Monday, April 25, 2011

Why read? In the end, the answer to the question is as complex and compelling as "why live?"

Speaking as a former soldier and sole survivor, I know too well that stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But reading words inside the samizdat wikileaks at the Sydney Writers’ Festival is pure ecstasy … The Festival will look at power in its many incarnations … the power of the writer to shape the world with words, the awesome forces of nature under pressure, the power of the individual to effect global change and the constantly shifting nature of power itself: who’s got it, and why, and how technology is forcing a shift Poets like Jozef Imrich are now surfacing in bars, cafés, gypsy caravan tours, national events and even recognized within the Sydney Writers' Festival

The world might have forgotten the name of Mohamed Bouazizi. But when the history of the revolutions sweeping the Arab world is written, the 26-year-old Tunisian vegetable seller will be remembered as the rebel who lit the fuse that destroyed the Middle East’s old autocratic order. Today, as uprisings erupt across a region long resistant to change, every young Arab has become a Bouazizi, the frustrated youth who set himself on fire two months ago in a tragic protest against the ills afflicting Arab society, from corruption to unemployment, to a denial of dignity. Making history in the street: The Arab Youth - Mohamed Bouazizi Set himself on fire

In 1968, Czechoslovak people welcome the changes of the glorious Prague Spring and dream of everlasting freedom. But, the Mittle European history has a way of doubling back on its natives. One summer night the country is invaded by the Russian. In the winter of 1969 a young man called Jan Palach burns himself to death in front of the statue of St Vaclac in Wenceslaw Square. Making history in the street: The Bohemian Youth - Jan Palach burns himself to death in front of the statue

A high priest at the altar of fiction Divulging uncomfortable details: pushing the power of words
The war hero who inspired James Bond (and had a bizarre sex pact with Ava Gardner)

Brussels had just been liberated. In a bedroom on the second floor of a sumptuous mansion, Geoffrey Gordon-Creed, a handsome major in the British Army, and a pretty young Belgian girl were engaged in enthusiastic sexual athletics. Suddenly, there was a loud rapping on the door. It was the girl’s father, a rich Belgian baron, suspicious that his daughter might have company and determined to protect her honour.

Unless It Moves the Human Heart: The Craft and Art of Writing, “and wonder if, in some way, their reckless enthusiasm for art, conceived and nurtured in an increasingly money-driven age, represents their unconscious protest against the age... They turn to the power of their powerlessness, not unlike Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, [and] Ludvík Vaculík.” Havel, Kundera, and Vaculik lived in Soviet Eastern Europe, where everyone was expected to sacrifice their own individual desires for the greater good — a sea of faceless workers with no personal right to speak. They put themselves at great risk, facing jail and exile, to break through the anonymity. They led revolutions and then nations. They faced their time’s great evil with humor and an unwavering stare, and through that created works of great beauty.
• Read an eye-opening memoir All That Is Bitter and Sweet [A brutally frank tale of addiction This Is Gonna Hurt ; Since Shakespeare wrote so many years ago, scholars had had all this time to get it right, hadn't they All memoirs tell their own version of the truth; There's often little to distinguish victim and perpetrator in Africa's new hearts of darkness - Dancing in the Glory of Monsters The Triumph of Fear - Tales from between the sticks]
• · Growing up female is hard work; you have to be attractive, independent, smart, and funny, but not too challenging if you want to get a date. I am like a glass left on the bar, empty, a lipstick stain on the lip, a melted ice cube at the bottom ‘Bossypants’ and Other New Memoirs by Literary Ladies ; Make no bones about it Love and revolution
• · · Under-reported by the media, mercy killings by fathers and male siblings of Muslim women who are joining the movement are increasing Not Easily Washed Away ; Memoirs are often a literary bore. The world cared little about the hum-drum life of most folks, despite the writer’s conviction that the world really does care. Book serves as memoir of city ;While Charlie Sheen implodes in front of the world’s eyes, he could take comfort in the salutary tale of his old Brat Pack boozing buddy Rob Lowe Still in Hollywood, Lady Blue Eyes (Hutchinson) has Barbara Sinatra (nee Marx) divulging memories of her life; Publishing isn't dead. Smart publishing, well, that's a different story. The skeleton of the story burned itself into my brain, even if the details didn't. A Sea of Words: Drowning in Cold River
• · · · One of my favorite topics in novels and memoirs alike is the concept of fear. I always think of my writing as a relationship story. I hope they also tug at the emotions ; Lord, you are most irritating - self-serving memoirs Madness for “Memoirs In March”; >; By my count my mother has written three memoirs, six autobiographical novels and four memoirish explorations, and so I think it's safe to say that the Sharing Her Secrets
• · · · · He tells it like it was, living with a father who was a “mean drunk,” Schrader: Memoirs from growing up in county ;Ours is an era of scrupulously examined lives, which is another way of saying that ours also is an age of too many memoirs, often by writers with no public face or career Growing up in her father's shadow ; Julian Assange is a very dangerous man to those who want to suppress the truth," says Pilger. Assange's habit of spilling very big beans to millions Julian Assange: the most dangerous man in the world
• · · · · · Tragic Life Stories - ‎Writing in his memoirs -A rarefied group of leading literati convened recently to evaluate the writing genius of Barack Obama. They came to a surprising conclusion: Barack Obama may in fact be a greater writer than William Shakespeare.m It's important to note that none of these folks, absolutely none of them, are addled-brained liberal lunatics. Obama a Greater Writer than Shakespeare ; Hitch-22, of the numerous perils that he has faced as a reporter around the globe in places as various as Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Beirut, Christopher Hitchens reflects that a little danger or discomfort can be a salutary thing: ''I still make sure to go, at least once every year, to a country where things cannot be taken for granted, and where there is either too much law and order or too little.'' Don't pray for me‎ ; A survivor's story is about man's desire for freedom during a time when none existed. Pray For Media Dragon