Posts Tagged: Literature
16

Nobel Literature Laureates, In Order

109. Frédéric Mistral, 1904

108. Winston Churchill, 1953

107. Pearl S. Buck, 1938

105 (tie). Harry Martinson, 1974

105 (tie). Eyvind Johnson, 1974

104. William Golding, 1983

103. Jacinto Benavente, 1922

102. John Galsworthy, 1932

101. Odysseus Elytis, 1979

100. Camilo José Cela, 1989

99. Rudyard Kipling, 1907

98. Roger Martin du Gard, 1937

97. John Steinbeck, 1962

96. Hermann Hesse, 1946

95. Sinclair Lewis, 1930

94. Paul Heyse, 1910

93. Vicente Aleixandre, 1977

92. Rudolf Christoph Eucken, 1908

91. V.S. Naipaul, 2001

90. Pablo Neruda, 1971

6

William Gibson On Burroughs, Sterling, Dick, Libraries, The Uncanny, The Web

In real life, William Gibson looks like you would imagine. A little older than the Gibson you imagine, but he was born in 1948, so it only stands to reason. He is gaunt and affable, clothes black, smart looking frames on his eyeglasses, more avuncular than professorial. And he really talks like that! Those neologisms and the sizzling chrome-finished turns of phrase? They fall out of his mouth in the course of conversation. He lives the gimmick.

Gibson appeared at the New York Public Library on Friday night for the LIVE From the NYPL series, and it was something of an occasion. Gibson, as active as he is in [...]

7

How to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature

So you didn't win a Nobel Prize in Literature this week. Unless your name is Mr. Mo. Although, if you live in Europe, you did win a consolation Nobel Peace Prize at least. (Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union is like giving an Oscar to Alf.) Anyway, I know, it’s total bullshit. You totally deserved it. But you might just be a calendar year away from getting the recognition you so obviously deserve. Let me show you the way.

I waited by the phone all week for that congratulatory call from overseas myself! Not for the stuff I’ve already written, which, let’s admit, is pretty amazing. But [...]

6

Soul Food: Cookbooks As Literature

"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."—Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Alexandre Dumas père was a terrible and a wonderful man. He fought in wars, hunted, traveled the globe, owned a theatre, dabbled in politics and revolutions here and there, and was bankrupted a few times after spending fortune after fortune on women and high living. And he wrote, and wrote, and wrote, in jail or out of it. With the aid of a number of assistants he was able to turn out over 600 books before the end. He was magnificently ugly, and, apparently, irresistible. Which [...]

19

Who Killed Jane Austen?

A British medical researcher has put forth a new theory on the disease that claimed Jane Austen's life. While previous speculation centered around Addison's disease or lymphoma, "Katherine White of the Addison's Disease Self Help Group has written an article for the British Medical Journal's Medical Humanities magazine in which she says that Austen probably died of tuberculosis caught from cattle." This postulation is actually borne out if one reads letters Austen sent to her family at the time, as well as the original ending of Sense and Sensibility, which was changed because it was thought to be too bleak.

19

Writing Sober

"Minimalists tend to do better than maximalists. Flinty and workmanlike seem to win the day…. It is the self-proclaimed geniuses who suffer. Writers of long sentences seem to do worse than the writers of short ones." Tom Shone looks at what happens when writers go on the wagon. [Fair warning: The piece calls Faulkner and Fitzgerald "the Paris and Britney of their day" and puts Ernest Hemingway in the Amy Winehouse role. Still, probably worth a click.]

9

Researchers Making New Literary Discoveries That Will Eventually Be Owned By Google

Neat (yeah, suck it, it is neat) piece in the Journal on how the move to digitize literary works of antiquity has resulted in a number of new discoveries, including lost gospels, an alternate version of Medea in which the main character does not kill her children, and what is believed to be an attempt to reboot the Oedipus franchise by explaining that the Theban king and his wife Jocasta are "just cousins." (I may have made one of these things up.) Anyway, fascinating stuff.

9

I'm Nobody: Eve Sedgwick After Death

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick would have been 63 today. Four years have passed since her death, but her absence is felt more, not less, with each. More than ever Sedgwick’s writing generates further writing and thinking from those who engage with it.

Sedgwick once said about reading affect theorist Silvan Tomkins: "I often get tired when I’m learning a lot." Her writing has the same effect—calming and invigorating—generative and tireless even if also sometimes tiring. In her posthumous collection, The Weather In Proust (2011), Sedgwick remarks that one form of antinormative reading can lead to many other types of theorizing—this is exactly how I feel about Sedgwick’s work. Forever [...]

3

When Food Attacks: A Selective History of Literature's Most Alarming Feasts

Paul Newman’s egg-gorging feat in Cool Hand Luke certainly inspires wonder (along with a tinge of disgust). And yet each time I watch the film, I struggle with a nagging question raised by that stomach-swelling exploit: Which came first, our appetite, or our drive for competitive eating? Owing to the glut of cooking competitions, food trucks racing across town serving up sliders and duck-fat tots, foodies one-upping each other on Instagram and restaurants aggressively advertising their farm-to-table bona fides (as brilliantly satirized on "Portlandia"), food culture feels increasingly competitive in the broader, non-Kobayashi sense.

As the battles unfold to perform more impressive culinary feats, whether inhaling hot dogs [...]

39

Fictional Drugs In Order Of How Useful They Would Be To Me Right Now

14. Sex Packets 13. Glint 12. DMZ 11. Vitameatavegamin 10. Comanapracil 9. Gleemonex

27

The Truly Best-Dressed Characters in Literature

Recently our neighbors at Flavorwire picked their ten best-dressed characters from literature. It's fascinating, if slightly heavy on film adaptions. ("Isabelle Huppert in Claude Chabrol's Madame Bovary (1991)." No, that would be Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1856)!) Isn't the best part of novels their ability to evoke striking images in the mind alone? Let's see if we can help!

6

Literary Vices, with Rudolph Delson: The Literary Career of George H. W. Bush

To while away the days until the publication of Sarah Palin's memoirs on November 17th, Rudolph Delson is reviewing the American vice presidential literary canon.

Say you were to make a list of every American who has ever run for the vice presidency. Say you were to take that list to your local library. Say you were to sit at the reference computer, and say you were to type the names on your list into the "author" field of the electronic catalog, and say you were to run a search on each and every one. Among the results would be Doing Business by the Good Book: 52 Lessons on [...]

5

Gay Angel Sex!

The angels in Paradise Lost totally got it on with each other. [Via]

5

"Moby Dick": The Game

I met Joel Clark and Tavit Geudelekian in Joel's Bushwick loft. They were talking, as people so often do in these situations, about a work of great literature. Joel's well-worn copy of Moby Dick was on the coffee table, next to an Apple laptop. The computer was displaying images from the card game that they have developed based on the novel. It is called "Moby Dick, or, The Card Game."

They created the project with Andy Kopas, Mark Perloff, and John Kauderer. Today it went live for fundraising on Kickstarter, with a goal of $25,000. The game mechanics combine luck and skill, much like a 19th century whaling [...]

34

Is Andre 3000 Better At Rap Than Biggie Was?

I have long been a proponent of the idea that the Notorious B.I.G. is the best rapper of all-time. (This after having long been a proponent of the idea that Rakim was the best rapper of all-time. I have been proponentizing for a long time. I am very, very old.) But I am starting to consider a different idea. Is Andre 3000 the best rapper of all-time? I think he might be! The body of work he amassed with his partner Big Boi across the six OutKast albums that came out between 1994 and 2006 already made for a strong case—Andre expanded the breadth of rap-lyric subject matter with [...]

2

You're Invited to Saturday's One-Day Symposium on Literature and HIV

A thing to do this coming Saturday: "Transmissions," a day-long conference on literature and the first thirty years of HIV. Three events throughout the day, at the New School's Wollman Hall:

11 a.m.: THE LITERATURE OF AIDS FROM 1981 – 1995, with David France, Michael Denneny, Larry Kramer, Sarah Schulman, John Weir, and Edmund White.

2 p.m.: THE LITERATURE OF AIDS FROM 1996 – 2011, with Rabih Alameddine, Gary Indiana, Zia Jaffrey, Amy Scholder, and Max Steele.

7 p.m. READING with Rabih Alameddine, Michael Denneny, Gary Indiana, Zia Jaffrey, John Kelly, Larry Kramer, Jennie Livingston, Amy Scholder, Max Steele, John Weir, and Edmund White.

28

"The House of Mirth" as a Poorly Played Game of "Choose Your Own Adventure"

Premise: You are an attractive, well-bred young woman in your late twenties; genteel, if shabby. You have poor impulse control, no real money, and a reasonably well-off aunt who generally bails you out of scrapes.

1. On your way to a week-long house party in Rhinebeck, you miss your train. On the platform, you encounter your true love, Lawrence Selden. He invites you to take tea with him in his rooming house while you wait. You…

5

Literary Vices, with Rudolph Delson: Edmund Muskie's 'Journeys'

To while away the days until the publication of Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue' memoir on November 17th, Rudolph Delson is reviewing the American vice presidential literary canon.

Here is the quintessence of vice-presidential literature.

It is 1972. It was four years ago that President Lyndon Johnson decided not to seek re-election. It was four years ago that Sirhan Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy dead. It was four years ago that the sitting Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey, became the Democratic Party's nominee, and it was four years ago that Humphrey chose as his Vice President a dove, an intellectual, a liberal, a native from the distant northern state of Maine: [...]

8

"Catcher In The Rye" Sequel

Who's up for a sequel to The Catcher in the Rye? Well, certainly John David California, the 32-year-old "former gravedigger and Ironman triathlete" who is also the writer of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, an unauthorized follow-up to the classic novel which everyone thinks is completely deep when they're fifteen but hopefully grows out of very soon after. Anyway, the new one features an aged Holden Caulfied escaping his nursing home and wandering around the city. California talks to the Guardian.