|Tyler Clementi, la vittima|
|La City University di Londra|
|Robert Harris fotografato da Annie Leibovitz|
"In getting my books," Edgar Allan Poe wrote in 1844, "I have always been solicitous of an ample margin; this is not so much through any love of the thing in itself, however agreeable, as for the facility it affords me of penciling in suggested thoughts, agreements, and differences of opinion, or brief critical comments in general."For a 2010 Talk of the Town piece, Ian Frazier wrote about a trip he took to the New York Public Library to view the annotated former possessions of various literary luminaries.
Stereogranimator, a graphic tool that allows users to try their hand at bringing the more than 40,000 digitized stereographs from its collection back to flickering life."It's a nice example of the cool things that can happen when you put library collections online in free, repurposable forms," Ben Vershbow, the manager of NYPL Labs, the unit responsible for the project, said in a telephone interview. nyt. Forse è una cavolata, ma è divertente!
"Someone" è il titolo di un racconto molto bello di Alice McDermott, uscito sul New Yorker, ma purtroppo non disponibile online. Fa parte di un libro che McDermott sta scrivendo, ambientato a Brooklyn negli anni Trenta.
You mentioned that this piece was taken from a novel-in-progress. Is the rest of the book about Marie, the heroine of “Someone”?
Yes. Over time, I have honed what began as a teeming novel into the story of one unremarkable woman. I did this with some trepidation: teeming novels do strike me as so much more impressive. And novels about unremarkable women, especially those written by unremarkable women, seem a thing of the past. But that’s what the novel wanted to be. I suppose I’m drawn to the stories that the more sophisticated, critical chorus in my brain warns against. It’s the contrarian in me, I’m afraid. newyorker.
Speaking American. A History of English in the United States, del lingista Richard W. Bailey (Oxford University Press), è un libro da tener presente. "The history of American English has been presented in more detailed and precise fashion elsewhere - by J. L. Dillard, and even, for the 19th century, by Bailey himself, in his underread Nineteenth-Century English. Still, his handy tour is useful in imprinting a lesson sadly obscure to too many: as Bailey puts it, 'Those who seek stability in English seldom find it; those who wish for uniformity become laughingstocks.'" nyt.
In un post di una certa Maria, che viene descritta come poliglotta e traduttrice, ho trovato un elenco di parole intraducibili in inglese (e anche in italiano). Per lo più non mi pare che mi capiterà di averne bisogno, se non nel caso di una, che in effetti descrive una situazione in cui mi capita relativamente spesso di trovarmi. Si tratta di Tartle: A Scottish verb meaning to hesitate while introducing someone due to having forgotten his/her name. altalang.
La scrittrice Sheila Heti intervista Joan Didion su Believer.
THE BELIEVER: When you were a little girl you wanted to be an actress, not a writer?
JOAN DIDION: Right.
BLVR: But you said it’s okay, because writing is in some ways a performance. When you’re writing, are you performing a character?
JD: You’re not even a character. You’re doing a performance. Somehow writing has always seemed to me to have an element of performance. believermag.
E' il titolo di una rubrica lanciata dalla rivista online Guernica e curata dalla scrittrice Zadie Smith. Alcuni scrittori sono stati invitati a fare un reportage creativo, soggettivo, emotivo, ecc. sui paesi poveri, di solito descritti in modo impersonale o paternalistico dalle organizzazioni umanitarie. Ecco quel che dice Zadie Smith, "But it seemed to me a shame that between the highly technical, acronym-heavy documents written within the world of development and the often saccharine self-descriptions of the church workers, there were so few people writing development stories from a human perspective. Stories that were not especially concerned with a man’s eternal soul or his statistical representation, but with his life. ... The idea for Writers Bloc came from this perceived gap. ... The other thing that seems, to me, useful about Writers Bloc, is its tone of subjectivity, of passion. It is natural that development organizations should attempt a “neutral” voice, express little outrage, and try not to offend the governments with whom they work. But it is also natural, upon entering the gap between first world and the third, to feel something, to be moved, and to have opinions, to express anger". guernicamag.
... si dedica un libro uscito di recente, Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners (Free Press), di Michael Erard. "On a quest to find the person we could say spoke the most languages in the world, I stumbled on the online personae of a language learning guru and hyperpolyglot, Alexander Arguelles, who invited me to Berkeley, California, where he was living at the time. It was my first introduction to the life of the contemporary hyperpolyglot. On many mornings, once Alexander has greeted the sun doing extensive writing exercises in Chinese, Arabic, Latin, Russian, Persian, German, and other languages, he goes for a long run in the arid hills of the park above his neighborhood, while listening to a German audiobook tape on his Walkman. (So far, he eschews the MP3." thedailybeast.
Miss S. è il titolo del divertente gialletto di Cathleen Schine (Mondadori). L'ho letto con piacere durante le vacanze. Nulla di che. Ma l'ambientazione è affascinante: una vecchia casa su un'isola lungo le coste del Maine. E uno dei personaggi è notevole: Miss Skattergoods, una vecchia segaligna, sbevazzona, lesbica e trasgressiva (non solo in quanto lesbica), spiritosa e naturalmente la detective - dilettante ma sagace. Bella la copertina.
L'ultimo articolo di Christopher Hitchens parla di Dickens, ed è molto bello. "No, he [Dickens] was drawing on much wider and deeper sources of potency. The main one was the sheer stubborn existence of so many people whom the system had disregarded. Begin thinking about it and you start to whisper a list to yourself: the pathetic Jo, the crossing sweeper; Smike; Mr. Micawber; Amy Dorrit; Mr. Dick - all of them with pain to feel and a life to lead, and many of them kept going (like poor Dick Swiveller) only by a certain unique sense of humor and the absurd. Dickens was able to mine this huge resource of London life, becoming its conductor and chronicler like nobody since Shakespeare himself, and always remembering, as he noted in the last stages of The Old Curiosity Shop, to 'keep the child in view.'" vanityfair.
George Steiner parla di letteratura e di altro in un'interessante intervista.
Does the complicity between literature and philosphy still pertain today?
In my view, both forms are under threat today. Literature has chosen the domain of small scale personal relationships, and no longer deals with great metaphysical themes. We no longer have writers like Balzac and Zola, geniuses of human comedy who could explore every domain. Proust also created an inexhaustible world, and Joyce’s Ulysses is still very close to Homer... Joyce is the bridge between the two great worlds of classicism and chaos. In the past, philosophy could also claim to be universal. The entire world was open to the thought of a philosopher like Spinoza. Today an immense part of the universe is closed to us. presseurop.
"A movement that challenges the power structure of language could help foster the sort of equality the protests aim to achieve".Questo e altri interessantissimi articoli sulle lingue (tra dui uno sulla creazione della lingua scritta per il N'Ko, un gruppo di lingue parlate in diversi paesi dell'Africa Occidenale), si trovano su bookforum.