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Current research interests: things to read, see and hear before you die

Currently reading: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006) - Peter Dr Boxall

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2006, Aug 15; 20:05 ::: The Chaotic Age: A Canonical Prophecy

The Chaotic Age: A Canonical Prophecy is part IV of Harold Bloom's Western canon. D . W. taylor writes this:

In The Western Canon; The Books and School of the Age (1994), Harold Bloom examines the Western literary tradition by concentrating on the works of twenty-six authors central to the Canon. Bloom concludes his work with an extensive bibliography covering 36 two-columned pages. Here he provides an extensive list of essential writers and books - his version of the Canon. The list is divided into four chronological ages: Theocratic, Aristocratic, Democratic, and Chaotic. Each of these is presented as a separate file at this site. He writes about the fourth part of the Canon as follows. "I am not as confident about this list as the other three. Cultural prophecy is always a mug's game. Not all of the works here can prove to be canonical; literary overpopulation is a hazard to many among them. But I have neither excluded nor included on the basis of cultural politics of any sort. What I have omitted seem to me fated to become period pieces: even their 'multiculturist' supporters will turn against them in another two generations or so, in order to clear space for better writings." See Bloom's book for his recommended translations and his elegant, perceptive, and cutting criticism. --http://home.comcast.net/~dwtaylor1/chaoticcanon.html [Aug 2005]

The full list of titles (per country) is available from D. W. Taylor's site.

See also: Western canon - Harold Bloom - 1994 - classic novels

2006, Aug 15; 20:05 ::: Last night and this morning

Momus has posted on Japanese musician Cornelius:

Spurious has written an extended piece on Maurice Blanchot's Thomas the Obscure titled I Think Therefore I am Not.

2006, Aug 15; 20:05 ::: Susan Sontag

I'm revisiting this essay by Susan Sontag.

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Cinematic metaphors in Woolf's To the Lighthouse

In search of cinematic influences on literature.

To the Lighthouse (1927) - Virginia Woolf
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Cinematic metaphors in the Time Passes section:

Emotional dynamics (aesthetic and personal) intrigued Woolf as she worked on this section. On October 30, 1926 her diary noted "I am the usual battlefield of emotions ... plod with some method revising To the Lighthouse" and employed a suggestive cinematic metaphor: "All these things shoulder each other out across the screen of my mind" (D3 114). A letter to Vita on November 19, 1926 illuminates Woolf's personal strategies for working through emotion; in a response to an unspecified charge by Vita, Woolf explained: "But dont you see, donkey West, that you'll be tired of me one of these days (I'm so much older) and so I have to take my little precautions. Thats why I put the emphasis on |recording' rather than feeling" (L3 302). This personal protective device of deflecting feeling by "recording" certainly parallels the technical device of employing the dispassionate |recording' of the objective camera to deflect sentimentality which Woolf used in the revision of the "Time Passes" section. Creating the illusion of distancing the text from the subject, the cinematic technique helped Woolf to address the complex and vital issues at the core of her revision of To The Lighthouse. --Criticism, Wntr, 1993 by Leslie Kathleen Hankins

See also: Virginia Woolf - 1927 - film technique - literary techniques

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Sf film, then, in terms of films studies, is no longer paraliterature

Very nice set of mini-essays which came with the 1997 launch of literary journal Paradoxa concerned with paraliterature (a term coined by Fredric Jameson in 1984) can be found here.

Contributors include Brian Attebery, Samuel Delany, John Huntington, David Ketterer, Ursula K. LeGuin, Jean Marigny, Patrick McCarthy, Michael Moorcock, David Pringle, Franz Rottensteiner, David Samuelson, Vivian Sobchack, C.W. Sullivan III, Takayuki Tatsumi, Keyan Tomaselli, Donald M. Hassler, Charles Nicol, Pamela Sargent, James Winchell and Gary K. Wolfe.

"Sf film, then, in terms of films studies, is no longer paraliterature - that is, outside the bounds of what counts as an appropriate academic object. We could say it has been "disciplined". However, one could make the same case for the progression of film in general. Intellectuals first marginalized the movies as a low-class amusement, then argued it as a legitimate art form and excluded base and popular productions, and now inclusively embrace everything cinematic from pornography to surveillance film to the Home Shopping Network as cultural objects worthy of study. Having a penchant for writing about things on the margin, I have no quarrel with the dissolution of the canonical by its very expansion - other than that I am no longer able to indulge my romantic pride in being an "outsider". This contemporary situation is not unique to film studies and it provokes me to ask how we can speak of paraliterature if we think of it as that which is uncanonized? The very existence of Para*doxa speaks to the cultural "colonization" and academic "canonization" it would challenge." --Vivian Sobchack via http://paradoxa.com/excerpts/1-1intro.htm [Aug 2006]

See also: paraliterature - SF film

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Manhattan Transfer (1925) - John Dos Passos

In search of cinematic influences on literature.

Manhattan Transfer (1925) - John Dos Passos
[FR] [DE] [UK]

In Manhattan Transfer and in the U.S.A. trilogy Dos Passos developed-and eventually perfected-his use of fragmentary blocks, montage, pastiche and editing. It was D.H. Lawrence who first made the comparison between these experimental elements and advancements in film production. In his review of Manhattan Transfer, Lawrence likened it to "a movie picture with an intricacy of different stories and close-ups" and referred to it as "a very complex film" (364). Much later, in 1967, when asked about the development of this textual form. Dos Passos claimed that his concept of montage arose rather haphazardly from what he saw and heard before and during the 1920s: "At the time I did [it] I am not sure whether I had seen Eisenstein's films. The idea of montage had an influence on the development of this sort of writing. I may have seen Potemkin. Then, of course, I must have seen Birth of a Nation, which was the first attempt at montage" (Plimpton 80). --Literature Film Quarterly, 1999 by Edwards, Justin

See also: American literature - 1925 - film editing - literary techniques

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) - Carlos Castaneda

The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (1968) - Carlos Castaneda [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In the psychedelic '60s, Carlos Castaneda wandered deep into the Mexican desert and brought back the chemically enhanced key to mystic paperback success. But was he a shaman or a sham? Mick Brown looks for enlightenment. --http://www.geocities.com/skepdigest/sorcerer.html

Don Juan Matus is a major character in the series of books by Carlos Castaneda ("Don" is a common, polite, term of deference in Spanish).

In Castaneda's books, Don Juan Matus was a Yaqui Indian whom he met during anthropological field work around the U.S.-Mexico border. On subsequent visits, Don Juan revealed himself to Castaneda as being a sort of medicine man who had inherited (through a lineage of teachers) an ancient Central American practice for refining one's awareness of the universe.

Taisha Abelar and Florinda Donner-Grau – associates of Castaneda – also wrote about the same Don Juan Matus, although he went by different pseudonyms in their books such as Mariano Aureliano. In all of these books, Don Juan Matus was a nagual who was leader of a group of practitioners of tradition of perceptual enhancement.

The actual existence of Don Juan is a matter of some dispute between Castaneda's supporters and critics. If Don Juan was a real person, his real name was apparently changed to maintain his anonymity. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Juan_Matus

See also: mysticism - anthropology - psychedelic - sixties counterculture - drugs in literature - 1968 - art of dreaming - new age - South America

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Books that have attracted a cult following

  1. Anti-Œdipus (Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari)
  2. Atomised (Michel Houellebecq)
  3. The Atrocity Exhibition (J. G. Ballard)
  4. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
  5. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  6. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
  7. A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)
  8. The Dice Man (Luke Rhinehart)
  9. Dispatches (Michael Herr)
  10. The Doors of Perception (Aldous Huxley)
  11. Dune (Frank Herbert)
  12. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Tom Wolfe)
  13. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson)
  14. The Female Eunuch (Germaine Greer)
  15. Food of the Gods (Terence McKenna)
  16. Function of the Orgasm (Wilhelm Reich)
  17. Gaia (James Lovelock)
  18. Gödel, Escher, Bach (Douglas Hofstadter)
  19. Le Grand Meaulnes (Alain Fournier)
  20. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
  21. The Illuminatus! Trilogy (Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea)
  22. Less Than Zero (Brett Easton Ellis)
  23. Journey to the End of the Night (Louis-Ferdinand Céline)
  24. The Naked Lunch (William S. Burroughs)
  25. Neuromancer (William Gibson)
  26. On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
  27. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey)
  28. The Outsider (Albert Camus)
  29. The Second Sex (Simone de Beauvoir)
  30. Slaughterhouse 5 (Kurt Vonnegut)
  31. The Storm of Steel (Ernst Jünger)
  32. The Story of the Eye (Georges Bataille)
  33. Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert Heinlein)
  34. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge (Carlos Castaneda)
  35. Tropic of Cancer (Henry Miller)
  36. Trout Fishing in America (Richard Brautigan)
  37. The Wasp Factory (Iain Banks)
  38. White Noise (Don DeLillo)
  39. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig)


See also: cult fiction

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: History of the Amen break

Link: Amen break - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the "Amen Break," a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music -- a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip."

QUOTE: "Overprotecting intellectual property is as harmful as underprotecting it".

Via http://agentchin.typepad.com/grabbag/2006/03/amen_break.html [Aug 2006]

See also: breaks

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Dick Hebdige

Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979) - Dick Hebdige [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Cut 'N' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (1987) - Dick Hebdige [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

I split the page of British cultural and media theorist Dick Hebdige, giving separate entries to his two most important books: Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979) which details the history of post-war stylistic and musical subculteres of Great Britain and Cut 'N' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (1987) - Dick Hebdige which is a history of black music diaspora.

See also: Dick Hebdige - Cultural Studies

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Words of Art

The Beribboned Bomb: The Image of Woman in Male Surrealist Art (1995) - Robert J. Belton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Robert J. Belton's Words of Art is back online.

See also: Robert Belton - glossary

2006, Aug 14; 20:05 ::: Tragic irony or poetic justice?

“Poetic justice” (the name often given to artistic miracle-mongering) may be comforting, but we regretfully recognize that it is very bad art. “Poetic justice” is indeed the wrong name to give it, since it is neither poetry nor justice; there is a true poetic justice, which we know better by the name of “tragic irony,” which is of the nature of judgment and is the most tremendous power in literature as in life — but in that there is no element of miracle. What we commonly mean by “poetic justice” is a system of rewards and punishments bestowed, like their nursery exemplars, “because you have been good” and “because you have been naughty” — or sometimes simply with the object of keeping the children quiet. --Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957)

Had I but known
The phrase "had I but known" is a rather obvious form of foreshadowing that hints at some looming disaster in which the first-person narrator laments his or her course of action which precipitates some or other unfortunate series of action. Classically, the narrator never makes explicit the nature of the mistake, until both the narrator and the reader have realized the consequence of the error. If done well, this literary device can add suspense or dramatic irony, if overdone, it invites comparison of the story to Victorian melodrama and sub-standard popular fiction. This is a characteristic element used by classical horror author H. P. Lovecraft in almost every one of his stories.

The technique has also been used by omniscient narrators, with even less excuse. It is much harder to be done well in a third-person narrative. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Had_I_but_known [Aug 2006]

See also: irony - poetic justice

2006, Aug 13; 20:05 ::: The Invisible Man (1897) - H.G. Wells

In search of cinematic influences on literature.

The Invisible Man (1897) - H.G. Wells [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Laura Marcus (Virginia Woolf expert and cinema theorist) in 1001 Books argues that:

[Wells undoubtedly drew] "on the early cinema's exploitations of the new medium's abilities to animate inanimate objects and to move matter through space without visible agency."

Maybe Laura Marcus is referring to the work of Georges Méliès who was very innovative in the use of special effects. He accidentally discovered the stop trick, or substitution, in 1896, and was one of the first filmmakers to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves, and hand-painted color in his films. But it couldn't have been A Trip To The Moon she is refering to since that particular film was first shown to the public in 1902, five years after The Invisible Man was published. So what early cinema featuring special effects could Wells have been exposed to?

Off/on topic: Anti-100 years of cinema manifesto by Jonas Mekas.

See also: special effects - early cinema - H. G. Wells - novel - invisibility in fiction - 1897

2006, Aug 13; 20:05 ::: Guy Debord: Revolution in the Service of Poetry (2006) - Vincent Kaufmann

Guy Debord: Revolution in the Service of Poetry (2006) - Vincent Kaufmann [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

August's Books of the Month at Ready Steady Book

Writer, artist, filmmaker, provocateur, revolutionary, and impresario of the Situationist International, Guy Debord shunned the apparatus of publicity he dissected so brilliantly in his most influential work, "The Society of the Spectacle". In this ambitious and innovative biography, Vincent Kaufmann places Debord's very hostility toward the inquisitive, biographical gaze at the center of an investigation into his subject's diverse output - from his earliest films to his landmark works of social theory and political provocation - and the poetic sensibility that informed both his work and his life. Instead of providing a conventional day-to-day account of Debord's life, Kaufmann deftly locates his subject within the historical and intellectual context of the radical social, political, and artistic movements in which he participated. He traces Debord's development as an intellectual: his involvement with the Lettrist movement in the early 1950s, his central role in the Situationist International from 1957 to 1971 and in the events of May 1968, and the productive and frequently misunderstood period between the dissolution of the situationists and his suicide, during which time Debord clarified the rules of his war against inauthenticity. As Kaufmann makes clear, for Debord political thought and action were inseparable from aesthetics and poetic expression. Whether envisioning the recovery of a lost, protocommunist age of authenticity and transparency in "The Society of the Spectacle" or critically assessing the possibility of revolution against postmodern capitalism two decades later, Debord advocated and practiced an art of defiance, a concurrently martial and melancholic poetics. Avoiding the mythologies about Debord that both admirers and critics have cultivated, Kaufmann provides a groundbreaking and generous assessment of Debord and his uncompromising struggle against a corrupt civilization. The definitive biography of the author of "The Society of the Spectacle" and a compelling account of his war against inauthenticity. --from the publisher

See also: Guy Debord - poetry - 2006

2006, Aug 13; 20:05 ::: How I Wrote Certain Of My Books (1935) - Raymond Roussel

How I Wrote Certain Of My Books (1935) - Raymond Roussel, Trevor Winkfield, John Ashbery [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Library Journal
Considered to be the precursor to literary surrealism, Roussel was admired as a genius by such illustrious contemporary French writers as Cocteau, Gide, Foucault, and Giacometti. To the public in general he was perhaps one of the most extraordinary, eccentric writers of this century. In this volume, a cross-section of his major writings, he explains the method he used to compose his works. When he sent parts of this book to the printer in 1932, the understanding was that the text would not be published while he was alive (he died in 1933; it came out two years later). And so it was his last and posthumous work. Roussel's style is largely based on linguistic riddles and compositions of phonetically enigmatic or distorted sentences and phrases. His masterpiece, "New Impressions from Africa," is a poem illustrating his verbal acrobatics and the use of seemingly endlessly intertwined parenthetical thoughts like a Chinese puzzle. All this is compounded with a curious collection of 59 illustrations commissioned by the author and inspired by him. Recommended for literary collections.?Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Raymond Roussel (Paris, January 20, 1877 - Palermo, July 14, 1933) was a French poet, novelist, playwright, musician, chess enthusiast, neurasthenic, drug addict, and a probable committer of suicide. Through his novels, poems, and plays he exerted a profound influence on certain groups within 20th century French literature, including the Surrealists, Oulipo, and the authors of the nouveau roman. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond Roussel

Roussell is one of the authors mentioned in André Breton's excellent 1940 Anthology of Black Humor. Impressions of Africa and Locus Solus are listed in 1001 Books.

See also: nouveau roman - surrealism - French literature - 1877 - 1935 - experimental literature

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: Before you die

from the intertitles of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) - Robert Wiene

Blogger Francisco Silva is reading, seeing and listening to all of the novels, films and albums listed in 1001 Books (2006), 1001 Movies (2004) and 1001 Albums (2006) before he dies, so you don't have to. According to his calculations, he should be done in 10 years or so. [Aug 2006]

See also: lists

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: The human condition in fiction

See also: themes and sensibilities - jealousy in fiction - asexuality in fiction

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: "And what are you reading, Miss --?"

"And what are you reading, Miss --?" "Oh! it is only a novel!" … or, in short, only some work in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.-- Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1818)

See also: novel - human nature - variety - Jane Austen - 1810s

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: The Novel is a picture of real life

“The Novel is a picture of real life and manners, and of the time in which it is written. The Romance, in lofty and elevated language, describes what never happened nor is likely to happen.” --Clara Reeve, The Progress of Romance, 1785

See also: novel - realism in literature - verisimilitude - Clara Reeve - 1780s

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: Supposing that Truth is a woman--what then?

1889 photograph of Sils Maria (a small Swiss village in the Alps, altitude 1800 m ) where Nietzsche wrote Beyond Good and Evil

"SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman--what then? Is there not ground for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women--that the terrible seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly methods for winning a woman?" --from the preface to Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

See also: Alps - truth - women - Nietzsche - 1886

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: Notes on proto-blogging

Greencine asks Girish for summertime reading and he recommends Notes on the Cinematographer by Robert Bresson, The Art of Cinema by Jean Cocteau, Godard on Godard by Jean-Luc Godard, From the Atelier Tovar by Guy Maddin and Movie Journal by Jonas Mekas. He considers these as proto-filmblogs.

In the comments section we find Michael Sicinski recommending Adorno's Minima Moralia as an example of "proto-bloggishness"

ScurvyDave than hurries to say:

The Kurtis Blow of proto-blogging: Michel de Montaigne [he invented the essay], the master of cut and paste autobiography and rumination.

The ultimate proto-blogs were the Renaissance commonplaces and the most bloggish book I know of is Walter Benjamin's Paris Arcades.

See also: proto- - blogging

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: Cinemarati

Cinemarati is a web alliance for film commentary brings together online film critics for serious, and seriously fun, discussion about film.

Membership in Cinemarati is extended to online film critics and film journalists by invitation only.

The founding members are Jill Cozzi, Rick Ferguson, Jeff Huston, Dan Jardine, MaryAnn Johanson, Scott Renshaw, Gabriel Shanks, Brian Webster.

The Cinemarati Canon introduced by Bryant Frazer

It's now been nearly three years since the last time we polled the Cinemarati member ranks for the 100 movies that we felt belonged in our own personal canons. Top 100 lists were once again solicited from Cinemarati members late last year; as new members were added to the rolls this year, their picks were tabulated alongside the others. Minor updates have been allowed since then, but nobody's list has changed in a major way in the intervening 12 months; the reason I bring up these dates is that one film that might have had a shot at the list, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, likely got shortchanged because the canon has been essentially in progress since before it opened. Mea culpa.

So what's new about this list? About 32 films and three members. There were 14 members participating in this survey, up from 11 previously. Participants this time around were Acquarello, Shay Casey, Jeffrey Chen, Jill Cozzi, Nick Davis, Bryant Frazer, Mark Freeman (currently on hiatus but eligible to participate), Stephen Himes, member emeritus Jeff Huston, Dan Jardine, MaryAnn Johanson, Nathaniel R., Martin Scribbs, and Gabriel Shanks. Everyone involved was also invited to write a paragraph on their "orphan" film -- a high-ranking title on their list that was cited by nobody else. --http://www.cinemarati.org/pages/canon.htm [Aug 2006]

Note: My current favourite film blog girish (perfectly introduced here by Greencine) is not a member and their top 100 includes Spinal Tap, a film which I judge subpar.

See also: canon - film - classic film

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: IMDb for books

Apparently there is an IMDb for books called Internet Book List, but judging from these Alexa stats it fails to gain momentum. Their top rated books reads as a bit of geek or hacker's canon.

See also: novels - list - encyclopedia

2006, Aug 12; 20:05 ::: Yesterday at the Fnac

Brooklyn Follies (2005) - Paul Auster [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Yesterday at the Fnac (that culture temple of books, films and music which can be found in France and Belgium), I read the first pages of Paul Auster's Brooklyn Follies. They were hilarious. [Aug 2006]

From the first page:

"I was looking for a quiet place to die. Someone recommended Brooklyn, and so the next morning I traveled down there from Westchester to scope out the terrain. I hadn't been back in fifty-six years, and I remembered nothing. My parents had moved out of the city when I was three, but I instinctively found myself returning to the neighborhood where we had lived, crawling home like some wounded dog to the place of my birth. A local real estate agent ushered me around to six or seven brownstone flats, and by the end of the afternoon I had rented a two-bedroom garden apartment on First Street, just half a block away from Prospect Park. I had no idea who my neighbors were, and I didn't care. They all worked at nine-to-five jobs, none of them had any children, and therefore the building would be relatively silent. More than anything else, that was what I craved. A silent end to my sad and ridiculous life."

See also: folly - novel - 2005 - American literature

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Candice Rialson (1951 - 2006)

Chatterbox (1977) - Tom DeSimone

American actress Candice Rialson (she starred in Joe Dante's Hollywood Boulevard and the political thriller Winter Kills) died four months ago. Nobody noticed. Until two days ago. Via Greencine and high and low blog [Aug 2006]

The poster you see above is for the 1977 film Chatterbox about a young woman who works in a beauty parlor discovers that her vagina can talk, apparently an update to French porno chic era Pussy Talk.

See also: American cinema

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Wuthering Heights (1847) - Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights (1847) - Emily Brontë [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's only novel. It was first published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuthering Heights [Aug 2006]

There has been a great obsession with solitude in modern writing, and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights must stand as the most violent expression of the products of extreme austerity and isolation ever written. It is an utterly psychotic love story. [...]

Doubtless this is the reason that compelled Georges Bataille to judge it "one of the greatest books ever written." --Seb Franklin via 1001 Books

The novel stars that Byronic hero par excellence, Heathcliff. [Aug 2006]

See also: loneliness - novel - 1847 - British literature

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: The Byronic hero and bipolar disorder

See also: bipolar disorder - Byronic hero

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

In my ninetieth year, I decided to give myself the gift of a night of love with a young virgin.

This was something new for me. I was ignorant of the arts of seduction and had always chosen my brides for a night at random, more for their price than their charms, and we had made love without love, half-dressed most of the time and always in the dark, so we could imagine ourselves as better than we were ... That night I discovered the improbable pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty.

It is a triumph of life that old people lose their memories of inessential things.

We do not waste away with time; time is a tool that carves away our excess, like a chisel chips away marble to reveal a work of art.

I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn't pay ... by the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once ... My public life, on the other hand, was lacking in interest: both parents dead, a bachelor without a future, a mediocre journalist ... and a favorite of caricaturists because of my exemplary ugliness. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memories_of_My_Melancholy_Whores [Aug 2006]

Gabriel José García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1928), is a Colombian novelist, journalist, publisher, political activist, and Nobel laureate in literature. Born in the town of Aracataca in the department of Magdalena, he has lived mostly in Mexico and Europe and currently spends much of his time in Mexico City. Widely credited with introducing the global public to magical realism, he has secured both significant critical acclaim and widespread commercial success. A growing consensus of literary scholars holds that García Márquez ranks alongside Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar as one of South America's greatest 20th-century authors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Garc%C3%ADa_M%C3%A1rquez [Aug 2006]

See also: novel - South America - 2004 - magic realism - whore

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Literary canon at Wikipedia

Top importance novels category

Anna Karenina - Bleak House - Brave New World - Crime and Punishment - David Copperfield - Doctor Zhivago - Dracula - East of Eden - Fathers and Sons - Frankenstein - Gone with the Wind - Jane Eyre - Lolita - Madame Bovary - Max Havelaar - Nineteen Eighty-Four - Oliver Twist - Pride and Prejudice - Sherlock Holmes - Starship Troopers - The Assault - The Brothers Karamazov - The Fall - The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby - The Lord of the Rings - The Master and Margarita - The Pickwick Papers - The Plague - The Satanic Verses - The Sorrows of Young Werther - The Three Musketeers - The Trial - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Treasure Island - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Ulysses - War and Peace - Wuthering Heights

See also: literary fiction - canon - Western canon

2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: 1001 Books top 39 authors

Note: I have linked to author pages directly if they had an entry on Jahsonic.com or via an automated internal search.

1001 Books frequency count:

  • 10 entries:
  • 9 entries:
  • 8 entries:
  • 7 entries:
  • 6 entries:
  • 5 entries:

    Un/Notably absent from this list are: Guillaume Apollinaire - Charles Bukowski - Jean Genet - W.F. Hermans - E.T.A. Hoffmann - Pierre Klossowski - Gaston Leroux - Pierre Louys - Norman Mailer - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - Octave Mirbeau - Thomas De Quincey - Alexander Trocchi - Boris Vian - Edgar Wallace - Colin Wilson

    See also: 1001 Books - authors listed at jahsonic.com

    2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: unAmerican or unAustralian

    In search of intrinsic evil.

    The central narrative of the Bush administration and the Howard Government is that terrorism springs from intrinsic evil, and that it is so powerful a threat to western nation states that Americans and Australians must now give up our traditions of free speech and dissent to defend the homeland. Those who dissent from, or question, this narrative are seen as unAmerican or unAustralian. The Howard Government echoes the Bush line. --Gary Sauer-Thompson via http://www.sauer-thompson.com [Aug 2006]

    2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Death Sentence (1948) - Maurice Blanchot

    Death Sentence (1948) - Maurice Blanchot [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    There's no English equivalent of the French récit, which names a literary genre which tells of a single event. A few dense notes on what this word comes to mean for Blanchot in The Book to Come and elsewhere. --http://spurious.typepad.com/spurious/2006/06/what_is_the_rel.html [Aug 2006]

    See also: literary genre - Maurice Blanchot - 1948 - death - punishment

    2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Caché (2005) - Michael Haneke

    Cache (Hidden) (2005) - Michael Haneke [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Haneke celebrates one of his recurring themes: the introduction of a malevolent force into comfortable bourgeois existence, as previously seen in Funny Games. [Aug 2006]

    See also: hidden - 2005 - Michael Haneke

    2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: my life has atrophied terribly, and does not stop atrophying

    As far as literature is concerned, my destiny is quite simple. My penchant for portraying my dreamlike inner life has rendered everything else inconsequential; my life has atrophied terribly, and does not stop atrophying. Nothing else can ever satisfy me. --A 1914 Kafka diary entry

    Via Spurious

    See also: Franz Kafka - 1914

    2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Voicing the Popular (2006) - Richard Middleton

    Voicing the Popular (2006) - Richard Middleton [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Book Description
    Voicing the Popular brings together aspects of political economy, cultural history, and musical interpretation to examine the rise of popular music over the past 50 years. A unifying theme is that of "voice," by which Middleton means the sphere of vocality through which popular songs are delivered, as well as a broader, metaphorical sense of "voice" as a vehicle through which subjects articulate, understand, and represent identities and personae. Tackling large themes in the field--including gender, race authenticity, and repetition as a means of structuring popular song--Middleton hopes to bring new clarity to the study of popular music, while also questioning basic assumptions. -via the publisher

    See also: Richard Middleton - popular music studies - music criticism - music journalism - 2006 - a capella

    2006, Aug 10; 20:05 ::: Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque (2004) - Jacques Richard

    Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque (2004) - Jacques Richard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    See also: phantom - Henri Langlois - La Cinémathèque française - French cinema

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