Saturday, April 20, 2013

Memory is like a Chest

“I think memory is the most important asset of human beings. It’s a kind of fuel; it burns and it warms you. My memory is like a chest: There are so many drawers in that chest, and when I want to be a fifteen-year-old boy, I open up a certain drawer and I find the scenery I saw when I was a boy in Kobe. I can smell the air, and I can touch the ground, and I can see the green of the trees. That’s why I want to write a book.”
― Haruki Murakami

The notion of fate lies at the heart of the book. Ursula's seemingly insignificant choices transform the course of her life.

 In Salon (Slovakia), in To hesitate is fine, Ilma Rakusa discusses the national labeling of writers “Europa has the shape of my brain ~ Forgotten authors ripe for rediscovery The curse of the forgotten authors ~ Agent Query Letters That Actually Worked for Nonfiction

       The Festival spisovatelů Praha ran 17 through 19 April; yes, I'm a bit late with that news, but nevertheless Siegfried Mortkowitz's Preview: Prague Writers' Festival in The Prague Post is worth a look for information about the risky literary trends ~ a lifetime of unpacking the tragic ironies of Communism in gorgeously intricate prose miniatures Makine has been compared to Stendhal, Tolstoy and Proust ~ DOING THEIR BEST WORK AT NIGHT: Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, and other artists. If I had my way, I’d still keep my student schedule of staying up until 3:30, and arising at noon.

Liesl Schillinger on Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings: “This theme of self-invention is the subject of most of the great American novels, from “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” to “The House of Mirth” to “The Great Gatsby.” Enveloping and thoughtful, Wolitzer’s novel describes this process in a fresh and forgiving way.” That misanthropic wag H. L. Mencken once wrote that his definition of happiness included "a comfortable feeling of superiority to the masses of one's fellow men" - something he suggested was more easily achieved in this country than elsewhere Happiness

Hector Tobar on Laleh Khadivi’s The Walking: “…a book that manages to convey painful truths with a rare combination of grit and tenderness. That makes it not just an important addition to the literature of California’s immigrants, but also a universal story of suffering and resilience told with elegance and compassion.”

Kent Shaw on Mary Szybist’s Incarnadine: “… sophisticated, wry, faithful, divine, contradictory, tragic and allusive. Deeply allusive. Which is the nature of faith, the Human History of faith.” Everyone has angels, but who has an angel’s child

 Good and evil are the twin opposites of our ethical compass, and the struggle between good and evil is a conceit that powers the narratives of a huge variety of literature. Stories, from religious texts to fantasy novels, depict good protagonists fighting against evil antagonists for the salvation or protection of the world. The problem of the portrayal of evil in such narratives, though, is that although it evil meant to be an inscrutable monolith, it is nonetheless fascinating. A look at evil in literature
Counter and Strange: Contemporary Catholic Literature Catholicism is made of “all things counter, original, spare, strange

Sydney bookseller offers a sweet deal if you’ll dump your Kindle at his door. (The Bookseller) Pages & Pages, run by the Australian Booksellers Association president Jon Page, said it will give customers a $50 gift voucher when they buy an e-reader from his shop and at the same time as dumping their Kindle e-readers into a bin in his shop. said he is taking the action as part of a movement to raise awareness of Amazon¹s business practices, including its locked-in Kindle system and low corporation tax payments

Coffee! It is the great uniting force of my Daily Rituals book. It’s what brings together Beethoven and Proust, Glenn Gould and Francis Bacon, Jean-Paul Sartre and Gustav Mahler. This should hardly be surprising. Caffeine is the rare drug that has a powerful salutary effect—it aids focus and attention, wards off sleepiness, and speeds the refresh rate on new ideas—with only minimal drawbacks. And the ritual of preparing coffee serves for many as a gateway to the creative mood Kofi