Orhan Pamuk has been awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel website has a short audio interview with Orhan Pamuk in English. Here is the AFP article which has a good rundown of his career. And finally, here's an essay he wrote this summer called Who do you write for?
Text Etc. is a sprawling, highly engaging, nearly obsessive look at the craft and theory of poetry, including sound patterning, fractal criticism, poetry heresies, brief, clear intros to theorists like Bakhtin, Lacan and Foucault, writing instruction and much more.
What Good Are the Arts? asks John Carey’s recent book of the same name. The New Criterion think Carey’s thesis is informed by cynical political motives rather than earnest convictions, and accuses Carey of dabbling in the risky art of aesthetic relativism: Obviously, art is ultimately about “the search for truth” (a lesson we’d do well to remember before society falls apart). But as Carey and others point out to the contrary, the Third Reich was all about art—and yet, art under the Third Reich had precious little to do with “searching for truth.” So just what good are the arts? Here’s what a few others have to say on the subject.
Qoolsqool is "a free and open educational resource for educators, students, and self-learners around the world."
Shakespeare's Sonnet 116: read firmly by Eleanor, skimmed through somewhat hurriedly by Megan, recited from memory by the cowboy hatted Bill, and delivered with a vaguely cockney accent by Will. There are others, as well.
Banned Books Week -- 25th anniversary year. How to deal with a challenge, what you can do generally, and of course, lists, and more lists. Captain Underpants is a more recent entry, i notice.
Choose a (public domain) book and Daily Lit will e-mail it to you bit-by-bit every day. Finally, War and Peace delivered to your inbox in only 675 bite-sized pieces. [via LH]
The Tao Te Ching in dozens of languages and translations, with a lovely side-by-side comparison tool.
Lyrikline: A German site showcasing more than 300 international poets reading their work in 39 different languages.
Prepare yourselves, teenaged Trollope fans! You have just four months remaining in which to send your Barchester Towers fanfiction to the Anthony Trollope Society's annual £1000 Short Story Competion. Previous champions have been feted at luxurious club dinners by titans like Andrew Davies and P.D. James. Could you be next to join their august ranks?
In the Chinks of the Genre Machine: it is slipstream week at Strange Horizons. Seventeen years after Bruce Sterling coined the term it has spawned two anthologies, ParaSpheres and Feeling Very Strange. (The later inspired by this blog entry.)
Once there was a redheaded man without eyes and without ears. He had no hair either, so that he was a redhead was just something they said. He could not speak, for he had no mouth. He had no nose either. He didn't even have arms or legs. He had no stomach either, and he had no back, and he had no spine, and no intestines of any kind. He didn't have anything at all. So it is hard to understand whom we are really talking about. So it is probably best not to talk about him any more. Note that the last two links are in Russian. [This is a copy of a post by Daniel Charms, at MetaChat.]
"Life is wise to deceive us," he once wrote, "for had it told us from the start what it had in store for us, we would refuse to be born." --Naguib Mahfouz, RIP --and more from when he won the Nobel in 1988
George Orwell né Eric Arthur Blair is probably best known to readers for his eerily prescient novels 1984 and Animal Farm. This comprehensive Orwell site betrays an erudite, complex, fascinating personality who wrote about a variety of subjects, from an exposition on British class relations affecting the art and practice of murder, to the complex moral compromises of Gandhi's practice of non-violent resistance, to the doublespeak-laden corruption of the English language as a telling reflection of a corrupt, brutal, post-WWII culture — and much, much more. This site also includes Russian translations of much of Orwell's work.
The poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins set to music. Demo list here. It's a pity they haven't adapted my favourite poem, Spring and Fall, although it's pretty exciting to hear Hopkins's poetry which I studied at school, presented in this format, especially since he was already trying to create a kind of music using the rhythms of the words. On a random note, featuring the vocal talents of Belinda Evans who was recently voted off the BBC's Saturday night tv extravaganza, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?. Her blog is here. [via]
Holding up sprigs of parsley, Trujillo's men queried their prospective victims: What is this thing called? The terrified victim's fate lay in his pronunciation of the answer. Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo spearheaded an anti-Haitian massacre in which armed thugs killed every Creole speaker who couldn't pronounce the trilled R in the Spanish word for parsley. (Using pronunciation to make ethnic distinctions is called a shibboleth, a tactic often used in wars.) The murders inspired Edwige Danticat's The Farming of Bones and Mario Vargas Llosa's Feast of the Goat, as well as a poem recited for Bill Clinton by poet laureate Rita Dove. Ironically, Trujillo's desire to "whiten" Hispaniola not only led him to order the 1937 massacre, but to lobby in 1938 for the settlement of Jews fleeing Hitler.
Lit majors - English prof. drops knowledge
Among Springsteen fans, the song "Meeting Across The River," has become something of a point of contention and parlor game in terms of what happens to the protagonists afterwards. Many speculated that "Jungleland," was a continuation of the story. Several authors have taken the enterprise a step further in a new anthology.
Here is my website full of things that are not quite good enough to be put into books and sold for actual money. You will see that I have cleverly given the site a serious looking title, so you can re
Pirates! in an Adventure With The Internet Author Gideon Defoe offers the missing link between ham and piracy in his hilarious Pirates! novels. Feel free to thrill at the marvelously dry NPR interview
101 "Crackerjacks". The best sea books.
"When humans were busy fighting each other, the Ants had begun their preparations to take over the planet. Six feet tall, they had emerged from their hideouts in the Andes Mountain and had begun their assault in the year 7757." - Science Fiction in Bengal from 1882-1961 [via]
Gutenkarte: "Gutenkarte is a geographic text browser, intended to help readers explore the spatial component of classic works of literature. Gutenkarte downloads public domain texts from Project Gutenberg, and then feeds them to MetaCarta's GeoParser API, which extracts and returns all the geographic locations it can find." [note: works in Firefox but not IE, for me.]
What is the world reading? The UNESCO Index Translationum database has over 1.6 million bibliographical entries of translated works. Interesting stats such as: The worlds Top 50 translated authors. The Top 10 translated Norwegian authors (or other languages). Number of translations for any given book. Some surprising results, lots to explore, and an interesting lesson on what sells.
Samuel R. Delany has become known for his Silent Interviews, where he responds to questions in writing. But many other interviews are available online: The Onion AV Club; Nerve; Science Fiction Studies; SF Site; K. Leslie Steiner [Delany's pseudonym]; Science Fiction Weekly. Some are not-so-silent: Blackbird; Smithsonian. He also writes fiction. [More Inside]
“You should consider a new career as a garbage collector in New York City, because you’ll never quote a Joyce text again." A New Yorker profile of Stephen Joyce, the man who controls James Joyce's estate - and, by extension, Joycean scholarship the world over. [more inside]
Shakespeare in the Bush: in which an anthropologist tells the story of Hamlet to a group of Tiv, and ideas about the universal nature of literature get the worst of it.
An interview with John Updike on Terrorist, his most recent novel. Some reviews: Kakutani, Donohue (USAToday), and fellow novelist Amitav Gosh (Wapo).
Alexander Selkirk, born in 1676 in Lower Largo, Fife, Scotland, was the unruly seventh son of a cobbler. In 1703, having grown tired of life in his village, he was able to convince successful buccaneer William Dampier that he was the man to navigate Dampier’s next privateering expedition to South America. After a dispute with the young captain of the ship on which he served as sailing master, Selkirk was left behind on a small island 418 miles west of Valparaiso, Chile. Rescued four years later, he was the subject of several contemporary accounts of his ordeal, and likely served as one of Daniel Defoe's primary inspirations for Robinson Crusoe.
Kaavya Viswanathan is a 19-year-old Harvard student whose first novel, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, just cracked the New York Times bestseller list. The problem? The Harvard Crimson and SF Gate assert that the author plagiarized much of it from two books by Megan McCafferty. Of course, it's not like this kind of thing hasn't happened before with young writers.
Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads Digital images, plus the occasional sound file, for the Bodleian's massive collection. In addition, Samuel Pepys was an enormously important collector, and the Early Modern Center at UCSB has digitized his collection--again, with some sound files. See also the Francis J. Child Ballads, taken from Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. (For previous MeFi sojourns in the wonderful world of ballads, see here, here, and here.)
Yukio Mishima led a remarkable life: in addition to being an internationally renowned writer, he was also an actor, a filmmaker, a gay icon, a bodybuilding exhibitionist(possibly slightly NSFW), and leader of a paramilitary organization. Yet, all of this is often overshadowed by the even more remarkable way he ended his life. [more inside]
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.
What to read. A list of lists for book recommendations, includes a compiled "Great Books" Lists with a World Literature list and lots more.
William Blake's Grave. Museums and galleries only have a few weeks left to save William Blake’s long-lost watercolour illustrations accompanying Robert Blair’s poem “The Grave”, before they are dispersed at auction in New York on 2 May.
I first read "Ask the Dust" in 1971 when I was doing research for "Chinatown". I was concerned about the way people really sounded when they talked, and I was dissatisfied with everything else I had read that was written during the '30s. I wanted the real thing, as Henry James would say. When I picked up Fante's "Ask the Dust," I just knew that was the way those kids talked to each other—the rhythms, cadences, racism. Robert Towne on adapting John Fante's novel for the big screen. More inside.
Republic World News is a fake news site promoting Robert Ferrigno's contribution to paranoid, apocalyptic literature: Prayers For the Assassin.[MI]
TEAMS, The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages, in association with the University of Rochester, has long made available an impressive collection of medieval English texts in electronic format. More Middle English texts are available at the University of Michigan's Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, UVa's Middle English Collection, and Project Gutenberg's Middle English section.
Melville's Marginalia Online. The study of Herman Melville's creative process has long been hampered by a lack of primary sources. Melville's long lost annotations (they were written in pencil and subsequently erased) to the 1839 book The Natural History of the Sperm Whale have been restored through high-tech innovations such as squinting and digital photography. The results are available here in a PDF file. [more inside]
Reconstructing Aunt Sally's Secret Recipe. Addressing the Retranslations Fallacy, a common misconception about how the Bible we read has been handed down to us. [via]
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.
Hot on the heels of the JT Leroy and James Frey fracases, here's a list of other literary frauds. Writing is lying, indeed. [via Bookslut]
The David Foster Wallace Bibliography (in BibTex format) is ridiculously complete. The site also includes a zip file of DFW's essays and mp3s of a round table discussion. [via]
LibriVox is out to share public domain literature via podcast and soundfiles. Free. Volunteers do the reading. The catalog has only a short list of completed works, but there are many "in progress." I was pleased to see Psmith in the City is complete.