"Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus -- of Nazareth?..." Pontius Pilate
, is the only historical figure named in
the Nicene Creed
-- Coptic saint
or eternally damned
, his role in the greatest story ever told
has been debated by many of history's greatest minds: St Augustine
, Dante Alighieri
, John Ruskin
, Mikhail Bulgakov
, Monty Python
. Unfortunately, there is very little historical evidence
about him. His role in the death
of a certain
healer and apocalyptic
preacher is still being debated today
and historians alike
. He is also, of course, the main character of The Procurator
, the classic short story (complete text in main link) by Anatole France
. (France's magnificent story has lately been tragically neglected by publishers, even if the author was one of his era's most acclaimed writers in the world -- he won the Nobel Prize in 1921 over Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, and Proust, and when he died in 1924, hundreds of thousands of people followed his funeral procession
through Paris). These last 2,000 years of fascination with Pilatus
can be explained, some argue... (more inside, for those unwilling to wash their hands of this post)
posted by matteo
on Jun 24, 2004 -
In the newest issue of Bookforum
, critic Sven Birkerts ruminates on what he considers to be the regrettable rise of the snarky book review, taking as his starting example Dale Peck's hatchet job on Rick Moody, written in 2002. "Psychologically [the literary] landscape [is one that is] subtly demoralized by the slash-and-burn of bottom-line economics; the modernist/humanist assumption of art and social criticism marching forward, leading the way, has not recovered from the wholesale flight of academia into theory; the publishing world remains tyrannized in acquisition, marketing, and sales by the mentality of the blockbuster; the confident authority of print journalism has been challenged by the proliferation of online alternatives. [...] All of this leads, and not all that circuitously, to the question of snark, the spirit of negativity, the personal animus pushing ahead of the intellectual or critical agenda. Snark is, I believe, prompted by the terrible vacuum feeling of not mattering, not connecting, not being heard; it is fueled by rage at the same."
posted by Prospero
on Apr 4, 2004 -
Perversion for Profit linking pornography to the Communism
Citizens for Decent Literature: Sex Bad, violence Good!
I just thought this would be cool to revisit in light of the Mel Gibson, Orson Scott Card Debates.
Intersting what They shppw as to show you what YOU
should not be looking at.
Maybe (NSFW, maybe just NSF-Sanity)
posted by Elim
on Feb 26, 2004 -
Violet Books catalogs Antiquarian Supernatural Literature
, including literary ghost stories, Victorian science fiction, Yellow Nineties Decadence, H. Rider Haggard & haggardesque "Lost Race" novels
, Marie Corelli & other occult romancers, Rafael Sabatini & Jeffery Farnol & all vintage swashbuckling historical romances, Yukon adventures, jungle tales, Sax Rohmer & all weird thrillers
, classic detectives
, vintage children's & young adult fantasies & series books
, vintage westerns
, and all things old, fictional, adventurous, and weird. Make sure to check for the titles that have dustjacket scans.
posted by Pinwheel
on Dec 15, 2003 -
The Dance of Death.
Die Totentanz: A German-language site
spotlighting, for example, the dance of death in literature
, graphic art
. For those, like me, whose German is not so good, this
page offers an English-language history of the phenomenon, and the Catholic Encyclopedia has an article
too. See also Holbein
's Dance-of-Death; Lübeck
's Dance-of-Death; and umm, this
posted by misteraitch
on Jul 3, 2003 -
An Exercise in Identity
A group of writers seeks to collaborate under a single pseudonym, not for fear of scorn or ridicule, but presumably because they think it makes for better business. Do readers have a right to know who a work's author really is, or can identity just be another aspect of the fictional work? (via Kuro5hin queue)
posted by Erasmus
on Dec 19, 2002 -
Good Riddance to Oprah's Book Club, and Her Literary Amateurism
Norah Vincent says Oprah's opinion in matters of literary taste is amateurish to say the least and she presumed where she should not have, and wouldn't want her sticker on his/hers book either.
Just for fun adds People who dislike Oprah's Book Club dislike it for the same reason that they dislike Barnes & Noble. The fact that the two do a brisk business isn't accidental, and the two represent the same pernicious homogenization of American life that makes existential despair all but unavoidable.
posted by Blake
on Apr 12, 2002 -
Alexandre Dumas on film
This AP/CNN article says Dumas’ books make good movies, but aren’t being read as much as they used to be. Do the changes the movies make improve the books, or would more faithful adaptations be better?
posted by kirkaracha
on Feb 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 -
Tales for the L33+.
Because the l33+ need to understand classic literature, too.
Chris has done several other Flash movies
, and you can download Tales for the L33+ from the listings page as a ZIP file, if you decide you like it and want to watch it again and again while saving his site from the same bandwidth-sucking fate as that one song with the squirrel and the weeeeeeeeee!
and the strife and the Ron Jeremy and all that.
posted by jason
on Aug 21, 2001 -
Pete's Compendium of Knowledge "It was then that a large number of ducks (each with their own special little bar-coded death-ray machine) swarmed the supermarket, their eyes burning with the fury of sweet, sweet love. They knocked over the Post Toasties display, sending fruit-filled pastry wannabes flying everywhere. The TV newscaster commenting on the event blew chunks of roast beef around with an old run-down snowblower. Go figure."
from Attack of Torvas the Terrible.
This site has lots of fun literary toys to play with. The above quote comes from a collaborative story writer in which anyone can contribute a few words at a time.
posted by lagado
on Aug 8, 2000 -
Arousers of Trousers ltd.
is the strangest, most entertaining collection of writings and oddities i've seen yet. Stuart is bizarre yet absolutely hilarious. You have to hunt for the links a bit, but that's part of its charm. Even better reading than Greg's
site. And 1000 blank white cards
seems like a great instant source of amusement.
posted by syn
on Jul 12, 2000 -
i would have read more in high school...
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Nurse Ratched: I destroy my patients psychologically so I can have power and control.
Randall P. McMurphy: But freedom and happiness are good things.
Nurse Ratched: Lobotomy time for you, buster.
(McMurphy DIES but inspires HOPE so OTHERS may LIVE.)
posted by bluishorange
on Feb 23, 2000 -
I was looking through my old posts, and found a mention of mp3lit.com
from several months back (yeah, yeah, I know, I'm going to the well for new material...). It's still just spoken word mp3s for download, but the quantity and quality seems to have gone up considerably. There's a great fiction piece by Parker Posey
(mmmm...Parrrkerrr Pooooseeeey), one of my favorite musicians Nick Cave
talking about religion, Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo
doing some self-help stuff, Bill Bradley
talking about affirmative action, and hey look! Douglas Coupland is doing a live event next Friday
posted by mathowie
on Jan 21, 2000 -
Wow, a killer new site: mp3lit.com
. Listen to books in mp3 format. Wouldn't it be great if this was Shoutcasted
and a global wireless broadband network was in place so you could hear it in your car or walking around? Another cool thing would be if they hooked up with The Gutenburg Project
and had audio versions of all those free texts.
posted by mathowie
on Sep 21, 1999 -