Wittgenstein, in a letter to Norman Malcolm, wrote: "...A couple of years ago I read with great pleasure a detective story called Rendezvous With Fear by a man Norbert Davis. I enjoyed it so much that I gave it not only to Smythies but also to Moore to read and both shared my high opinion of it. For, though, as you know, I’ve read hundreds of stories that amused me and that I liked reading, I think I’ve only read two perhaps that I’d call good stuff, and Davis’s is one of them... It may sound crazy, but when I recently re-read the story I liked it again so much that I thought I’d really like to write to the author and thank him. If this is nuts don’t be surprised, for so am I..."
Though it is discussed by both Ray Monk, in his biography
of Wittgenstein, and Edmonds and Eidenow, in their popular book
about Wittgenstein's philosophical clash with Popper (and an aging Russell), it is always interesting to read about this strange man's love of detective fiction. Though I don't necessarily agree with the linked author's conclusions, it makes for a good read.
posted by voltairemodern
on Jun 19, 2006 -
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
posted by JanetLand
on Mar 24, 2006 -
A young man comes to the city. He has no name, no home, no work: he has come to the city to write. He writes. Or, more exactly, he does not write. He starves to the point of death.
The city is Christiania (Oslo); the year is 1890. The young man wanders through the streets: the city is a labyrinth of hunger, and all his days are the same. He writes unsolicited articles for a local paper. He worries about his rent, his disintegrating clothes, the difficulty of finding his next meal. He suffers. He nearly goes mad. He is never more than one step from collapse.
Still, he writes
In From the Cold
: The Return of Knut Hamsun
posted by matteo
on Dec 19, 2005 -
' "Predictive programming
works by means of the propagation of the illusion of an infallibly accurate vision of how the world is going to look in the future". Through the circulation of science "fiction" literature, the ignorant masses are provided with semiotic intimations of coming events. Within such literary works are narrative paradigms that are politically and socially expedient to the power elite. Thus, when the future unfolds as planned, it assumes the paradigmatic character of the "fiction" that foretold it...........' The Illuminati
: an all encompassing conspiracy stranger than any fiction
posted by 0bvious
on Dec 11, 2005 -
The Forbes Fictional 15
-- it is list season, after all--the usual suspects, and some new entries. Daddy Warbucks (Net Worth: $27.3 billion, attended SUNY Stony Brook) gets this: Iraqi conflict has been kind to Warbucks; recipient of multiple defense contracts; cat-food holdings also up.
posted by amberglow
on Dec 5, 2005 -
"I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world." Bridge of Birds
by Barry Hughart won the World Fantasy Award in 1985. Set in a China that never was, it tells the tale of Master Li Kao, who has a slight flaw in his character, and Number Ten Ox as they uncover the mysteries of a cursed town, a terrible duke, and a beautiful woman. Originally intended to be the first in a series of seven, Bridge of Birds
spawned only two sequels. The reclusive author explains some of his influences and poor luck here
. Also, for those of you familiar with the story, the original draft of Bridge of Birds
) is available online!
posted by robocop is bleeding
on Nov 18, 2005 -
Acid Round the Clock
: stories. No, not stories about acid. (Or are they?)
"This isn't my fucking persona," he said, louder, more forcefully, turning over more tables as he headed for the door.
But instead of using the door when he got there, he jumped through the plate glass front window beside it, and, while he was still in midair, continued intoning, even louder, "And THIS isn't my fucking persona EITHER!"
posted by Drexen
on Nov 4, 2005 -
The Use of Computers in Movies. High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA, or some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand graphical interfaces. Those that don't, have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.
posted by KevinSkomsvold
on Oct 23, 2005 -
"The year is 2010
and the European Union has rejected Turkey. Fascist governments have come to power in Germany, Austria and France and are inciting violence against resident Turks and Muslims. A vengeful Turkey joins forces with Russia and declares war against the EU. Turkish commandos besiege Berlin, obliterate Europe and take control of the Continent.
"Some critics will be quick to dismiss 'The Third World War,' a new futuristic novel by a 30-year-old Turkish writer, Burak Turna
, as the wild imaginings of a conspiracy theorist and literary shock jock - and in many ways it is."
Turna is also the author of Metal Storm
, which revolves around a US invasion of Turkey. Both books have been runaway best-sellers.
posted by brundlefly
on Oct 12, 2005 -
Tales From the Vault. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is proud to present its Canadian pulp art and fiction collection, straight from the special collections vault. The collection featured in this virtual exhibit, Tales from the Vault!: Canadian Pulp Fiction, 1940-1952, is one of the very few known pulp magazine holdings in Canada, and is available for consultation at LAC.
Includes a cover gallery and complete magazines.
posted by srboisvert
on Sep 26, 2005 -
: Russell Banks
, Susan Orlean
, Tibor Fischer
, Azar Nafisi
Writing on social justice
: Susan Power
on Bosnia. Barbara Erenreich
on poverty. |
, Emma Goldman
Hundreds of Reviews
. Graphic Art, Poetry, Music, and much more from identity theory
, one of the best literary websites I've encountered, thanks to an incredulity-inducing amount of work by what seem to be volunteers. Wow. (Specific interviews already MeFid in these threads.)
posted by louigi
on Jun 1, 2005 -
is a site which publishes short stories (under 1000 words). While the format (3 columns, not evenly filled) is a little annoying, the concept is interesting. My favorite story so far is 'A leaf falls', in the first column scroll halfway down the page. The site is maintained by a writer/ artist/musician, whose eventual aim is to print the stories on coffee mugs. Morning reading anyone?
posted by darsh
on Feb 10, 2005 -
"In a text with only six favorable outcomes amid some thirty-eight possible conclusions, indeed the reader seems intensely vulnerable – even doomed perhaps – if he were to travel only a single path. The odds, quite simply, are against him."
to investigate the unforgiving plot of The Third Planet from Altair
, by Edward Packard.
for the definitive database of information about Choose Your Own Adventure
to write your own CYOA
posted by Hildago
on Jan 2, 2005 -
Don't believe the hype
Debunking the so-called genius of Prince, The Sopranos and 'Blade Runner'. Amusingly harsh yet convincing cases all round. Can I add 'Goodfellas' to the list? Never has so much been written about a film so lacking. I prefered 'Casino'.
posted by feelinglistless
on Dec 4, 2004 -
Who Wears Short Shorts? Micro Stories and MFA Disgust Being a writer in today's lovely world of fiction and creative nonfiction is like reliving 70's TV hell, where that Nair commercial jingle has been conveniently rewritten into "Who writes short shorts?" Poetic vision rarely shows up. After all, how can you express vision in 100 words? As for plot and character development, give those antiquated goods to Goodwill. All that matters with short shorts is a competent writing style and a desire for lots of publication credits.
posted by ColdChef
on Nov 22, 2004 -
Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back The tattoo is of a great, blue mushroom cloud, and in the cloud, etched ghost-like, is the face of our daughter, Rae. Her lips are drawn tight, eyes are closed and there are stitches deeply pulled to simulate the lashes. When I move fast and hard they rip slightly and Rae cries bloody tears.
That’s one reason for the martial arts. The hard practice of them helps me to tear the stitches so my daughter can cry. Tears are the only thing I can give her.
East Texas writer Joe R Lansdale
has written horror
, science fiction, fantasy
, westerns, "men's adventure
," and just about every other kind of writing you can think of
. On his website (see main link)
Lansdale makes a story available for free
every week to his readers.
Lansdale also wrote a novella featuring an aging Elvis Presley who teams up with a delusional, African American John F. Kennedy to battle an ancient Egyptian mummy with a predilection for anal soul-rape. It made it to the big screen, too: Bubba Ho-Tep. With Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Nov 5, 2004 -
is a website devoted to the writer Henry James
(1843-1916). It comprises electronic editions
of a selection of James’s works and also
* a textual note on the source and any amendments
required during editing
* annotations of the text explaining such things as references to real persons and places, references to other fiction by James, or in in his notebboks
* a summary and a detailed (chapter by chapter) synopsis of the plot, so you can easily find passages you remember, by what happens
* a bibliography including original publications, subsequent reprints
Interestingly enough, lately more than a few writers seem to have a bit of James-mania
: in June, Colm Tóibín
published "The Master
", a portrait of James recovering from his humiliating failure as a playwright. Now comes "Author, Author
", by David Lodge
, which is about James' humiliating failure as a playwright as well. These in turn arrive on the heels of Emma Tennant
", a novel about James' near-romance with Constance
, and Alan Hollinghurst
's "The Line of Beauty
", a BookerPrize-winning
novel in which James plays an important off-the-stage role.
posted by matteo
on Nov 1, 2004 -
Nick Nolte's (baffling) blog. Then I saw a middle-aged woman wearing a black t-shirt that had the word "Ferrari" printed on it. Maybe it was Ron's influence, but I found the woman mesmerizing and depressing but otherwise encouraging about the direction of human events. What a strange shirt, diary. Worn without irony or malice. Anyway, Manolo won't go clean out the bird cage, so later days.
's blog is not as cute as Melanie Griffith
posted by matteo
on Oct 15, 2004 -
Captain pInluH and Commander Khrell are stuck in Portland
, the sneaky Ferengi having sold them
a 'faulty temporal device.' Life is hard
on Earth, it seems. Did anyone get a set list
? No matter. It's my beleif that we will not see these warriors astride golf carts
. Look out, number 1: perhaps they are looking to pull a Titor on your burgeoning data empire!
posted by mwhybark
on Oct 1, 2004 -
The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
More than two decades after the last chapter, Stephen R. Donaldson is set to release the first of four novels in "The Final Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant." Bonus: a "trailer" of sorts (left side of page, midpoint). Hellfire & White Gold!
posted by davidmsc
on Sep 12, 2004 -