tagged w/ Literature
Coyle had an interesting point about economics being more speculative than science fiction. Doctorow set one of the themes for the evening by taking about his next novel, which will be sort of an anti-Cormac, where people in a disaster scenario actually help each other out. He hates that meme where disaster brings out the worst in everyone, On that, Doctorow and Stevenson had one of their few agreements of the evening. Coyle also made an interesting point about Steampunk—it represents a nostalgia for the Victorian era as a time of optimism about the ability of technology to handle the future. Gibson, as is his wont these days, pointed out that Science Fiction writers actually haven’t been very good at predicting the future.Coyle had an interesting point about economics being more speculative than science... more
Few have ever matched the epic power and grace of the insult like Shakespeare. Whether you're pursuing a degree in drama, English or just can't get enough of the Bard, it can be enlightening and entertaining to learn a few of the barbs that pepper these Elizabethan classics.
Link: http://www.bachelorsdegree.org/2011/05/22/20-epic-shakespeare-insults-every-drama-geek-should-know/Few have ever matched the epic power and grace of the insult like Shakespeare. Whether... more
University of Leicester lecturer and author, Corinne Fowler talks about Grassroutes - a project that aims to promote local, national and international appreciation of transcultural writing by Leicestershire authors.University of Leicester lecturer and author, Corinne Fowler talks about Grassroutes -... more
Today New York publisher The Dial Press, a division of Random House, releases Haley Tanner's debut novel Vaclav and Lena, a coming of age tale about Russian-Jewish immigrant children in Brooklyn. In my New York Journal of Books review I describe the book as "a tale of unconditional love; of attachment, separation, and reunion; and of trauma and healing." It's an engaging read that will appeal to teens, their parents, and anyone interested in the immigrant experience.Today New York publisher The Dial Press, a division of Random House, releases Haley... more
When I got to my mother’s house the first thing I did was give her the once-over. Old age was upon her. Her face was gaunt with waxy wrinkles, and sunspots along her cheeks. Her gray hair was coarse with only a small semblance of the wonderful brown hair she used to boast. Her nightgown was worn, and very soft as a result. Then I looked at her feet that were shoved into brand new over-sized powder puff slippers. But there was a smell in the air that made me wonder about hygiene.When I got to my mother’s house the first thing I did was give her the... more
He snaps off the transistor
voice, choosing the hard things,
more concerned with politics in hand:
the rigged feel of a borrowed
boat, the smile on a borrowed wife.../He snaps off the transistor voice, choosing the hard things, more concerned with... more
More than 10 inventions changed the face of the field permanently, of course, but this list focuses on the ones leaving the most massive impact.
Link : http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2011/05/02/10-technologies-that-changed-literature-forever/More than 10 inventions changed the face of the field permanently, of course, but this... more
It’s a little disconcerting to know that the real stories behind the fairy tales that made your eyes go all sparkly as a child were originally tales of rape, self-injury and forced abandonment. But the inspiration behind these stories simply resonated more clearly and relevantly with audiences at the time they were created, and have since been adapted to please our morals and desire for happy endings today. Whether you’re a literature student or just interested in "real-life" accounts behind fictional tales, here are the fascinating histories behind your favorite fairy tales.
LINK : http://www.matchacollege.com/blog/2011/the-fascinating-histories-behind-your-favorite-fairy-tales/It’s a little disconcerting to know that the real stories behind the fairy tales... more
David Alhabari's novel "Leeches" explores antisemitism, mathematics, & Kabbalah Continue reading on Examiner.com: David Alhabari's novel "Leeches" explores antisemitism, mathematics, & Kabbalah - New York NY | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/ny-in-new-york/david-alhabari-s-novel-leeches-explores-antisemitism-mathematics-kabbalah#ixzz1KrByj0l4In my New York Journal of Books review of Leeches I write: "David Albahari’s challenging yet engaging, cerebral, magical-realist, experimental, post-modernist novel Leeches provides a portrait of life in Belgrade, capital of an ideologically charged and xenophobic Serbia, in the months preceding the NATO bombing campaign. As elsewhere in history, Belgrade’s Jewish community is the proverbial canary in the Serbian coal mine; considering the Serbian government’s behavior toward other former Yugoslav republics and their ethnic groups, this should not be surprising." My review ends with two lengthy excerpts from the novel and challenges the reader to decide for him/herself whether their intellectual content enhances the narrative or is pretentious erudition for its own sake.In my New York Journal of Books review of Leeches I write: "David... more
New poetry from MJ DeAngelis....
From crossword enthusiasts to journalists, editing geeks can be found everywhere. Often known to correct others in a “who versus whom” situation while looking through a pair of horn-rimmed glasses, they can even be found in our own homes and workplaces.
link: http://mastersinprojectmanagement.com/word-nerds-rejoice-top-25-blogs-for-editing-geeks/From crossword enthusiasts to journalists, editing geeks can be found everywhere.... more
April 11th, 2011
11:21 AM ET
Leading atheist publishes secular Bible
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
The question arose early in British academic A.C. Grayling’s career: What if those ancient compilers who’d made Bibles, the collected religious texts that were translated, edited, arranged and published en masse, had focused instead on assembling the non-religious teachings of civilization’s greatest thinkers?
What if the book that billions have turned to for ethical guidance wasn’t tied to commandments from God or any one particular tradition but instead included the writings of Aristotle, the reflections of Confucius, the poetry of Baudelaire? What would that book look like, and what would it mean?
Decades after he started asking such questions, what Grayling calls “a lifetime’s work” has hit bookshelves. “The Good Book: A Humanist Bible,” subtitled “A Secular Bible” in the United Kingdom, was published this month. Grayling crafted it by using more than a thousand texts representing several hundred authors, collections and traditions.
The Bible would have been “a very different book and may have produced a very different history for mankind,” had it drawn on the work of philosophers and writers as opposed to prophets and apostles, says Grayling, a philosopher and professor at Birkbeck College, University of London, who is an atheist.
“Humanist ethics didn’t claim to be derived from a deity," he says. "(They) tended to start from a sympathetic understanding of human nature and accept that there’s a responsibility that each individual has to work out the values they live by and especially to recognize that the best of our good lives revolve around having good relationships with people.”
Humanists rely on human reason as an alternative to religion or belief in God in attempting to find meaning and purpose in life.
Determined to make his material accessible, Grayling arranged his nearly 600-page "Good Book" much like the Bible, with double columns, chapters (the first is even called Genesis) and short verses. And much like the best-selling King James Bible, which is celebrating its 400th year, his book is written in a type of English that transcends time.
Like the Bible, "The Good Book," opens with a garden scene. But instead of Adam and Eve, Grayling's Genesis invokes Isaac Newton, the British scientist who pioneered the study of gravity.
"It was from the fall of fruit from such a tree that new inspiration came for inquiry into the nature of things," reads a verse from "The Good Book's" first chapter.
"When Newton sat in his garden, and saw what no one had seen before: that an apple draws the earth to itself, and the earth the apple," the verse continues, "Through a mutual force of nature that holds all things, from the planets to the stars, in unifying embrace."
The book's final chapter features a secular humanist version of the Ten Commandments: "Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try."
Grayling, reached Friday at a New York hotel just as he began his U.S. book tour, has been dubbed by some a “velvet atheist” or an “acceptable face of atheism,” he says, in contrast to more stridently anti-religious writers like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, both of whom he counts as friends.
In other contexts, Grayling – who will soon take over as president of the British Humanist Association - admits he’s written critically about religion. But not in "The Good Book."
“It’s not part of a quarrel,” he says of his latest work. “It’s a modest offering… another contribution to the conversation that mankind must have with itself,” and one he says he wrote for everyone, Bible lovers included.
Given where society is today, inviting that conversation is all the more important, he says.
More than 16% of Americans say they are unaffiliated religiously, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Even so, Grayling says the hunger for a spiritual connection continues. That yearning, he argues , can be satisfied for many by taking a walk in the country, curling up with a beautiful book of poetry or even in falling in love.
“In all different ways, we can celebrate the good in the world,” he says.
While many intellectual traditions – religious and otherwise – teach that there’s “one right way to live,” Grayling says he hopes “The Good Book” will encourage people to “go beyond your teachers, your text” to understand that “we have to respect and relate to one another.”
Early sales indicate that people are open to what this new "Bible" teaches. On Monday, Grayling’s book was number 41 on Amazon’s UK bestseller list and number 1 in the philosophy and spirituality categories.CNN... April 11th, 2011 11:21 AM ET Leading atheist publishes secular Bible... more
The newest at S&R LitJournal.
It probably comes as little to no surprise that many institutes of higher learning in the United States offer more than a few opportunities for their English majors to soak up some learning abroad.These cities in particular are by no means the only great destinations for indulging the literary love, but they certainly make a great start when exploring the different opportunities available.
LINK : http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.com/blog/2011/10-best-study-abroad-cities-for-english-majors/It probably comes as little to no surprise that many institutes of higher learning in... more
Another cool SF Signal Mind Meld where SF personalities discuss SF topics. This time the question is "What's Your Favorite Literary Dystopia?" and BTW, I'm on the panel, too (I'm Jennifer Marie Brissett). Enjoy!
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2011/04/mind-meld-whats-your-favorite-literary-dystopia/Another cool SF Signal Mind Meld where SF personalities discuss SF topics. This time... more
Google's controversial plans to create the world's biggest online library have been shelved by a US judge. Judge Danny Chin threw out the $125 million deal that Google struck with authors and publishers in 2008, claiming that the company had gone "too far" in a ruling filed in the U.S. district court in Manhattan. He suggested the settlement would have a better chance at approval if it was revised to cover only those who opt into the agreement.As written now, the settlement “would grant Google significant rights to exploit entire books, without permission of copyright owners,” Chin wrote yesterday. It “would give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission, while releasing claims well beyond those presented in the case.” The web giant has already scanned millions of books, many held at some of the world's greatest libraries including Oxford University's Bodleian and Harvard's libraries, and made them available online via its eBooks platform. The plan has split the publishing industry and attracted fierce criticism from authors and rival tech firms.While Google said it would show only snippets of works that are in copyright, some authors complained that they had not given their permission for the scanning in the first place and were wary of Google's future plans.In court Google rejected calls for an "opt-in" solution where copyright owners would decide whether or not to be part of the scanning project. The company said the idea was not viable. But judge Chin suggested he might look more favourably on a settlement that allowed copyright owners to "opt in"."While the digitisation of books and the creation of a universal digital library would benefit many," Chin wrote, Google's current pact would "simply go too far". It would "give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission," he said.The agreement rejected by Chin was negotiated with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers. Under the settlement, Google would continue to digitise books and sell access online and the company would pay $125m (£76.9m) in royalties every year to the copyright owners of the books being scanned.
Sources: Slate and The Guardian.Google's controversial plans to create the world's biggest online library... more
Another offering for World Poetry Day. Hope you like it.
As part of the World Poetry Day celebration, a new poem from John Grey at Scholars & Rogues LitJournal.As part of the World Poetry Day celebration, a new poem from John Grey at Scholars... more
Today is World Poetry Day. We here at S&R appreciate great poetry (we even launched our own literary journal) and we invite you to share with our readers your favorite poem or poet.
We’ll go first. Yesterday was the Equinox, and we’re now barreling headlong into longer days and beautiful weather. One of the greatest expressions of natural beauty ever written seems appropriate, so here are a few lines from Dylan Thomas’ “Fern Hill”:Today is World Poetry Day. We here at S&R appreciate great poetry (we even... more