One hundred years after Graham Greene
’s birth, the literary mosaic of books like Our Man in Havana
and Brighton Rock
is still riveting. But the author "carried anguish” with him: a moralist and, therefore, controversial, Greene’s clearly-worded works of suspenseful, or ethical ambivalence, border on a delicate balance — of both gloom and salvation. His novels are replete with a sense of foreboding
, and scrutinise self-deception, sin, failure. George Orwell sneered that Greene thinks "there is something rather distingué in being damned; Hell is a sort of high-class nightclub, entry to which is reserved for Catholics only
And what remains is also, of course, the -- de riguer
of the biographies
: caring father
, fervent brothelgoer
, helluva guy
Anyway, among the institutions celebrating Greene's centenary: the British Library
, the Barbican Centre (scroll down the page).
And the Guardian just re-printed "The funeral of Graham Greene
", reported in the Guardian, April 9 1991. (more inside, with Shirley Temple)
posted by matteo
on Oct 3, 2004 -
makes you want to pick up a great novel
and consume it in one long gulp. It’s a love letter to literature and literacy, a bibliophile’s dream film, dedicated to the joys of fiction and the passions of those who need books like they need food, water and air." (The Dallas Morning News)
posted by rushmc
on Aug 13, 2004 -
What is the current state of American poetry?
Hank Lazer: Perhaps, contrary to the laments, we are now living through a particularly rich time in American poetry—an era of radically democratized poetry...In its anarchic democratic disorganized decentralization, poetry culture has developed in a manner parallel to the computer: the decentralized PC has beaten the main-frame. No one can pretend to know what is out there, or what is next. Who are some of the most notable American poets active in the beginning of the 21st century?
posted by rushmc
on May 27, 2004 -
One of the finest poets in English, Thom Gunn, has died.
Along with Philip Larkin
and Ted Hughes
, Gunn became famous as a young poet in England
in the 1950s as part of "The Movement," writing fine poems
in rhyme and meter. But then he fell in love with an American soldier, Mike Kitay, and followed him to San Francisco, where he crafted one of the most daringly original voices in the 20th century, handling taboo subjects like LSD, orgiastic sex, and his 50-year relationship with Kitay
with the precision of a diamond cutter. Gunn lived in my neighborhood, and was a dapper, subtle, sexy and hilariously witty man until the end. Ten years ago, when I asked him what music he was listening to he replied, "Oh, Nirvana and Social Distortion. I'm a flighty teenager that way."
posted by digaman
on Apr 28, 2004 -
, New Zealand writer, is dead at 79. More information about her life, here
, and obituary notice here.
Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Fiction last year, I had hoped she might yet win. RIP.
posted by jokeefe
on Jan 29, 2004 -
The Philip K. Dick Offical Site has opened:
relevant not just because the movie Paycheck
is coming out this month (based on a short story of his), but because we live in a Dickian world. As he put it, "We live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups. I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudorealities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives. I distrust their power. It is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing."
posted by paladin
on Dec 2, 2003 -
is a fantastic, prize-winning author. His book Newjack
is, to quote Jon Krakauer, "a compelling, compassionate look at a terribly important, poorly understood aspect of American society." In it, he works undercover as a guard at Sing Sing. You can read the truncated New Yorker version
on the site. Additionally, there are many other articles
, reviews and interviews
, and a pretty interesting group of e-mails
from "officers, their families, and others affected by prison." And, just to name-drop once more, Sebastian Junger says: "Ted Conover is a first-rate reporter and more daring and imaginative than the rest of us combined." Check him out!
posted by adrober
on Oct 25, 2003 -
Interview with Bernard Lietaer.
In this engrossing interview with economist, author, professor and businessman, Bernard Lietaer, he argues that complementary currencies (time dollars, local exchanges, bartering, Ithica dollars, “fureai kippu” (caring relationship tickets)), and other non-dominant currency systems can help to enable social change in small ways. Have any of you had any experience with complementary currencies? More inside...
posted by gen
on Aug 1, 2003 -
Things That Never Were
is a new novel from an ex-weblogger. First it was Cory
and now Matthew. Who's next and are there any other webloggers turned authors? Not the other way around.
posted by john
on Jul 7, 2003 -
A sad day for lovers of good writing. In addition to Stephen Jay Gould, historian Walter Lord
has died. (NYT, blah blah) Lord's 1955 book A Night to Remember
arguably touched off the modern world's fascination with the Titanic, and his 1957 Day of Infamy
is an exciting account of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
posted by pmurray63
on May 20, 2002 -
, the practice of attacking authors who make statements against the U.S. government or engage in dissent, gets a comprehensive overview with a book in progress
. As 72 year old author Dorothy Bryant puts it
, "More than ever, we need free exchange of facts and opinions. I hope that looking back on a few cases that have had time to cool off will help us to understand the psychology of literary lynching, and to resist it — not only in others but in ourselves." But in today's world, is there any distinction between a thoughtful response and a downright ugly rejoinder anymore? (via Moby Lives
posted by ed
on Apr 2, 2002 -
As a youngen, I was very much enamored with Ken Kesey's questioning soul and his flare for the wild. His novels provided much comfort as I tried to navigate my way through those conforming years we all know as high school. May he RIP.
posted by Ms Snit
on Nov 11, 2001 -
Monday is the last day to declare your intention to write a 50,000-word novel during National Novel Writing Month
(Nov. 1-30). "Dubious fiction writers from all nations are invited to participate," says organizer Chris Baty. So far, around 3,000 writers have pledged to bring 150 million new words into the world.
posted by rcade
on Oct 28, 2001 -
Buddy Ebsen's 93, and he's written a book, and it's got hot sex
in it! Go git 'em, Uncle Jed!
posted by luser
on Jun 6, 2001 -