Stuck on a train for an hour every day and sick of sudoku? Hands love to knit but the brain gets bored? Riding out the recession as a streetcorner sign-twirler? Or maybe you've just got a burning desire for "cultural conversation of the depth you demand." If so, then Metafilter's own Colin Marshall
has got what you need at the Marketplace of Ideas
. [more inside]
posted by villanelles at dawn
on Jun 30, 2011 -
As much as any book I know, Crippled Detectives transcribes the dream state, not just in its flights of fancy and logic-jumping juxtapositions, but in the mutating narrative tactics, the topsy-turvy focus (the climax is over in a flash, whereas digressions distend to marvelous effect), and especially the inconsistent point of view... I forgot to mention that Lee Tandy Schwartzman was all of seven years old when she wrote it.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 27, 2011 -
R.M. Berry on Samuel Beckett's peculiar writing style:
"It's as though the narrator's words were almost thoughtless, accidental, written by someone paying no attention to what he or she says." Beckett is best known for his play Waiting For Godot
, in which "nothing happens, twice", but he was also an accomplished writer of prose, ranging from the relatively simple Three Novels
to the extremely minimal Imagination Dead Imagine
. Some of Beckett's more challenging short plays are available on YouTube: Play
), Not I
(the famous "mouth" play), and Come and Go
, one of the shortest plays in the English language (ranging between 121 and 127 words, depending on translation). Once he interviewed John Lennon and found out who the eggman really was.
Beckett's final creative work was his poem What Is the Word
posted by Rory Marinich
on Jun 25, 2011 -
, Stanislaw Lem's 1961 masterpiece, has finally been translated directly into English
. The current print version
, in circulation for over 4 decades, was the result of a double-translation
. Firstly from Polish to French, in 1966, by Jean-Michel Jasiensko. This version was then taken up by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox who hacked together an English version in 1970. Lem, himself a fluent English speaker
, was always scathing
of the double translation. Something he believed added to the universal misunderstanding of his greatest work. After the relsease of two film
versions of the story, and decades of speculation, a new direct English translation has been released
. Translated by American Professor Bill Johnston
'The Definitive Solaris
' is only available as an audiobook for the time being. Copyright issues, hampered by several, widely available
, editions of the poor English translation may mean it is some time yet before a definitive print edition makes it onto our bookshelves
posted by 0bvious
on Jun 19, 2011 -
Glee's Chris Colfer is writing a children's book.
The Land of Stories, aimed at middle grade readers, will come out next year.
He joins many other famous folks
who have decided to write for younger readers. Perez Hilton is doing one
. Madonna's done many
. Even the "stars" of Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice got in on the kidlit craze
. Of course, many of these authors don't actually write the books
they publish. Even if/when they do, many readers find the results underwhelming. "If you are looking for the next Beatrix Potter or Maurice Sendak, you will not find it here
," claimed the Guardian. There are exceptions,
but it seems that for a lot of celebrities, literature for children has become merely another form of brand extension
. Author, Adam Rex has countered with "An Open Letter to Everyone Who Thinks it Must be Easy, Writing Kid's Books
" Or, as EB White said
, "You have to write up to children, not down..."
posted by cal71
on Jun 9, 2011 -
This is not an attempt to tweet mindlessly the entire contents of
Ulysses, word-for-word, 140 characters at a time. That would be dull and impossible. What is proposed here is a recasting or a reimagining of the reading experience of this novel, start to finish, within the confines of a day-long series of tweets from a global volunteer army of Joyce-sodden tweeps. (previously!)
posted by Trurl
on May 25, 2011 -
In such a world maximalism and encyclopedism, erudite puzzle solving, simply feel like more of the same, and the last thing we need is more of the same. We need less, much less: we don't need fiction that cultivates the general noise in a slightly more erudite way but still plays by the same rules; we need fiction that strips its way down to our nerves and fibers, simulations that are willing to cut enough of our context away to let us step outside of our own increasingly simulated experience and to see it afresh, from without.
—Brian Evenson, "Doing Without," an essay in The Collagist
(could also be titled "How a mistake in the digital conversion of a Cory Doctorow novel [see difference between print and electronic version] made me think about the meaning of innovative literature") [more inside]
posted by jng
on May 16, 2011 -
The inmost circle is a geographically accurate map of Middle Earth according to Tolkien's design, and the journey of the Fellowship is plotted according to major destinations and places of action.
- JT Fridsma [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on May 10, 2011 -
Rediscovered work by DuMaurier
. "Lost for more than 70 years, this dark story of a man's obsessive passion for Rebecca, a mysterious violinist, hasn't been published since it appeared in a small collection in 1937."
posted by bardophile
on Apr 30, 2011 -
Books2Barcodes is an ongoing effort to convert all the world's great books to QR codes (2D barcodes). Each work featured here is the entire text of a piece of classic literature translated into several thousand barcodes. With a mobile device equipped with a camera and a barcode-scanning app, you can experience the joy of a great book as read through 800-character fragments on your cellphone.
posted by Wolfdog
on Apr 1, 2011 -
A Cyclops' cave the wanderers brave
And find much milk & cheese
But as they eat, foul death they meet
For them doth Cyclops seize.
From The Young Folks' Ulysses [PDF]
, by H. Lovecraft, poet, aged seven. One of the "freely available editions of obscure, outlandish and otherwise outré works of semi-fine literature" from the electric publishing wing
posted by Iridic
on Mar 28, 2011 -
And the winner of the Good Sex Award is...
"...recognizing the best sex writing in fiction from the past year. We've [salon.com]
convened a panel of literary star judges -- Walter Kirn, Maud Newton, Louis Bayard and Salon's own Laura Miller -- to reward the best-written, most interesting and most convincing piece of sex writing published in a novel in 2010." No 2.
, No. 3
, No. 4
, No. 6
, No. 7
, No. 8
. The 2010 Bad Sex Award Winner
posted by Fizz
on Feb 15, 2011 -
Martin Amis hates children,
ok, not children but children's literature. "People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book," Amis said, in a sideways excursion from a chat about John Self
, the antihero of his 1984 novel Money. "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable." Remarks about children's books made by Martin Amis on the BBC's new book programme Faulks on Fiction
, broadcast this week, have caused anger and offence among children's writers.
posted by Fizz
on Feb 11, 2011 -