Trees
. Moretti aims to reinvigorate literary studies by constructing abstract models based upon quantitative history, geography, and evolutionary theory. PDFs of the original articles: Graphs
. A review at n+1 is here
Hot on the heels of the JT Leroy
and James Frey
fracases, here's a list of other literary frauds
. Writing is lying
, indeed. [via Bookslut]
The David Foster Wallace Bibliography
(in BibTex format) is ridiculously complete. The site also includes a zip file of DFW's essays and mp3s
of a round table discussion. [via]
is out to share public domain literature via podcast and soundfiles. Free. Volunteers do the reading. The catalog
has only a short list of completed works, but there are many "in progress." I was pleased to see Psmith in the City
The author Rodney Whitaker is dead
, taking along with him Trevanian, Nicholas Seare, Benat Le Cagot, and several of his other pen names. Under the name Trevanian he wrote The Eiger Sanction
(1972) (which became a Clint Eastwood movie of the same name
(1979), The Loo Sanction
(1973), The Summer of Katya
(1983), The Main
(1976), Incident at Twenty-Mile
(1998), and others. In real life, Whitaker was the Chairman of the Radio, Television, and Film Department at the University of Texas
. He was believe to be 74 years old, and died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Anthology Holy Tango of Literature: "The question of what would happen if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names is one that has been insufficiently studied in the past.
" Francis Heaney has published his book online under a Creative Commons license, along with the Holy Tango Basement Tapes
Just another blog, sure, but a good one. 3quarksdaily is a filter blog much like our very own, but with only 15 users (and an editor). As they say on their about page "On this website, my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating."
The do an admirable job.
How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later
is a speech by Philip K. Dick
which he never delivered. In it he details his theory of time and reality. A complimentary speech, which he did deliver, is If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others
. According to one account "people left the auditorium, it was later reported, looking as though they'd been hit with a hammer." Other essays by him in that vein are Man, Android and Machine
and Cosmogony and Cosmology
Here are some excerpts
from his exegesis
. Also, a collection of interviews
Gould's Book of Fish
(full contents of Chapter One) by Tasmanian author/historian/Rhodes Scholar Richard Flanagan
is a critically lauded
2002 novel that is the most interesting and accomplished work of fiction I've read in years. Set in the 19th century on a penal colony off the coast of Tasmania, the book
is narrated by William Buelow Gould, a convict, charlatan, and possible madman.
Here is an audio interview
with Flanagan; here's an audio clip
of the author reading from his book. (.ra files)
Yes, the book is a few years old, but it somehow passed under my radar; and, anyway, a good book is timeless.
(Picking up the piscine gauntlet thrown down by Plutor.)
The longlisted passages for the Bad Sex in Fiction award
are available from the BBC
. Founded by the Literary Review
of London in 1993, the award
"honors" the worst (published) sex writing (by popular authors). Will it be John Updike? Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Salman Rushdie?
Faith based prisons...
Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
"Night has fallen. He has died now.
A fly crawls over the still flesh.
Of what use is it to me that this man suffered,
If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
Love that can't be withstood,
Love that scatters fortunes,
Love like a green fern shading
The cheek of a sleeping girl.
Seamus Heaney's search
for the soul of Antigone
(more inside, with Christopher Logue)
Wha be tha blake prevy lawe
That bene wantoun too alle tha feres?
Ya damne righte!
(Obligatory secondary links)
The 'missing masterpieces
' (of literature).
"This book isn't as good as Harry Potter in MY opinion, and no one can refute me. Tastes are relative!" A review of Orwell's 1984 on Amazon, from a list compiled by Matthew Baldwin at The Morning News
with a selection of the funniest one-star reviews of books from Time's list of the 100 best novels.
Early New Zealand Books Online
Keyword searchable texts, all illustrations, and links to images of original pages. The collection currently comprises 20 books (23 volumes) including the majority of those published in the first half of the 19th century.
It is hoped to expand the collection over the next few years to cover more significant nineteenth century books
. The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the English writer Harold Pinter, “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”.
It was a dark and stormy night on some distant planet. Thog's Masterclass
collects only the finest, most well-honed clunky sentences and mixed metaphors the science fiction community produces. Eat yer heart out, Bulwer-Lytton. [via the website at the end of the universe]
Dylan Thomas reading Dylan Thomas and host of others (Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats, Auden, Hardy, and more). 11 volumes of mp3s on Salon, reached after watching a Salon premium ad. [via boingboing]
The fifty most cited books.
At the time the list was compiled in the 1980s, the most cited book in the humanities and social sciences was Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions
, followed by James Joyce's Ulysses
. Noam Chomsky makes the top 20 with two works on linguistics
. And, for those who prefer natural science, you should know the most cited scientific paper of all time is Protein Determination by Oliver H. Lowry
. Alternately, you could just skip academia and go for the top 40 most important books
according to World Literature Today, the 100 most loved
according to the BBC, or you could just decide which books matter most to you
. So what makes a book important, and which books qualify?
Scientific Sleuth Cracks Code to $54,000 Treasure
The treasure was the 12th and last set out in Treasure's Trove
, a children's book published last fall. People shared information
on many forums
. The solution
to the Beetle puzzle is in this forum. Missed out? All is not lost. Apparently, a new 14th puzzle has been announced.
Maybe we can solve it together.
science fiction for download, some you might have seen, some new, all are worth the time. If you have only a few minutes, Michael Swanick's Science Fiction Table of the Elements
features 108 short short stories. If you have a little more time, Kelly Link, called by Neil Gaiman "the best short story writer currently out there" has released her much-praised collection Stranger Things Happen
. For longer reads, Charlie Stross has made available his cyberpunk novel Accelerando
and his Lovecraftish Colder War
. The creepier Peter Watts
has posted the New York Times Notable Book Starfish
, and its sequels as well [previously]
. If you haven't had enough, you should check out the Baen Free Library
, with books by everyone from Andre Norton to Larry Niven, as well as a large amount of right-of-center combat-oriented stuff by David Weber and friends. Also, the Science Fiction Channel has made available many well-known classic short stories
as well as a lot of contemporary
Hugo and World Fantasy Award winners [previously]
. Finally, you probably already know
that Cory Doctorow has four novels
available under creative commons. Happy reading!
Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail.
Best known as the drummer for 1970s punk band The Damned, Rat Scabies grew up with a father interested in the mysteries of the French town of Rennes-le-Château
, which may or may not contain the Holy Grail and in the enigmatic priest Berenger Sauniere
. Conspiracy theories surrounding the town first popped up in the 1970s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail
and gained a certain amount of infamy in recent years from The DaVinci Code
Upon striking up a friendship with his neighbor, journalist Christopher Dawes, Scabies discovered common interests in conspiracy theories and all things paranormal and a shared hatred of the DaVinci Code
. Now the pair wrote a book about their alcohol-sodden quest for the Holy Grail that asks the question: What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?
"You see, first of all, to be a Jewish writer
is a heavy obligation. My close family was killed. My natural environment, my childhood, my sweetest memories were killed
. And so it’s a kind of obligation
that I feel; I’m dealing with a civilization that has been killed. How to represent it in the most honorable way–not to equalize it, not to exaggerate, but to find the right proportion to represent it
, in human terms."
Also: see this interview
with Appelfeld by Philip Roth (NYT); scroll a third of the way down on this page
for a stunning interview from Ha'aretz where Appelfeld talks about the importance of Israel; see this extensive interview from Yad Vashem ( pdf
, Google HTML
); go here for a RealAudio interview with Appelfeld
, as well as for excerpts
of his many books
Our story begins with a flood
and the theme continues throughout
. On this wet, wet planet of beings who depend on water for survival, deluge is an undeniably universal
experience. With the help of a much-maligned organization, the literature grows
Augusten Burroughs sued for defamation.
The family featured in Burroughs'
memoir Running With Scissors
claims the author cruelly twisted their kindness into abuse to make a quick buck. The contested book is currently being made into a film
, with the always entertaining Brian Cox playing the sketchy psychiatrist who adopts the adolescent Burroughs, Joseph Fiennes as the pedophile, Alec Baldwin as the father, and Annette Benning as the bipolar mother. Burroughs has been a long-time contributor to Salon
. [This is old news (July 31st) that has only just been widely circulated in the past week.]
a short story by David Langford.
Flaubert on Structural Unity.
"I’ve just read 'Pickwick' by Dickens. Do you know it? Some bits are magnificent; but what a defective structure! All English writers are like that. Walter Scott apart, they lack composition. This is intolerable for us Latins". Extracts from the letters of Flaubert (via the very awesome book coolie)
DO NOT READ ANYONE LOOKING FORWARD....! BIG SPOILER!
So reads every post on a Harry Potter forum, where spoiler-vandals have turned after getting locked out of the official forum
. I'm afraid to even link you directly, with warnings, to the spoiler -- you'll have to click through. Meanwhile, the news reports leak
The Invisible Library
is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound.
The Aesthetics of Resistance.
The first part of Peter Weiss
's 3-volume novel Die Ästhetik des Widerstands
(1975-81) has, after many delays, finally been published
in a Joachim Neugroschel’s English translation: a major, though largely-unheralded literary event. The book ‘stands as the most significant German novel published after The Tin Drum.’ [more inside]
Reason #48713 for teaching the Bible in schools:
"The classics of British and American literature are filled with biblical allusions that would be lost on a reader without basic knowledge of the Bible"
All should see him before the Cholera arrives ! Beautiful Moon, with thy silvery light,
Thou seemest most charming to my sight;
As I gaze upon thee in the sky so high,
A tear of joy does moisten mine eye. William Topaz McGonagall
, the worlds greatest poet (again).