The Berlin Review of Books. By Frank Berzbach When reading certain books, I am sometimes tempted to jot down my thoughts in a blog.
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. We are losing the art of reading. ‘Although we love to argue about books, acquire them, express strong opinions about them, etc, etc, more than ever we seem to be losing the knack of reading them.’
Photograph: CBW /Alamy It has already been quite a year for lovers of book-blah. This spring, storm clouds have gathered and then broken over a succession of literary teacups. Does the publishing of gender-specific books demean our children? Should one build an English A-level around Russell Brand interview excerpts and tweets from Caitlin Moran? Reading Books in the Digital Age subsequent to Amazon, Google and the long tail.
Holocaust Told in One Word, 6 Million Times. Photo JERUSALEM — There is no plot to speak of, and the characters are woefully undeveloped.
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.
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.
I like buying books online. From Amazon. Such an admission may seem unremarkable, indeed banal, to many book buyers, but offering it in the presence of book industry folk would be the equivalent of informing New Statesman readers that one admires Donald Rumsfeld or Rupert Murdoch. One cannot exaggerate the fear and loathing that Amazon inspires among publishers and rival booksellers. In Praise of Failure by Pierre Bayard translated by Suzanne Menghraj. Several of the critics who appraised Pierre Bayard’s How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read upon the translation’s release in 2007 appeared to be more comfortable joking about not having read the book under review than taking a close look at the unsettling elusions and readings Bayard offers in it.
They seemed not to get it, at least not in the way I very much wanted it to be got. Even Francine Prose, who wrote the translation’s foreword, had to quip: “Pierre Bayard puts his readers—this reader—in a uniquely paradoxical position. What Do You Look for in Modern Translation? David Bowie Reveals Top 100 Must Read Books.
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. Laughter relieves anxiety and fear, and it pokes holes in the pretensions of the powerful. In medieval times, humor was often coarse and obscene, and the more effective because of it. Luther’s rough handling of his opponents is rooted in this medieval tradition. 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.”
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. 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.”
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. Portrait of Joan Didion by Mary Lloyd Estrin, 1977. 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.
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.
Authors such as E L James, Salman Rushdie, John le Carre, Pippa Middleton, and Jamie Oliver may become bedfellows. 15 Postcards from Famous Authors.
Why Does Everyone Love It But Me? An Interview with Daniel Mendelsohn. Daniel Mendelsohn’s Manhattan apartment is quiet, classy, tasteful. It is a symphony of stillness and neutrals in stark contrast to the constant motion, precise convictions, and easy chatter of the man who inhabits it. He apologizes for having nothing to offer but ice water, but is generous and forthright in his conversation. 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.
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. 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. 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 How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain By Leah Price (Princeton University Press 350pp £19.95)
Writing Britain: the nation and the landscape. Can Britlit be said to exist? Britart is an accepted term, and Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Gillian Wearing et al were happy to be known as YBAs, if only for the publicity it brought them. Library Science - Essays. “The library will endure; it is the universe.” — James Gleick, The Information The sunlight bathing the late Baroque interior of the “Joanina” Library in Candida Höfer’s large-scale color photograph Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra IV (2006) highlights a collection of rare and ancient books, and acts as a metaphor for the illumination—both cultural and intellectual—that permeated the Age of Enlightenment.
Presiding over the central room is a portrait of King João V, one of the period’s greatest art patrons and after whom the library is named, painted by the Italian portraitist Domenico Duprà. 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.
Prose. Leah Price. Edgar Allan Poe. Borges.