Elias Canetti is regarded by many as one of the century’s most distinguished writers. At least since he was awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1981, he has been regularly compared, if not to Proust or Joyce or Mann, then certainly to his Viennese brethren Robert Musil and Hermann Broch. Yet one suspects that, in America at leasts Canetti’s works have been rather more respected than read. This is particularly true in the case of the two long and difficult books upon which his reputation mainly rests: Auto-da-Fé (1935), his first and only novel, and Crowds and Power (1960), the meticulously idiosyncratic contribution to social theory that he considers his major work.
- Roger Kimball [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Dec 13, 2011 -
When writer Robin Romm's mother was dying of cancer, she started keeping a journal--writing from the trenches. At the time she had no idea it would become a book. The Mercy Papers (excerpt)
is a gut-wrenching, painfully honest, and deeply moving account of her mother's last three weeks. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic
on Mar 5, 2010 -
The Diary of John Cam Hobhouse.
(1786-1869) was a close friend of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron
, and "Hobby-O's" diary contains a vivid account of Hobhouse's friendship and travels with Byron. As editor Peter Cochran writes: "Educated at Westminster and Trinity College Cambridge, [Hobhouse] travelled east
with Byron in 1809, was Best Man at Byron’s wedding
in 1815, travelled across Switzerland
in Byron’s company in 1816 after the separation, around Rome
with Byron in 1817, and lived with Byron in Venice
in the same year. He met Byron at Pisa
again in 1822, after Byron’s facetious poem on his imprisonment in Newgate, My Boy Hobby-O
, had almost terminated their friendship. As a member of the London Greek Committee he encouraged Byron on his last journey in 1823; and had he insisted, Byron’s memoirs would almost certainly not have been destroyed
in 1824." (Memoirs which, in hindsight, are considered a "missing masterpiece
.") Also read Hobhouse's account of Byron's funeral
posted by jayder
on Nov 1, 2006 -
"Burning Down My Masters' House" Indeed!
Jayson Blair, noted fraud and liar, is about to be liquidated along with all of the other titles in New Millenium's catalog. The publisher of such quality books as "Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted" by Faye Resnick and "Burning Down My Master's House" by Jayson "Truth? We Don't Need No Stinking Truth" Blair.
Its not known if Blair's memoir had a specific hand in the demise of the publishing house but it couldn't have helped. Selling a whopping 1,386 copies through March 18th
Is there such a thing as the Anti-Midas Touch? Wherein, everything you touch turns from gold to lead or dust?
Continuing these threads
to their karmic conclusion.
posted by fenriq
on May 13, 2004 -
A million lives.
Links to thousands of biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives, oral histories and more.
posted by pooligan
on Aug 25, 2003 -
Is It Fiction If It Says "Fiction" On The Cover? Jorge Luis Borges
brilliantly obscured fact and fiction presenting fiction as fact. Things seem to have swung round 180º and fact is now increasingly being sold as fiction. This certainly seems to be the case with Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved
. She's Paul Auster's
and... Well... now even critics
, like The New York Observer's Joe Hagan
have joined the fun, as Slate's Katie Roiphe duly noted
. Fact is now presented as fiction, without the traditional disguise of the roman à clef
. I think it's sad. In fact, it's an attempt on the life of imagination itself. Perhaps these authors who write memoirs masquerading as novels could be sued under the Trade Description Act? [With thanks to the always excellent Literary Salon weblog. Thanks to ColdChef for pointing it out to me.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Apr 23, 2003 -
'Literature of fact'
The high wall which seperates fact and fiction has a small door in it through which people can step. A piece which discusses how someone writing a supposed eyewitness account of an event always tends to fictionalise, even unconciously, in order to make the subject interesting, the idea being that just because a book is in that section, it might not actually be completely non-fiction.
posted by feelinglistless
on Nov 16, 2002 -
In 1948 Caryl Chessman was awarded two
death sentences on two counts of attempted rape. He was probably innocent, yet he was executed in 1960 for more or less "being a smartass." In the years between his sentencing and death, he wrote three memoirs and a novel, which sold well. After the first memoir the prison forbade him to write about anything other than the legalities of his case, so he developed an elaborate code to get his work out to his lawyer. His spirit never broke, as strange as it was. This is his story
posted by kittyloop
on Nov 3, 2001 -