Archive | worth hearing

Start Your Own Country Day (now that's better)

calendar •
1621 –
John Donne gets elected Dean of St Pauls
1914 – Jean Cocteau is rejected for military service as physically unfit.
1916 – Jack London commits suicide at 40 in Santa Rosa, CA – Ford Maddox Ford remarks “like Peter Pan he never grew up and he lived his own stores with such intensity that he ended up believing them himself.”

birthdays •
1819 –
George Eliot, British novelist (d. 1880)
1869 – André Gide, French writer and Nobel laureate (d. 1951)
1888 – Tarzan, the 8th Duke of Greystoke, is born.
1936 – James Burke, British writer
1947 – Valerie Wilson Wesley, American author

cookies • Russian author wins US$113,000 literary award for biography of Pasternak


worth hearing • from NPR Novelist Robert Harris compares events in ancient Rome to some current US events.

super shopping • Three private collections of rare works by Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope have fetched about £100,000 at auction in Dorset.

worth reading • from the Guardian, columnist Kathryn Hughes debates the age old question of how many books is too many?

Steve Allen interviews Jack Kerouac in 1959

doncha just love youtube?


worth hearing • from NPR speculation about whether Shakespeare Could Survive in Hollywood?

lost n’ found • A long-lost script for a vampire film by William Faulkner, discovered several years ago, now appears headed for the big screen.

yatta yatta yatta • Rochester NY students read aloud for record 6 days

Take a Hike Day*

calendar • 1919 – Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company. Now if i had a book with THAT bookseller trade label in it – yummy. *Perhaps I will christen today International Unexpurgated Edition Day in honor of Shakespeare and Co. Yeah I think I will do that.

birthday • 1916 – is born

idiot alert, again Folks in St Louis are winding themselves up about a sweet little book about 2 male penguins who have the audacity to make a family, And Tango Makes Three. I am beginning to prefer penguins to people.

show n’tell • from the Washington Post a piece about the exhibit The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists’ Books exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

worth hearing • from, NPR, Thomas Cahill, guests on On Point and talks about his new book Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminisim, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe.

naughty • Thieves broke into Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s house in Cartagena de Indias and took a safe that contained no valuables. Perhaps this should be an idiot alert.

something new • from the Guardian a review of The Life of Kingsley Amis by Zachary Leader

obit of note • George Blackburn at 90 – War hero, musician, author.

World Vegetarian Day

bank toaster • How to create Elephant Dung paper

birthday • 1899 – Ernest Haycox, American writer (d. 1950)

events •
MI – 44th Michigan Antiquarian Book & Paper Show – Lansing Center, MI
NYC – Collectible Paperback & Pulp Fiction Expo

worth reading • from the Guardian Julian Barnes looks back at the 150 year old Madam Bovary.

worth hearing • from NPR a feature on Qiu Xiaolong’s English-language gritty Shanghai detective novels.

naughty audio • from NPR Dana Shuster was a celebrated Vietnam war-era military nurse who wrote poetry about her experiences. One of her poems was read by Vice President Al Gore when the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated in 1993. But it turns out she was never a nurse, never in the military and never in Vietnam. what IS it with literary frauds lately? is there something in the ink?

google gobbling • University in Madrid becomes the first Spanish-language library to join the Google Books Library Project but unlike some of Google’s partners in the United States, however, the library will only allow scanning of public domain works

lost and found • more from NPR – Scott Simon takes a moment to note the discovery of a previously unknown work by Robert Frost. The work was discovered by a graduate student at the University of Virginia.

Long story short – life gets in the way of blogging . . . I have stopped begging my friends for contributions and guest blogs, so until things change around here, you will have be sated with my haphazard schedule of posting, if you get bored there are plenty of blogs on the sidebar to keep you busy. My mother is doing well, she will probably give herself a heart attack before she ever succumbs to cancer. My problem is that she thinks cause I work from home all the time now, I am just sitting around doing nothing and should be cleaning my house. Yeah like THAT’ll happen.

talking head • AP has an interview with writer Peter Quinn who writes his books the old fashioned way . . . in long hand on legal pads.

worth hearing • from NPR – A new generation of women’s writers has emerged and they disown the literary genre known as “chick lit.” The editor and authors of a new anthology, This Is Not Chick Lit, offer their take on women’s literature.

worth reading • Michael Hess is plotting Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with google maps. via Critical Mass.

audio cookies • from New Hampshire Public Radio – Naturalist, author and illustrator David Carroll has won one of this year’s MacArthur Foundation genius grants. He’ll receive 500-thousand-dollars.

more later . . . i am running away for a couple of hours.

videos for people who read books

For some inexplicable reason I haven’t been sleeping much this week. I have been sitting up in my reading chair until very very wee hours with kittens on what I laughingly call my lap watching my stuff from my inordinately large video collection, (subliminally deciding which ones I will sell off first when the time comes to choose between them and food) And I figured I’d share. . . you know how much I like to share.

I am in the midst of HBO’s “Rome” (2005) season one. – which I can’t recommend anyone BUY as it costs about 70 bucks. But run right out and RENT it. Right now . . . . go ahead, I’ll wait. It’s fabulously vulgar and deliciously rich. Like flaming chocolate sauce over death by chocolate cake. The story you know: Caesar crosses the river, takes over the town, kicks Pompey’s ass, makes a baby with Cleopatra yatta yatta yatta….but the teleplay toggles between the “I Claudius” intrigue of the rich and oversexed and the lives of 2 legionary joe – ordinary blokes who keep finding themselves crossing paths with history. So if you like Lindsay Davis mysteries and Robert Graves novels you may like this. But be ready for blood, sacrifices, sex, nudity, violence and barbarism it’s just like regular TV. I can’t wait to watch it again.

Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) is probably the closest I have ever seen to a book literally on film. Written for the screen it is structured like a book, a picaresque tale of New York family of intellectual neurotics, with a narrator and ‘novel’ chapter markers. Part Wodehouse, part John Irving, part John Cheever – it’s one of the films that grows on you. I don’t think I liked it the 1st time, but I kept thinking about it for months later. I finally bought the damn thing, and watch it quite often. (for those that don’t GET rewatching films, it’s like rereading a book, you find comfort in hearing the same words and pictures over again)

I picked up Season one of “Slings and Arrows” (2003-2005) the Canadian TV show and enjoyed it tremendously. Think West Wing for the theater going crowd. For a the first couple of episodes I almost didn’t get that it was a comedy- cause I have MET these people. It follows the company of the fictional New Burbage Theater Festival in the equally fictional town of New Burbage. (yes lots of yummy Shakespeare in jokes) Especially the once prodigal actor now completely mad director Geoffrey Tenent who takes over as Artistic Director to wrest a production of Hamlet back from the front office corporate pirates. His mentor the previous artistic director and now haunting spirit (yes a ghost…well it IS hamlet) is on hand to hold his hand and keep him constantly teetering back into full blown psychosis. Well worth watching. I can’t wait for the other 2 seasons to reach dvd.

“Veronica Mars” (2004)– you may know the name, but you are missing something REALLY good. (you are also missing something by not watching battlestar galactica too.) Veronica Mars is – well Chinatown meets Heathers, hmm that’s too vague . . . Nancy Drew Meets Philip Chandler. Heavy on the film noir. (Yes, put aside the whole ‘those actors’ are way too old for H.S. – do you know how much it costs to hire ‘real’ kids for a tv show?) This is not really a TV show you can watch in fits and spurts. It has through storylines and character development which SHOULD be watch from 1st to last. Veronica Mars works for her father’s detective agency, (trust me it’s believable) In season one the through mystery is the murder of her best friend party girl Lily Cain – the twists and turns of the case last all season with weekly mystery story lines and lots of character evolution. People you paint as bad in one episode become sympathetic as the weeks go on. Season two’s mystery involves a school bus crash and had a logical and terrific denoument I NEVER saw coming. It’s smart and literate and so not a waste of time.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004-TV) with alarmingly tall Rupert Everett as the great detective (ya gotta admith he HAS the forehead for it). If the title sounds obscure to you, it’s because it’s an original Holmes story written for the smallscreen by Allan Cubitt who KNOWS his Doyle. Preceeded by the equally refereshing 2002 TV production of Hound of the Baskervilles with the delicious Richard Roxburgh in the role, the Case of the Silk Stocking surprised me. It took what we already knew of Doyle’s creations and extrapolated it, logically as well as creatively. The backbone of both films is Ian Hart’s John Watson and the relationship between a fully functional doctor/soldier Watson and the fully disfunctional, self destructive totally cerebral Holmes. (no offense to Nigel Bruce…but would YOU Want him to operate on YOU?) They have a contentious yet dependent relationship. Set AFTER the Victorian era, (remember guys in a Study in Scarlet 1881, Holmes is a grad student – YES I have read the books many times – I was a strange child) Holmes is alone and at sea at Baker Street, spending his afternoons in the opium dens, and has to be coaxed into taking the case which is both completely over the top, (strangling teenage girls is rather distasteful) and totally in keeping with a modernist period tale. Doyle would never have written about fetishisms in the 19thc, but a modern writer looking back at that era can’t HELP but write about it. We also meet for the 1st time Mrs Watson, who is only alluded to in the b
ooks. In this film she is an American psychologist who meets Watson at a medical conference in Vienna, and so obviously fills Watson’s need for intellectual stimulation yet without Holmes’s neuroses. Watch for the seen where she and Holmes go head to head talking about …fetishes. Brilliant stuff.

Feel free to point out any mistakes in grammar or typing if you like
I will probably mock and ignore you.

j

videos for people who read books

For some inexplicable reason I haven’t been sleeping much this week. I have been sitting up in my reading chair until very very wee hours with kittens on what I laughingly call my lap watching stuff from my inordinately large video collection, (subliminally deciding which ones I will sell off first when the time comes to choose between them and food) And I figured I’d share. . . you know how much I like to share.

I am in the midst of HBO’s “Rome” (2005) season one. – which I can’t recommend anyone BUY as it costs about 70 bucks. But run right out and RENT it. Right now . . . . go ahead, I’ll wait. It’s fabulously vulgar and deliciously rich. Like flaming chocolate sauce over death by chocolate cake. The story you know: Caesar crosses the river, takes over the town, kicks Pompey’s ass, makes a baby with Cleopatra yatta yatta yatta….but the teleplay toggles between the “I Claudius” intrigue of the rich and oversexed and the lives of 2 legionary joe – ordinary blokes who keep finding themselves crossing paths with history. So if you like Lindsay Davis mysteries and Robert Graves novels you may like this. But be ready for blood, sacrifices, sex, nudity, violence and barbarism it’s just like regular TV. I can’t wait to watch it again.

Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) is probably the closest I have ever seen to a book literally on film. Written for the screen it is structured like a book, a picaresque tale of New York family of intellectual neurotics, with a narrator and ‘novel’ chapter markers. Part Wodehouse, part John Irving, part John Cheever – it’s one of the films that grows on you. I don’t think I liked it the 1st time, but I kept thinking about it for months later. I finally bought the damn thing, and watch it quite often. (for those that don’t GET rewatching films, it’s like rereading a book, you find comfort in hearing the same words and pictures over again)

I picked up Season one of “Slings and Arrows” (2003-2005) the Canadian TV show and enjoyed it tremendously. Think West Wing for the theater going crowd. For a the first couple of episodes I almost didn’t get that it was a comedy- cause I have MET these people. It follows the company of the fictional New Burbage Theater Festival in the equally fictional town of New Burbage. (yes lots of yummy Shakespeare in jokes) Especially the once prodigal actor now completely mad director Geoffrey Tenent who takes over as Artistic Director to wrest a production of Hamlet back from the front office corporate pirates. His mentor the previous artistic director and now haunting spirit (yes a ghost…well it IS Hamlet) is on hand to hold his hand and keep him constantly teetering back into full blown psychosis. Well worth watching. I can’t wait for the other 2 seasons to reach dvd.

“Veronica Mars” (2004)– you may know the name, but you are missing something REALLY good. (you are also missing something by not watching battlestar galactica too.) Veronica Mars is – well Chinatown meets Heathers, hmm that’s too vague . . . Nancy Drew Meets Philip Chandler. Heavy on the film noir. (put aside the whole ‘those actors’ are way too old for H.S. – do you know how much it costs to hire ‘real’ kids for a tv show?) This is not really a TV show you can watch in fits and spurts. It has through storylines and character development which SHOULD be watch from 1st to last. Veronica Mars works for her father’s detective agency, (trust me it’s believable) In season one the through mystery is the murder of her best friend party girl Lily Cain – the twists and turns of the case last all season with weekly mystery story lines and lots of character evolution. People you paint as bad in one episode become sympathetic as the weeks go on. Season two’s mystery involves a school bus crash and had a logical and terrific denoument I NEVER saw coming. It’s smart and literate and so not a waste of time.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004-TV) with alarmingly tall Rupert Everett as the great detective (ya gotta admit he HAS the forehead for it). If the title sounds obscure to you, it’s because it’s an original Holmes story written for the smallscreen by Allan Cubitt who KNOWS his Doyle. Preceeded by the equally refereshing 2002 TV production of Hound of the Baskervilles with the delicious Richard Roxburgh in the role, the Case of the Silk Stocking surprised me. It took what we already knew of Doyle’s creations and extrapolated it, logically as well as creatively. The backbone of both films is Ian Hart’s John Watson and the relationship between a fully functional doctor/soldier Watson and the fully disfunctional, self destructive totally cerebral Holmes. (no offense to Nigel Bruce…but would YOU Want him to operate on YOU?) They have a contentious yet dependent relationship. Set AFTER the Victorian era, (remember guys in a Study in Scarlet 1881, Holmes is a grad student – YES I have read the books many times – I was a strange child) Holmes is al
one and at sea at Baker Street, spending his afternoons in the opium dens, and has to be coaxed into taking the case which is both completely lurid, (strangling teenage girls is rather distasteful) and totally in keeping with a modernist period tale. Doyle would never have written about fetishisms in the 19thc, but a modern writer looking back at that era can’t HELP but write about it. We also meet for the 1st time Mrs Watson, who is only alluded to in the books. In this film she is an American psychologist who meets Watson at a medical conference in Vienna, and so obviously fills Watson’s need for intellectual stimulation yet without Holmes’s neuroses. Watch for the scene where she and Holmes go head to head talking about . . . fetishes. Brilliant stuff.

Feel free to point out any mistakes in grammar or typing if you like
I will probably mock and ignore you.

j

hearing aid

NPR
• Weekend Edition has Christopher Buckley talking about the moviefication of his prescient and fall down funny 1994 novel Thank You for Smoking.

Historian Richard Rhodes guests on Studio 360 to talk about nuclear weapons and the nuclear age. There is also a lovely exchange about how Dr. Strangelove really isn’t all that strange.

WPLN’s Fineprint has a lovely interview with the authors of Carved in Bone a forensic thriller based on the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research facility known as “The Body Farm”. yes i’m a ghoul.

NPR – Flashback
Poet John Ciardi had a program called On Words that ran from 1979-1986, sort of like an etymological Alistair Cooke, his voice has that sonorous Edward R Murrow timbre, definitely eminating from a previous age. These shows are now available online or as podcasts and are well worth the listen.
Strangely I find only Daniel Shore’s voice still stirs those forgotten embers.

match book – Here’s a fascinating flash site on the history of book burning from the United States Holocasut Memorial Musem.

coolethterrific Shakespeare site (Flash required) describes how Will’s words may not be his and his alone.

obit worth readingMarch 6th 1888 Louisa May Alcott, DYK ? the New York Times has their obit morgue available online.

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