Bless him - who else writes a blog post and formats it into four pages??? about the iPad? The title deals with the more serious issue of trolldom, and the temporary closure of comments on said blog. I at first thought it was ironic, but no.
“Providence has this awesome place where you can get left over industrial materials for 10 cents a pound, so we went there and found the radiology folders. They were too good to pass up so we decided to use them not knowing how they would react to the ink or fold or tear or wear over time. For the second issue Brian got very excited about branding or burning elements of the design, and then he found the flocked paper (at the above place). He and Joanna did a couple of test burns and mailed them to me so I could think about it, but we still really had no idea how the burning would interact with the ink until we took the printed covers to the park and blow torched them.”—
See, this is how a thing of beauty comes into being. Chemlawn McDermott, founder of The Kidney Press, is part of the creative team at handmade literary magazine Birkensnake, and spoke to Elizabeth Hall along with Birkensnake’s editors at the Black Clock blog.
“I stopped cramming things into the periphery of my day and letting the things I chose to do stand on their own, without having the less-important accomplishments lean against them like tchotchkes from some garage sale, unnecessary bulk.”—
“Amazon.com announced on Monday the launch of AmazonCrossing, a publishing imprint that will be dedicated to publishing works in translation. These titles will be available through Amazon, through major wholesalers, and via the Kindle.”—
what would be really interesting, is if they created some sort of World Literature portal where they could push the AmazonCrossing books alongside authors like Saramago or Garcia Marquez or Bragi Olafsson … something that would help serve as a way to promote the whole of translated literature. It’s quite possible that over time something like this could make a huge difference in how translations are perceived and purchased.
“This fear is one of the horrors of an author’s life. Where does work come from? What chance, what small episode will start the chain of creation? I once wrote a story about a writer who could not write anymore, and my friend Tennessee Williams said, “How could you dare write that story, it’s the most frightening work I have ever read.’ I was pretty well sunk while I was writing it.”—
Aah, she was on the money, this one. I reckon I have that story here too. Time to read it!!
It’s kicking off in Melbourne this weekend, with the official opening tomorrow night at BMW Edge (at time of writing, there were a couple of tickets left to this.) For other events this weekend, scroll down that page, or click here for the full program of Emerging Writers’ Festival events over the next nine days.
While the debate rages on about Facebook’s attitude to privacy, and in particular the views of Mark Zuckerberg, the current situation is that an awful lot of people make their status updates public, whether they realise the full implications or not. A stark reminder of this comes today in the form of a new search engine thrown together by two developers.
FacebookSearch simply takes those public status updates and makes them searchable, outside of Facebook. The guys behind it, Peter Burns and Will Moffat, have posted a simple explanation: “This is a simple example of just how open facebook has made your information. This data is wide open, and this is one of the least scary uses that anyone will make. If nothing changes, it’s only to get worse.” There’s an interesting discussion over at Hacker News on the morality of what they are doing.
Klaas, Gerrie and I agreed that one way to honour the commission without transgressing laws of taste could be to stage nine stories in nine rooms, on an ordinary evening in an unnamed city. Nine stories would unfold simultaneously: eventful stories, quiet ones, sad ones, comic ones, thoughtful ones, brash ones. The nine occupants of the 3x3 grid of rooms would sing four lines each when the “spotlight” visited his or her room. There are just three rounds, so each singer has only 12 lines to convey character and plot, but when the spotlight is elsewhere, the stories in each room continue to develop, like nine silent movies showing simultaneously. Different members of the audience would follow those storylines that won their attention. After the third round, a sonic representation of a disaster (not the disaster) would occur, finishing the main act with a suggestion that the occupiers of the nine rooms would also cease to exist.
The writer Thomas Mann, responding by letter to a young James Lord, wrote that he possessed ‘the gift of admiration’ which ‘above all enables a talented person to learn’.
And learn he did, from Picasso and Dora Maar no less, going on to write a famous memoir that stifled the success of his fiction:
Lord’s fiction was cursed by the perception that his own life contained a cast of characters more compelling than any he could compose. And yet paradoxically, it was his ability to render these illuminating figures in prose with both autobiographical precision and virtuosic flair to which Lord, in part, owes his reputation as a writer.
This profile of James Lord by Ted Hodgkinson is at Granta Online, where an extract from Lord’s memoir (which is also printed in Granta 110:Sex) will be up on Friday.
The best way to enable them to get the word about our books, about our community, about our writers published and unpublished, out to all the readers and writers they talk to is by participating: by having our books sold into their stores, by having our books reviewed by their conventional media that helps librarians, booksellers, and yes, even readers make purchasing decisions, by having the books visible in those places most highly trafficked by avid book readers and writers, by making books available to readers’ advisory librarians. I admit, it freaks the investors out a wee bit, participating in this expensive and barely profitable part of the business. We’re not selling to the trade to make money, we’re selling to the trade because we owe it to the community. (Plus, we’ve other ways to make money.) But we wouldn’t be Cursor if we didn’t tweak this. And the tweak is pretty radical. It’s not really a tweak at all, it’s a complete break with publishing norms…
No more life-of-the-copyright contracts.
Instead: three year contracts.
Yup, from a contract that locks you in till seventy years after you’re dead, to a three year contract. Renewable annually thereafter. Which means after three years you can walk. Or stay, but stick it to us for better royalties because there’s gonna be a movie. Or stay with us because with all the additional formats and revenue opportunities we’re creating above and beyond what any publisher has to offer, you’re making more money than ever before.
For a time in the 90s, Mahon’s undeluded view of human nature seemed destined to sink into cynicism; but the burst of creativity that has now produced three collections in just five years finds the poet more upbeat. Rather than offer a wry smile to humanity, he smiles wryly at himself. “At the Butler Arms” concerns the island of Sceilig Mhichíl and its religious community, which survived six centuries almost untouched by the outside world; but the poem also glances at the fervent aesthetic beliefs of the poet’s own youth: “No going back, // is there, to that wild hush of dedication, / to the solitude, the intense belief …”
An Autumn Wind confirms the triumphant late flowering that began with Harbour Lights and continued in Life on Earth. This body of work forms one of the most significant developments in poetry this century. Mahon may bemoan the physical infirmities of old age and strike a few valedictory notes (he twice rhymes “age” with “edge”), but his continuing interest in other cultures and his appetite for fresh challenges suggest a poet brimming with confidence. As he says in “A Shabby Welcome”: “As you’d expect, we are too poor for wine / but somewhere I’ve a drop of old moonshine.”
“Things haven’t always been so professionally rosy. Before this book, Munson wrote 14 novels that have never been published. Lesser mortals would have given up, but Munson just developed armadillo hide for skin. “Yeah,” she says. “As a writer, you spill out your guts and care so much about it and you send it off and you get back [the letter saying], ‘This does not meet our needs at this time.’ So when your husband says, ‘You do not meet my needs at this time’, you say, ‘OK, those are just words. I know how to deal with that.’”—
At thirty, when I returned from exile, I realised that my father had been right in many things, that he had unhappily an offensively good understanding of men.
But was it my fault that he preached the truth itself in a way so provoking to a youthful heart? His mind, chilled by a long life in a circle of depraved men, put him on his guard against everyone, and his callous heart did not crave for reconciliation; so he remained on hostile terms with everyone on earth.
Only then did I appreciate all the cheerlessness of his life; I looked with an aching heart at the melancholy significance of this lonely, abandoned existence, dying out in the arid, harsh stony wilderness which he had created about himself, but which he had not the will to change; he knew this; he saw death approaching and, overcoming weakness and infirmity, he jealously and obstinately controlled himself.
I was dreadfully sorry for the old man, but there was nothing to be done: he was unapproachable.