Monday, April 17, 2017

Rare Books and Characters who Write

Flowers, as we know, are food for the soul as well as the senses –which is why so many great poems are about them...

… Never Call Yourself a Writer, and Other Rules for Writing | BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Not since I read Angela’s Ashes, have I read a novel so saturated with water.  (Sorry, the pun is irresistible). It’s not just the fatal lake, the village also floods under torrential rain.  The heavens open a lot. But although the ground level is flooded, the quirky house built by Grandfather is a kind of ark – though why an Old Testament God should visit such punishment on the seemingly harmless wasn’t clear to me. But besides the flood, the girls are always getting wet and sleeping in damp clothes,  as if to compensate for tears unshed.

     Speaking of water saturation ...  The first reviews at the complete review were posted eighteen years ago on 5th of April 1999 ...
       Eighteen years ago. 
       Eighteen years, and the 3920th review should go up sometime today. 
       Don't really know what to say about this kind of anniversary. Except for that I have obviously wasted way, way too much time doing this... 

 But, man, the books .....        Eighteen years 

I am the youngest of six (6) Children ...

I lost my father this past year, and the word feels right because I keep looking for him. As if he were misplaced. As if he could just turn up, like a sock or a set of keys.
It’s not unusual. In fact, nothing about his death, or my grief, is unusual; there’s no news here—nothing remotely tragic. I know what tragic is: eight days before my father died, a skinny young man walked into an elementary school fifteen minutes from where I live and killed twenty children, something so outrageous that the laws of physics should have stuttered in sympathy, the thrown rock cleared the horizon, the bouncing ball kept bouncing forever.
My father’s death was not in that universe of things. Really, nothing happened. An old man who seventy years ago had held the national Czech junior record in the eight-hundred-metre run walked out of a restaurant in Prague that he went to every day, started making his way up the sidewalk with the cane that I had bought him, complained of feeling weak, sat down on the stoop of 74 Vinohradska street, and died. He was not a person of interest; he’d pass through the mesh of the New York Times Obituary section like dust. He’d lived a long, heartbreaking, and extraordinary life, lived it, on the whole, more decently than most, and when he came to the end of it, he died. It doesn’t get more ordinary than that—the dying part, at least. Nobody's son, father, dedko ...

Journalists around the world are working together more than ever. Here are 56 examples

How biography works. It isn't merely a mode of historical inquiry, “but an act of imaginative faith,” says Richard Holmes, who has spent his life pursuing subjects through the past... Coldest Rivers »

Here’s how local newsrooms can collaborate on big projects

 all written by hand and sent via USPS please

By coincidence — although not really so, if you see what I mean — a planned lecture tour of Australia by AEI’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a vocal critic of female genital mutilation, sharia law, and jihadism, has been called off following calls to venues and insurers threatening “trouble.” Ali, who was born Muslim but came to disagree with the religious tenets of Islam, already travels with armed guards because of the credible threat of assassination [Kay Hymowitz, City Journal]

The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes have just been announced, and this year’s winners of the prestigious award include Charleston Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre for hisinvestigative report on the drug companies that flooded West Virginia with opioids and New York Times Magazine writer C.J. Chivers for his article about a veteran of the war in Afghanistan suffering from PTSD. I’ve done research on award-winners for some time, analyzing Pulitzers granted since 1995 (the first year for which award-winning stories are available through the organization’s online archive). In studying the winning stories, we’re able to see what gets recognized as good journalism. My research reveals something surprising: What distinguishes Pulitzer Prize-winning stories is not only painstaking journalistic work on important social issues, but also the use of emotional storytelling.

You have an estimated 70,000 thoughts per day. That's 70,000 chances to build yourself up or tear yourself down 5 Exercises That Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success

BuzzFeed News gets its first Pulitzer citation

Arthur Balfour was not a great prime minister of Britain, but he was a serious philosopher. Intellectual politicians, once common, now are nonexistent... Non Existent  

Robert Goulder, French Lessons on Tax Reform: The Bad, the Worse, and the Bizarre (Tax Analysts Blog). “It gets worse. Mélenchon wants to increase the top marginal tax rate on individuals to 100 percent of their earnings. You read that correctly — a 100 percent tax bracket… I’ve never taken the Laffer Curve seriously, but in the case of a 100 percent marginal rate, one might start to ponder whether the ripple effects include disincentives to work and invest.” 

Unfair at “Vanity Fair”: William Cohan Muddies the Met Mess

With the intense interest generated by Robin Pogrebin‘s shocking front-page revelations in yesterday’s NY Times aboutthe Metropolitan Museum’s governance lapses, it’s likely that pundits will pile on with commentaries fueled more by indignation and more

 Via CultureGrrl

Hourglass: Dani Shapiro on Time, Memory, Marriage, and What Makes Us Who We Are

“There is no other life than this. You would not have stumbled into the vastly imperfect, beautiful, impossible present.”

Hourglass: Dani Shapiro on Time, Memory, Marriage, and What Makes Us Who We Are
“It is the intentions, the capacities for choice rather than the total configuration of traits which defines the person,”philosopher Amelie Rorty concluded in her taxonomy of the seven layers of identity in literature and life“Time is the substance I am made of,”wrote Borges decades earlier in refuting the most perplexing dimension of existence“Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

 The barfly turned graphomaniac, the hoarder turned diarist. “When an ordinary person writes exhaustively about her own life, it can be something of a nightmare” Nightmare 

Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar review – Solaris with laughs

Kalfar emigrated to the US as a teenager. He writes in English and lives in Brooklyn, but you wouldn’t glean that from the text; it feels more like a superbly translated Czech novel. There are nods to Bohumil Hrabal and Josef Škvorecký, and the relentlessly inventive style made me think of the zaniness of Karel Čapek’s War with the Newts and his classic sci-fi play about Rossum’s Universal Robots, R.U.R.

No one can accuse Kalfar of showing a lack of ambition. His first novel is bursting at the seams: as well as being about interplanetary shenanigans, it is also a history of the Czech lands from the middle ages to the present and, in the second half of the book, a thriller. Although Jakub is in space, he carries his family problems with him, not least his disintegrating marriage, which he ambitiously attempts to mend from afar. Really the book should be entitled “Historian of Bohemia”, as Jakub reflects on his family’s lamentable past and his nation’s woeful history. It’s as if an episode of Star Trek has crashed into Milan Kundera’s The Joke.

Rare Bookstores Are Becoming Rarer Than Rare Books

“Susan Benne, executive director of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, says the organization has about 450 members but estimates 60 percent of those do not have an open storefront, and the overall number of dealers continues to drop. Lost, too, is that dusty aura of something vanished, gone like smoke from steam engines in the American landscape. The digital age of, e-readers and online research has its advantages, but for parishioners of the Church of Old Books, it has also relegated a way of reading, and finding the book of your fever dreams, to a dust-mote-enchanted memory.”

Add This Mirrored Tunnel Of Books To Your Bookstore Bucket List

Whoa. “The dizzying space contains a grand optical illusion that you only see once you’ve set foot inside. Its lobby is a cavernous tunnel that most notably features striking black mirrored flooring. Together, the reflective ground and curved shelving creates the feeling that you’ve stepped into a perfectly circular room, making you question which way is up.”

Ouline wrote this week that the web looks like shit. It's also built like shit atop a mountain of lies. But don't take my word for it, take Chase’s word, which saw the same results from ads on 5,000 sites as it did from placing ads on 400,000. This wheel has to be broken.