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Position yourself, whenever possible, at the top of a flight of stairs.

Bookish Beauty Tips from the Toast.
posted by Solon and Thanks on Nov 20, 2014 - 9 comments

For all we see as wrong, some of its appeal might be in its rightness

I've been slightly under the weather for the last week, which means, of course, soup, self-pity and comfort reads. Rather than my traditional winter-sniffles re-re-re-read of the Belgariad, I thought I'd go wandering around the historical romance category. That is: duchess porn.
At Pornokitsch, Jared Shurin expresses appreciation for "5 things in historical romance I wantonly desire to see in epic fantasy," and commenters suggest where to find them. At the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, similarly meta yet more searching questions arise. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Nov 14, 2014 - 38 comments

"Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel!"

The Chapter: A History
posted by a fair but frozen maid on Nov 1, 2014 - 3 comments

When I first came across the article, I thought, I'd like to read these.

Anthology of the Best Short Stories [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 22, 2014 - 8 comments

The truth is stranger than fiction

From behind the New Yorker's temporarily removed paywall, a postmodern murder mystery from Poland in 2007.
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 25, 2014 - 10 comments

"I was highly suspicious of this book when I first started it."

V.V. Ganeshananthan at The Margins on writing outside of what you know and the literary establishment's willingness to suspend disbelief and praise authenticity of narrative. As Gracie Jin put it, "In a society masquerading as post-racial, it is still only the white man who can speak authoritatively for every man."
posted by spamandkimchi on Sep 22, 2013 - 14 comments

Found in Translation

Though it is common to lament the shortcomings of reading an important work in any language other than the original and of the “impossibility” of translation, I am convinced that works of philosophy (or literature for that matter — are they different?) in fact gain far more than they lose in translation. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Sep 5, 2013 - 43 comments

And Your First Born Child

Dalkey Archive Press has begun the process of succession from the founder and current publisher, John O'Brien...
posted by whimsicalnymph on Dec 12, 2012 - 46 comments

"The exchanges have taken place in a time-honored arena for mudslinging in Britain, the letters page of a newspaper"

It took 15 years, but, as the Guardian reports, the feud between writers Salman Rushdie and John le Carre is at an end.
posted by subdee on Nov 14, 2012 - 37 comments

What Should Be the Function of Criticism Today?

The literary product—by which I mean assembly-line writing, in tune with sales results and committee-thinking, rather than the idiosyncratic creation of the individual genius— today is manipulated, propagandized, and hyped, and, as a result, unattractive to mass audiences, indifferent to fundamental issues of class and politics, and pretty much in its death throes. This holds true above all in America, where conglomerate publishing has reached its most advanced state, and different genres of writing are the brainchildren of marketing geniuses and corporate analysts, creating a worthless product as far as literary values are concerned. Why is this phenomenon not being scrutinized to the degree it needs to be? Why is the lack of quality not more transparent?

posted by deathpanels on Jun 5, 2012 - 41 comments

The Little Anarchist Collective That Could

George Whitman, founder of the Parisian landmark bookstore Shakespeare And Company, has died at the age of 98
posted by The Whelk on Dec 14, 2011 - 49 comments

Winner of the 2011 Giller Prize

Esi Edugyan wins the Giller Prize, the richest prize for English fiction in Canada ($50,000 to the winner). Those on the shortlist get $5,000 each.
posted by anothermug on Nov 8, 2011 - 15 comments

The Lost Yankee

Kei Igawa arrived in the US with a lot of fanfare in 2007. After failing miserably with the Yankees, he was sent to the minor leagues. Since then, he has existed in an uncomfortable limbo, not completely part of either world.
posted by reenum on Oct 5, 2011 - 33 comments

Much Randomness Ahead

Hey Oscar Wilde! — A spot to archive nerd images of interest from out of print/hard to find art books, magazines, comics and other assorted ephemera laying about as well as detours into other things found about the web. Some of the pieces from the 'Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time!!!' literary art collection (previously on MeFi) may make it on here from time to time as well.
posted by netbros on Aug 30, 2011 - 2 comments

Reading as Therapy

Why do people read fiction anyway? -to deal with personal problems Jon Baskin wrote a review of a book by Timothy Aubry titled: Reading as Therapy Oprah, Amazon, and The Rise of Therapeutic Fiction.
posted by naight on Jul 14, 2011 - 39 comments

Well fuck a book.

The Rumpus speculates on how books might be in bed. You don't fuck The Fountainhead, The Fountainhead fucks you.
posted by mippy on Feb 19, 2011 - 124 comments

A literary roundup of football/soccer keepers.

Saint Taffarel who is in goal
Like a guardian angel
Sweet like honey
Defending our goal, our hope, our happiness.
- Carlos Drummond
A literary roundup of the mysterious keeper, from Nabokov to Camus to Dante. A little more football for those of us getting the twitches.
posted by Hiker on Jul 14, 2010 - 6 comments

Kurt Vonnegut, meet Brenda Walsh.

Slaughterhouse 90210, where erudite literary quotes meet TV screencaps. [more inside]
posted by aerotive on Feb 2, 2010 - 33 comments

My pen is mightier than your pen!

The Top 10 Literary Feuds Of The Aughts, as compiled by Toronto journalist and author Shaun Smith. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on Dec 21, 2009 - 52 comments

Edit, undo me

"Meanwhile, down in Vaginaland, Mr Condom's beginning to feel a bit iffy. He's overheating. For some reason, the shagging seems to be twice as fast this evening, and he grimaces as he gets flung willy-nilly in and out of the pink tunnel. He starts getting friction burns, hanging onto Bobby's stiff penis for dear life, headbutting Georgie's cervix at 180 beats per minute. 'Help me!' he yells in the darkness, feeling himself melting."
This year's worst sex. [NSFW or post-turkey family reading] [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 25, 2009 - 44 comments

A Heartbreaking Wank of Staggering Spunkage

61 literary euphemisms for masturbation…
via the always discreeet Miss Cellania
(and yes, we've had something similar here before, but it missed this list, which is, you know, literary)

posted by wendell on Aug 27, 2009 - 110 comments

Bookworms with Ink

We've seen tattooed librarians, but so-called literary tattoos are a growing trend. See the lively LiveJournal group, or the folks over at Contrariwise. Recently, "A couple of independent editors have decided to take the trend and invert it -- to put the literary tattoos back in a book." It appears the call for submissions is still on-going.
posted by litterateur on Aug 6, 2009 - 26 comments

Study Guides, Teacher Resources

Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
posted by netbros on May 24, 2009 - 10 comments

from bleached plant matter to glowing liquid crystal

"The reason many people worry that the written form is dying, and the reason most writers consider online publication second-rate, is that no journal has yet succeeded in marrying the editorial rigors of print to the freedoms of the internet." -- The new journal Wag's Review attempts to bridge the gap. Included are an interview with David Eggers and a near 30-page treatise On Douchebags.
posted by HumanComplex on Apr 30, 2009 - 113 comments

The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.

How to raise money for the Shirley Jackson Awards? Why, a Lottery, natch. The Shirley Jackson Awards, established in 2007 to reward "outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic" is holding an online lottery beginning today and continuing through February 23 to raise funds for the program. Participants can buy $1 digital lottery tickets for any of 51 donated prizes from authors, editors, artists, and agents. Which prize will draw the most interest? Perhaps an autographed computer keyboard from Neil Gaiman? Or the chance to be Tuckerized in an upcoming work? [Tuckerization explained] Or ... star in a porn role? [more inside]
posted by taz on Feb 9, 2009 - 32 comments

Highbrow Freebie

Five Dials is a free, downloadable literary magazine published by Hamish Hamilton (UK publisher of McSweeney's) and featuring so far texts by writers and artists, old and new, including Noam Chomsky, Alain de Botton, Gustave Flaubert, Bob and Roberta Smith, Iain Sinclair, Jean Paul Sartre, Roger Deakin, Raymond Chandler and Jonathan Safran Foer.
posted by lucia__is__dada on Feb 6, 2009 - 7 comments

It's that time again.

Coming February 3, 2009.... It's time for the next big wintertime memoir scandal.... ...and Oprah is not going to be amused. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Dec 24, 2008 - 52 comments

“The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” –Ben Okri

"Political content aside, the discussion provided a lovely example of how a term from literary theory has established itself in American political discourse." via Language Log

"We may expect the following. Language will be carefully crafted. Advertisements will focus on personal narratives. The campaign will employ “attack” advertisements that emotionally sway voters. Policy will be sketchy with vague descriptions that emotionally satisfy Americans while offering scant details. The emphasis will be on creating narratives that resonate with the values, beliefs, and identities of prospective voters."
– Literary Gulag, on Lakoff, Nunberg, Westen, and the narrative of the 2008 presidential election. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Sep 9, 2008 - 26 comments

night people vs. day people

Jean Shepherd has been mentioned before but WFMU's Beware of the Blog has finally dug out an mp3 of Shepherd himself telling the story of "I, Libertine" (mp3 link) (wiki). I, Libertine was a literary hoax that began as a practical joke. Shepherd asked his listeners ("the Night People") to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn't exist. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller, proving his point that the process of choosing bestsellers was flawed.
posted by krautland on Jun 29, 2008 - 11 comments

Shakespeare and philosophy

Martha Nussbaum reviews three recent books on Shakespeare and philosophy. The essay offers an excellent analysis of love in Antony and Cleopatra and Othello, and an excellent discussion of the interaction between philosophy and literature. [more inside]
posted by painquale on May 5, 2008 - 17 comments

The new It-boy?

Who's the new darling of the literary world? Charles Bock. Although, some are asking, how the hell did a guy like him get all this high-profile coverage? [Bock previously on MeFi]
posted by mattbucher on Feb 5, 2008 - 80 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

Tokyo stories from curious outsiders

Hitotoki.org (Japanese for 'a point in time') is a "new literary site collecting stories of personal, singular experiences in Tokyo." If you've visited Tokyo, please consider sharing a part of your Tokyo experience at hitotoki.org. If you plan to visit Japan, please peruse what will be an interesting collection of personal stories of life in Tokyo.
posted by gen on May 7, 2007 - 23 comments

Graphs Maps Trees

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, Maps, Trees. A review at n+1 is here.
posted by painquale on Jan 13, 2006 - 10 comments

Plimpton death notice

The Paris Review Editor in Chief George Plimpton dead at 76.
posted by lilboo on Sep 26, 2003 - 10 comments

AfterDinner relaunches!

AfterDinner relaunches! Man, where have I been? Or did I just hit it at the right moment? This is what the web is about.
posted by rich on Apr 19, 2002 - 13 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

Feminism's Children

Feminism's Children A reaction to Naomi Wolfe's new book.....so is this really how feminists look at motherhood??
posted by bunnyfire on Nov 1, 2001 - 25 comments

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