1578 posts tagged with literature.
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Compra Original

The Book Pirates of Peru. A slideshow in which Peruvian author Daniel Alarcón describes the vibrant literary scene in his home country, where the informal publishing industry is the same size as its legitimate counterpart. There's no library system to speak of, the National Library's acquisitions budget is nil, but a culture of reading and writing is booming, with book sales and attendance at literary festivals up, up, up.
posted by WPW on Jan 18, 2010 - 16 comments

JSBlog

JSblog: on varied topics inspired by working in a secondhand bookshop.
posted by brundlefly on Dec 29, 2009 - 9 comments

Mr. Kramer's Opus

From a simple insight, it has grown to some 4,000 pages. ... Whatever it is (he grudgingly calls it a novel, for legal reasons), [Larry Kramer] believes it to be an entirely true work. Certainly it’s epic. From primordial Florida swamps to the homophilic colony at Jamestown to Lincoln’s male love and the “holocaust” of AIDS, he reframes the country as a gay creation, culminating with the advent of modern antiviral drugs: “the single greatest achievement that gay people have accomplished in history.” (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 28, 2009 - 127 comments

I almost despair of putting it in a comprehensible form.

One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick Inspired by Zak Smith's (previously) Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity's Rainbow, self-taught artist Matt Kish is posting One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick. Some favourites: 8, 40, 48, 54, 66, 74, and 85. While he's only through about 100 of the Signet Edition's 552 pages, you can follow along on the artist's blog.
posted by synecdoche on Dec 22, 2009 - 29 comments

Donald Barthelme’s Syllabus

Donald Barthelme’s Syllabus: I was given secondhand a list of eighty-one books, the recommendations of Donald Barthelme to his students. Barthelme’s only guidance ... was to attack the books “in no particular order, just read them.” Two of the books, Knut Hamsun’s Hunger and Flaubert’s Letters (numbers 15, 40), were written in the twentieth century, most in the past thirty years. And all have that dizzying sense of otherness and surprise common to great books, an affluence of vitality. There’s not a dull read in the group. [more inside]
posted by geoff. on Dec 22, 2009 - 51 comments

Milorad Pavic, RIP

Milorad Pavic, 1929-2009
posted by OmieWise on Dec 20, 2009 - 82 comments

Henry Miller's Watercolors

Henry Miller had always loved art. He first began painting after seeing some Turner prints in a Brooklyn department-store window. There was only one minor drawback: he couldn’t draw. But his best friend, Emil Schnellock, could, and Miller became his disciple. It wasn’t long before he realized that what he lacked in draftsmanship, he made up for in color and composition sense. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 8, 2009 - 9 comments

The Ghost of Dickens' Christmas Past

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been reprinted, abridged, disected, redrawn and re-told on film numerous times, but the original 66 page manuscript has rarely been seen by the public. The manuscript was obtained by The Morgan Library & Museum during the 1890s, where it is currently on display. If you can't make it to New York this time of year, you can take a close look at 4 heavily edited pages and attempt to decipher Dickens' original writing, thanks to The New York Times.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 1, 2009 - 14 comments

your favorite literary writer sucks

This is what the cultural elite wants us to believe: if our writers don't make sense, or bore us to tears, that can only mean that we aren't worthy of them. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Nov 26, 2009 - 143 comments

Tomes of ancient lore

Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski on The Books That Founded D&D. Some disagreement.
posted by Artw on Nov 24, 2009 - 109 comments

Cormac McCarthy on The Road, fatherly love, the end of the world and lots of other things

In a soft voice, chuckling frequently and gazing intently with gray-green eyes, Mr. McCarthy talked about books vs. films, the apocalypse, fathers and sons, past and future projects, how he writes—and God. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 20, 2009 - 47 comments

In Slightly Warmer Blood.

In Cold Blood, 50 Years On : The Guardian takes a look at Holcomb, Kansas 50 years (to the day) after the crimes depicted in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Nov 16, 2009 - 10 comments

Writers on writing

In How to Write a Great Novel authors such as Edwidge Danticat, Hilary Mantel, Orhan Pamuk, Junot Díaz and Margaret Atwood speak about their writing process. If you want your thoughts on writing in a longer format, you could do a lot worse than The New York Times' Writers on Writing series, which features short essays by, for example, Kurt Vonnegut, Saul Bellow, Louise Erdrich and Annie Proulx. Should you thirst for meditations longer yet, Barbara Demarco-Barrett has on her Writers on Writing radio show interviewed a boatload of authors and it is available as a podcast [iTunes link]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 11, 2009 - 22 comments

Novel Chess

Reading to the Endgame: Algorithmic translation of classic nineteenth century novels into chessboard slugfests. Select the opponents from a list of fifty-five novels in five languages, and watch each text maneuver across the battlefield.
posted by carsonb on Nov 7, 2009 - 16 comments

Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time!!!

Hey Oscar Wilde! It's Clobberin' Time!!! is a blog featuring gobs of drawings by comic book artists of their favorite literary authors or characters. [via] [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Nov 6, 2009 - 26 comments

Enheduanna, the first poet we know by name

Enheduanna was a priestess and poet in the city of Ur in the 23rd century BC and supposedly the daughter of Sargon the Great of Akkad. She is the first author known by name. Here are a number of her poems in English translation, The Exaltation of Inana, Inana and Ebih, A Hymn to Inana, The Temple Hymns and A Balbale to Nanna. Here are two alternate translations of The Exaltation of Inana, one by James D. Pritchard and an English rendering of Dr. Annette Zgoll's German translation. If you want to learn more, go to The En-hedu-Ana Research Pages.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 5, 2009 - 27 comments

The crying of x^2 + xy + y^2 = 49

"Pynchon, postmodern author, is commonly said to have a non-linear narrative style. No one seems to have taken seriously the possibility, to be explored in this essay, that his narrative style might in fact be quadratic." Number theorist Michael Harris on Pynchon and conic sections.
posted by escabeche on Oct 25, 2009 - 60 comments

Street Lit

"It's urban, it's real, but is this literature? Controversy rages over a new genre whose sales are headed off the charts"
[more inside] posted by trojanhorse on Oct 25, 2009 - 157 comments

Noble and magnificent creatures of the animal kingdom... humiliated again for our amusement. Yay!

The New Yorker's "Critterati" contest invites you to "take a picture of your pet—dog, cat, ferret, iguana, or any other nonhuman member of the animal kingdom—dressed as a character from literature, and upload it to newyorker.com by October 25th." Gallery | About | Rules | Enter. [more inside]
posted by taz on Oct 22, 2009 - 42 comments

Art by Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray is best known as a novelist but his illustrations of his own books have long fascinated and delighted. Here you can see hundreds of artworks by Alasdair Gray, including some book illustrations, from 1950 through 2009. Here are a few of his works that I like: unfinished Scottish Society of Playwrights poster, Nina Watching the Simpsons, Erics Watching Television, Ice Age and Babylonian Science, theatre poster for A Clockwork Orange and the Scots Hippo series. Also on the website there are a lot of articles about and by Alasdair Gray reposted from various publications. And finally, here's a podcast of a talk Alasdair Gray gave called The First Pictures I Enjoyed.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 20, 2009 - 18 comments

Two Chinese Brothers

"This is a novel born out of the intersection of two eras. The first is a story of the Cultural Revolution, a time of fanaticism, repressed instincts, and tragic fates, similar to the European Middle Ages. The second is a story of today, a time of subverted ethics, fickle sensuality, and every kind of phenomena, even more like the Europe of today. A westerner would have to live four hundred years to experience the vast differences of the two eras, but a Chinese would only need forty years for the experience." Yu Hua's Brothers, a sprawling, foul-mouthed, comic-historical epic, and the best-selling novel in China's history, is available in English. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Oct 18, 2009 - 25 comments

Hermann the German

Fans of Tacitus's Germania, meet Hermann.
posted by oldleada on Oct 10, 2009 - 11 comments

Herta Müller is the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Literature

This year's Nobel Laureate in Literature is Romanian born author Herta Müller, who writes in German, as predicted yesterday by M. A. Orthofer of The Complete Review and Literary Saloon. Here's an interview with Herta Müller and a short bio.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 8, 2009 - 38 comments

Brindin Press, poetry translations

Brindin Press has lots of poetry translations into English online, concentrating on French, German, Italian and Spanish, though more than 40 other languages are represented as well. A boatload of translators is represented, from those toiling in obscurity to big literary names (e.g. there are translations of Catullus poems by Ben Jonson, Jonathan Swift, Louis Zukofsky, Aubrey Beardsley and Thomas Hardy). There is also a section of quirky poems. Finally, here's a rendition of Goethe's Der Erlkönig that substitutes the elfish king with a dalek.
posted by Kattullus on Sep 27, 2009 - 4 comments

More Web Magazines

The New York Review of Ideas is a web magazine reporting about New York commerce, literature and politics. The Manzine is actually £2 for the print version, but some of the its best is also online.
posted by netbros on Sep 25, 2009 - 4 comments

Ivana, the "Croatian Tolkien"

Fairy-tale author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874-1938) has been called the "Croatian Anderson", or more recently the "Croatian Tolkien", and twice nominated for a Nobel, in the 1930s, before she committed suicide. Her most famous fairy-tale collection, Croatian Tales of Long Ago (1916), was recently adapted as a flash animation, some of which can be viewed online (flash, pop-ups) in an award-winning site. The original book in English translation (1923) at Internet Archive includes some cool artwork.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 25, 2009 - 9 comments

Shakespeare in music

Amazing to see how differently Shakespeare's work has been dealt with in music: there is Jerry Lee Lewis doing a blues on Othello. David Gilmour, former Pink Floyd lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, turned Sonnet 18 into a touchingly beautiful ballad. The Metal Shakespeare Company wrote a heavy metal song about Hamlet (III/1), "To bleed or not to bleed". And yes, there is Shakespeare rap, too: William Shatner (the very same!) raps about Caesar and British rapper Akala thinks he is a reincarnation of the bard. Last but not least, the Beatles tried their luck at Shakespeare, too (no music this time): they did a skit on the famous Pyramus and Thisbe scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream (very rare footage!).
posted by Matthias Rascher on Sep 22, 2009 - 37 comments

Novel Graphics

"A few months ago, I got an email from Paul Buckley, the wonderful art director at Penguin Classics, who asked if I wanted to illustrate a book cover for him..." Illustrator Michael Cho on designing a cover for Don Delillo's White Noise as part of the Penguin Graphic Classics series, in which prominent comic artists and illustrators create covers for literary classics. All the covers can be found in this flickr set, including Daniel Clowes’s Frankenstein, Candide illustrated by Chris Ware, and Frank Miller's (kind of disappointing) cover for Gravity's Rainbow.
posted by dersins on Sep 21, 2009 - 23 comments

Big things have small beginnings

Charlotte and Branwell Brontë wrote many of their stories of Angria on tiny sheets of paper in nearly microscopic handwriting. This particular example consists of four sheets of notepaper folded into sixteen pages. The individual sheets are approximately 4 ½ inches long and 3 5/8 inches wide, and the entire text contains about nineteen thousand words.
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 18, 2009 - 20 comments

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien
posted by nthdegx on Sep 16, 2009 - 24 comments

At the very edge

Island of Sorrows. On the far western tip of continental Europe lie The Blasket Islands, picturesque in the sunlight. Great Blasket produced a great wealth (scroll down) of oral and written folk history from personages such as Peig Sayers (photo); and Tomas O'Crohan and Maurice O'Sullivan.
Here's a brief , more recent of the Island and a bibliography of Blasket Literature.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 31, 2009 - 9 comments

Knut Hamsun.

Street Time for Hamsun. This month marks 150 years since the birth of the Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, Nobel laureate in 1920. As well as the opening of a new centre dedicated to the man and his work, a whole range of events have been held in relation to this anniversary. It has also been the occasion for academic conferences, commemorative coins, tourism campaigns, and stamps. A writer of brilliance; a deeply problematic legacy. Previously on mefi.
posted by hydatius on Aug 27, 2009 - 24 comments

Thousands of poems by women writers of the British Isles in the Romantic era

British Women Romantic Poets Project is a collection of poetry written by women from the British Isles between 1789 and 1832. Over a hundred female poets are represented. Women rarely feature in literary histories of the Romantic period but there is treasure if you search (some poems are, frankly, terrible). A few places to start are Charlotte Turner Smith's Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems, Christian Ross Milne's Simple Poems on Simple Subjects and Mary Robinson's sonnet cycle Sappho and Phaon. The oddest works to modern readers may be Elizabeth Hitchener's Enigmas, Historical and Geographical and Marianne Curties' Classical Pastime, which are collections of verse riddles (the answers are at the end of the text).
posted by Kattullus on Aug 26, 2009 - 5 comments

The Immaculate Tirant

"God save me!" quoth the priest, with a loud voice, "is Tirante the White there? Give me him here, neighbour; for I make account I have found in him a treasure of delight, and a mine of entertainment. Here we have Don Kyrieleison of Montalvan, a valorous knight, and his brother Thomas of Montalvan, and the knight Fonseca, and the combat in which the valiant Tirante fought with the mastiff, and the smart conceits of the damsel Plazerdemivida, with the amours and artifices of the widow Reposada; and madam the empress in love with her squire Hypolito. Verily, gossip, in its way, it is the best book in the world..."
-Don Quixote de la Mancha, Part I, Chapter 6 [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Aug 26, 2009 - 11 comments

A conspiracy of theorists

Several Twitter-based games were launched during the world's first Literary Twestival: Flash Fiction, Collective Nouns, Pass the Plot, and Project Twutenberg (via).
posted by Mr. Palomar on Aug 21, 2009 - 20 comments

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Fancy a coffee with Dominic West? Rather tasty British actors in slightly ridiculous soft focus sell instant coffee, using sexy literature. [more inside]
posted by tiny crocodile on Aug 14, 2009 - 58 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

In writing this book my intention was to present, in the form of an interesting story, a faithful picture of working-class life...

In August 1910, an Irish sign-painter and decorator named Robert Noonan left the town of Hastings on the south coast of England, and made his way north and west towards Liverpool, with the hope of emigrating to Canada. Already sick with tuberculosis, his condition worsened once he reached the city, and he was to die there in a workhouse hospital ward, in February 1911. He had, however, left in the care of his daughter Kathleen a package that was to change the political landscape of twentieth-century Britain. [more inside]
posted by hydatius on Aug 6, 2009 - 12 comments

Judith Thurman and Her Wild Women

In April of 1932, an unlikely literary débutante published her first book. This is how The New Yorker's Judith Thurman begins the tale of one Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the enduring Little House series. Those who have read the series may enjoy this glimpse into the story behind these stories, shedding some light on the lives of Laura and her daughter beyond the place where Wilder's books ended.
posted by sarabeth on Aug 4, 2009 - 33 comments

Katie is a vampire. And?

Janet Reid is a literary agent who helps aspiring fiction writers pitch their work in a public forum. Her feedback can be kind of brutal, but there are a few winning queries in there and it illuminates a part of the writing process that we civilians don't often get to see.
posted by ubermuffin on Jul 31, 2009 - 38 comments

Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry

Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry. A feature-length documentary focusing on Malcolm Lowry, author of the novel Under the Volcano. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jul 27, 2009 - 17 comments

Forgotten Bookmarks

Forgotten Bookmarks. "I work at a used and rare bookstore, and I buy books from people every day. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books. "
posted by milquetoast on Jul 25, 2009 - 48 comments

Clerihews

Sir Humphry Davy
Was not fond of gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

This is the first example of the form that came to be known as the clerihew. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 24, 2009 - 66 comments

Lame and trite and read all over

Fired from The Canon. Classics that maybe aren't so classic. (kottke via secondpass)
posted by littlerobothead on Jul 21, 2009 - 211 comments

Historian of a rich and terrible past

Louis Crompton, the author of Homosexuality and Civilization and Byron and Greek Love, has died. [more inside]
posted by dickymilk on Jul 20, 2009 - 15 comments

Chapter a Day.

There's just something about being read to out loud, even if it's over the radio. Wisconsin Public Radio presents Chapter a Day, in which listeners are treated to daily doses of literature (both fiction and non-fiction). The program presents one book at a time, giving listeners the chance to follow stories from beginning to end over a period of weeks.
posted by sarabeth on Jul 19, 2009 - 25 comments

wetness ... pours onto my paper out of my pen

Suheir Hammad, a Palestinian-American poet and activist now based in New York, writes about being a Muslim immigrant and also a woman challenging conventions. Spotted by Russell Simmons for Def Poetry Jam, she has performed pieces about love in the time of war, exoticising beauty, and a touching ode to her father, among many others. Suheir has just produced and released her first feature film Salt of This Sea, up for the Cannes Films Festival and possibly an Oscar, and recently performed in Ramallah for the 2009 Palestinian Festival of Literature.
posted by divabat on Jul 7, 2009 - 5 comments

Naked Lunch turns 50

Naked Lunch, the infamous novel by American writer William S. Burroughs and the subject of the final literary obscenity trial in the United States, turns 50 this year. To celebrate the anniversary, the first collection of critical essays devoted to the novel will be published this month and a three-day "homage and symposium" will be held in July at the University of London Institute in Paris, with complementary celebrations taking place in New York and other cities throughout the rest of 2009.
posted by Houyhnhnm on Jun 19, 2009 - 69 comments

The Ledge

The Ledge is an independent platform for international literature. At the heart of the site, to get you in the mood, is a series of interviews with authors, translators and literary critics. There is also a built-in, ever-expanding reading guide and a listing of literary events. The Ledge [ Flash Enabled ], the Flash version of the site is much more fun. For one thing, you can hear authors reading from their work... Have a look. And a listen. and The Ledge [ HTML] For slower connections.
posted by Fizz on Jun 12, 2009 - 1 comment

Djuna Barnes

Djuna Barnes (12 June, 1892 – 18 June, 1982) was an American writer who played an important part in the development of 20th century English language modernist writing and was one of the key figures in 1920s and 30s bohemian Paris after filling a similar role in the Greenwich Village of the teens. Her novel Nightwood became a cult work of modern fiction, helped by an introduction by T. S. Eliot. It stands out today for its portrayal of lesbian themes and its distinctive writing style. - Wikipedia [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 10, 2009 - 18 comments

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