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.
on adapting John Fante
's novel for the big screen
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Mar 4, 2006 -
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
. A review at n+1 is here
posted by painquale
on Jan 13, 2006 -
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
posted by mmahaffie
on Dec 27, 2005 -
The author Rodney Whitaker is dead
, taking along with him Trevanian, Nicholas Seare, Benat Le Cagot, and several of his other pen names. Under the name Trevanian he wrote The Eiger Sanction
(1972) (which became a Clint Eastwood movie of the same name
(1979), The Loo Sanction
(1973), The Summer of Katya
(1983), The Main
(1976), Incident at Twenty-Mile
(1998), and others. In real life, Whitaker was the Chairman of the Radio, Television, and Film Department at the University of Texas
. He was believe to be 74 years old, and died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow
on Dec 17, 2005 -
Just another blog, sure, but a good one. 3quarksdaily is a filter blog much like our very own, but with only 15 users (and an editor). As they say on their about page "On this website, my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating."
The do an admirable job.
posted by panoptican
on Dec 6, 2005 -
Gould's Book of Fish
(full contents of Chapter One) by Tasmanian author/historian/Rhodes Scholar Richard Flanagan
is a critically lauded
2002 novel that is the most interesting and accomplished work of fiction I've read in years. Set in the 19th century on a penal colony off the coast of Tasmania, the book
is narrated by William Buelow Gould, a convict, charlatan, and possible madman.
Here is an audio interview
with Flanagan; here's an audio clip
of the author reading from his book. (.ra files)
Yes, the book is a few years old, but it somehow passed under my radar; and, anyway, a good book is timeless.
(Picking up the piscine gauntlet thrown down by Plutor.)
posted by Dr. Wu
on Nov 30, 2005 -
Faith based prisons...
Can Gov. Jeb Bush's new drive to introduce God to the inmates make a difference, or was Jesus 'dying for our sins' not enough already? Is Jesus a solution or an excuse?
"Night has fallen. He has died now.
A fly crawls over the still flesh.
Of what use is it to me that this man suffered,
If I am suffering now?" - Jorge Luis Borges
posted by 0bvious
on Nov 25, 2005 -
. The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to the English writer Harold Pinter, “who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression’s closed rooms”.
posted by Termite
on Oct 13, 2005 -
Dylan Thomas reading Dylan Thomas and host of others (Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats, Auden, Hardy, and more). 11 volumes of mp3s on Salon, reached after watching a Salon premium ad. [via boingboing]
posted by carter
on Oct 7, 2005 -
science fiction for download, some you might have seen, some new, all are worth the time. If you have only a few minutes, Michael Swanick's Science Fiction Table of the Elements
features 108 short short stories. If you have a little more time, Kelly Link, called by Neil Gaiman "the best short story writer currently out there" has released her much-praised collection Stranger Things Happen
. For longer reads, Charlie Stross has made available his cyberpunk novel Accelerando
and his Lovecraftish Colder War
. The creepier Peter Watts
has posted the New York Times Notable Book Starfish
, and its sequels as well [previously]
. If you haven't had enough, you should check out the Baen Free Library
, with books by everyone from Andre Norton to Larry Niven, as well as a large amount of right-of-center combat-oriented stuff by David Weber and friends. Also, the Science Fiction Channel has made available many well-known classic short stories
as well as a lot of contemporary
Hugo and World Fantasy Award winners [previously]
. Finally, you probably already know
that Cory Doctorow has four novels
available under creative commons. Happy reading!
posted by blahblahblah
on Sep 19, 2005 -
Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail.
Best known as the drummer for 1970s punk band The Damned, Rat Scabies grew up with a father interested in the mysteries of the French town of Rennes-le-Château
, which may or may not contain the Holy Grail and in the enigmatic priest Berenger Sauniere
. Conspiracy theories surrounding the town first popped up in the 1970s book Holy Blood, Holy Grail
and gained a certain amount of infamy in recent years from The DaVinci Code
Upon striking up a friendship with his neighbor, journalist Christopher Dawes, Scabies discovered common interests in conspiracy theories and all things paranormal and a shared hatred of the DaVinci Code
. Now the pair wrote a book about their alcohol-sodden quest for the Holy Grail that asks the question: What happens when an ex-punk rocker goes looking for the Holy Grail?
posted by huskerdont
on Sep 16, 2005 -
"You see, first of all, to be a Jewish writer
is a heavy obligation. My close family was killed. My natural environment, my childhood, my sweetest memories were killed
. And so it’s a kind of obligation
that I feel; I’m dealing with a civilization that has been killed. How to represent it in the most honorable way–not to equalize it, not to exaggerate, but to find the right proportion to represent it
, in human terms."
Also: see this interview
with Appelfeld by Philip Roth (NYT); scroll a third of the way down on this page
for a stunning interview from Ha'aretz where Appelfeld talks about the importance of Israel; see this extensive interview from Yad Vashem ( pdf
, Google HTML
); go here for a RealAudio interview with Appelfeld
, as well as for excerpts
of his many books
posted by OmieWise
on Sep 16, 2005 -
Flaubert on Structural Unity.
"I’ve just read 'Pickwick' by Dickens. Do you know it? Some bits are magnificent; but what a defective structure! All English writers are like that. Walter Scott apart, they lack composition. This is intolerable for us Latins". Extracts from the letters of Flaubert (via the very awesome book coolie)
posted by matteo
on Jul 29, 2005 -
The Invisible Library
is a collection of books that only appear in other books. Within the library's catalog you will find imaginary books, pseudobiblia, artifictions, fabled tomes, libris phantastica, and all manner of books unwritten, unread, unpublished, and unfound.
posted by carter
on Jun 28, 2005 -
The Aesthetics of Resistance.
The first part of Peter Weiss
's 3-volume novel Die Ästhetik des Widerstands
(1975-81) has, after many delays, finally been published
in a Joachim Neugroschel’s English translation: a major, though largely-unheralded literary event. The book ‘stands as the most significant German novel published after The Tin Drum.’ [more inside]
posted by misteraitch
on Jun 28, 2005 -
is an essay by Bob Grumman
about a strand of poetry that he claims is "unacclaimed but flourishing". Here are poems in this vein by Aram Saroyan
, LeRoy Gorman
, Michael Basinski
, John M. Bennett
, Karl Young
, John Martone
, Ian Hamilton Finlay
and finally some mathemaku
by Bob Grumman, the essay's author.
posted by Kattullus
on Jun 8, 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 -
Bram Stoker's vampire novel, published by its own calendar. According to the site description:
Individual pieces of the novel will appear on the calendar dates indicated in the text, starting with Jonathan Harker's May 3rd Bistriz journal entry, and finishing up with November 6 and the final Note.
Be sure to check the comments, which are full of interesting tidbits about the novel, Stoker, Transylvania and historical accuracy (or innacuracy, as the case may be).
posted by LeeJay
on May 26, 2005 -