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'The Death of the Author' Simplified (Roland Barthes)

Literature in Translation

Reading. The Berlin Review of Books. By Frank Berzbach When reading certain books, I am sometimes tempted to jot down my thoughts in a blog.

The Berlin Review of Books

Reading the almost 450 pages of Wolfgang Herrndorf’s diary, first published online and now as a hardcover, took me about two weeks. During those two weeks, I could have written about it every single day. Herrndorf’s account begins with his being diagnosed with a brain tumour in March 2010 and ends with his suicide in August 2013. I must admit that, when it comes to reading, what grips me is the prospect of identification: I rarely buy books in order to immerse myself in the study of abstract textual systems, and I am also committed to the – perhaps antiquated – belief that authors and humans really do exist. I immediately get stuck with passages where I am certain: I cannot continue reading this! Award Ceremony for ‘Tschick’ (Leipzig Book Fair 2011); Source: Wikimedia Commons (photo by Amrei-Marie, used under CC-BY SA 3.0 Creative Commons License) Reading is an active process.

Cubicles Rise in Brave New World of Publishing. Set Your Thoughts Free - Hemingwrite. Et Spøgelse: Berfrois Interviews Simon Critchley. Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times. Photo JERUSALEM — There is no plot to speak of, and the characters are woefully undeveloped.

Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times

On the upside, it can be a quick read — especially considering its 1,250 pages. The book, more art than literature, consists of the single word “Jew,” in tiny type, printed six million times to signify the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust. It is meant as a kind of coffee-table monument of memory, a conversation starter and thought provoker. Writers and Rum: Why Authorship and Alcohol Have Gone Together. “Writers in this office used to drink,” a grizzled veteran of these corridors once said sternly to a couple of pup reporters, whom he had discovered taking turns trying on a good-looking cashmere jacket in another cubicle.

Writers and Rum: Why Authorship and Alcohol Have Gone Together

The moral, abashing if not shaming, was that in the halls where once real men had roamed, or drank in peaceable closets, now mere jacket-fanciers wandered. Certainly, it’s impossible to turn the past pages of this magazine, or the pages of American literary history, for that matter, without being reminded of how inextricable the drinking life and the writing life—or, to put it more bluntly, alcoholism and art—once were. How I learned to stop worrying and love Amazon. Photo: Ralph D Fresco / Reuters I have a confession.

How I learned to stop worrying and love Amazon

I like buying books online. In Praise of Failure by Pierre Bayard translated by Suzanne Menghraj.

Libraries and Manuscripts

Oral Literature. The origin and development of the quotation mark. The earliest book discovered in which appeared indicia which may properly be termed marks of quotation was printed in 1516 at Strasbourg, Alsace (then in Germany), by Mathias Schurer. It was “De Vitis Sophistarum” by Flavius Philostratus. The marks consisted of two commas in the left hand margin of each page outside the regular type measure. Excerpt: 'The Book of Genesis: A Biography' by Ronald Hendel. Noah’s Offering, Francesco Castiglione, 17th C From The Comedy of the Real: One honest response to the lunacy of the world is to laugh. Henry Miller’s Reflections on Writing. Digital and Paper Diaries Are Written for an Imagined Audience - Room for Debate. “I have tried to keep diaries before but they didn’t work out because of the necessity to be honest.”

Digital and Paper Diaries Are Written for an Imagined Audience - Room for Debate

John Steinbeck made this entry in a ledger he used to track his progress on "The Grapes of Wrath. " If we pine for a golden age of diary keeping, let’s indeed be honest: the pens and notebooks of the past inspired a truth no more — and no less — pure than the digital tools of today. While we romanticize diaries as unmediated transcriptions of thought and feeling, they have really always been a forum for self-creation.

E. B. Even before this era of self-revelation, journal keepers imagined an audience — a child, a lover, a snooper, one’s older self or even God. I’ve dedicated my professional life to the preservation of personal records in manuscript form. Best Writing Music of 2012. Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook. By Maria Popova “We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.”

Joan Didion on Keeping a Notebook

As a lover — and keeper — of diaries and notebooks, I find myself returning again and again to the question of what compels us — what propels us — to record our impressions of the present moment in all their fragile subjectivity. From Joan Didion’s 1968 anthology Slouching Towards Bethlehem (public library) — the same volume that gave us her timeless meditation on self-respect — comes a wonderful essay titled “On Keeping a Notebook,” in which Didion considers precisely that. Though the essay was originally written nearly half a century ago, the insights at its heart apply to much of our modern record-keeping, from blogging to Twitter to Instagram. Frank Kermode · Writing about Shakespeare has his say · LRB 9 December 1999. Fifty-odd years ago I was asked to review a book about Shakespeare by an aged professor who claimed that a career spent largely in teaching Shakespeare gave him a right to have his final say on the subject.

Frank Kermode · Writing about Shakespeare has his say · LRB 9 December 1999

This notion I thought grossly self-indulgent. There seemed to be little reason to believe that at his age he could suddenly have found anything interesting to say. 23 Aphorisms by Yahia Lababidi. Penguin and Random House may merge, but the power lies elsewhere. A merger of Random House and Penguin would create a £2.5bn trade publisher – by some distance the biggest ever seen.

Penguin and Random House may merge, but the power lies elsewhere

Authors such as E L James, Salman Rushdie, John le Carre, Pippa Middleton, and Jamie Oliver may become bedfellows. No wonder agents and authors are using words like "scary" and "sad" in reaction to the news. But this is a consolidation driven not by authors, but by big tech giants, such as Amazon, and Apple, on whose platforms book publishers must now play. 15 Postcards from Famous Authors.

Paris Review

Why Does Everyone Love It But Me? An Interview with Daniel Mendelsohn. Every Book I’m Shufflin’ Card from A Shufflebook, by Richard Hefter and Martin Stephen Moskof, 1970 by Zuzana Husárová and Nick Montfort Introduction The paper formulates the category “shuffle literature” to help reveal important qualities of certain intriguing works of fiction and poetry.

Every Book I’m Shufflin’

We show how unusual formal and material aspects of these literary works interact with one another, revealing new things about aspects of literature that have been gaining scholarly interest and have increasingly attracted readers. Given the many new concerns about changing ways of reading, it seems particularly relevant to have a closer look into the form of literary expression that invites the reader to choose her own way of progressing the story while still belonging to the traditions of paper-based formats and print publishing. We discuss several shuffle literature works, focusing on five of them. The works we focus on are: Ten Famed Literary Figures Based on Real-Life People. Writers are often told to write what they know, so it should come as no surprise that many of the most famous characters in literary history are based on real people.

Ten Famed Literary Figures Based on Real-Life People

Whether drawing inspiration from their spouses, friends and family, or finally, after decades worth of work, inserting themselves into the text, authors pull nearly every word and sentence from some element of reality, and most often, that element is people. Many characters, like Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (based on real-life beatnik Neal Cassady), come to mind as obvious, but this list is for the real-life literary characters that do not get recognized enough, and who deserve as much credit as their fictional counterparts. Excerpt: 'The Gentrification of the Mind' by Sarah Schulman. John Preston From Chapter Six: The Gentrification of Our Literature. A Critic's Manifesto: The Intersection of Expertise and Taste. Los Angeles Review of Books - Cogito Ergo Boom. 88 Books That Shaped America, According To Library Of Congress.

On Friday, the Library of Congress released its list of the "books that shaped America. " John Sutherland on Leah Price's How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain. John Sutherland Paper Promises.

Oulipo

Writing Britain: the nation and the landscape. Library Science - Essays. Ruth Franklin: How A New Clip Of Anne Frank’s Life Brings Us Closer To Her Death. ‘Revelations,’ by Elaine Pagels. Prelim Ext English Gothic Literature. Morris Lessmore and the cult of literary nostalgia. A literary engagement. Does literature serve any higher purpose beyond entertainment? Mario Vargas Llosa argues that, unlike television or cinema, it has a special ability and responsibility to address itself to the problems of its time. Poetry. Prose. Leah Price. Edgar Allan Poe. Borges.