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  • Spread @3:47AM, 2017-01-28
    Tags: , books, , ,   

    How Music Dies (Or Lives) 

    Via Utne Reader

    Art is designed to reveal, not to show us what we already see and know. Yet, the gigantic copying machine that is the music industry, by necessity, thrives on repetition. And when a system ceases changing, it has become a cadaver.

    Read the rest from Utne Reader

     
  • Titus Toledo @12:14AM, 2016-12-28
    Tags: ben lerner, books,   

    The Hatred of Poetry 

    “I think there are a lot of good and great poems that manage to do what they want to do. But part of the persistent sense that poems are always failing to live up to the expectation of the historical moment has to do with how “poetry” less denotes a stable set of practices than it does a set of impossible demands. I’m not saying this is true for everyone or for all time, but I think it’s an interesting structure of feeling worth thinking through. The main demand associated with lyric poetry is that an individual poet can or must produce both a song that’s irreducibly individual—it’s the expression of their specific humanity, because it’s this intense, internal experience—and that is also shareable by everyone, because it can be intelligible to all social persons, so it can unite a community in its difference. And that demand, I think, is impossible. It wants a poem to do something that only a revolution could do—to eradicate different kinds of inequality and social differences and violence.” —Ben Lerner

    Via The Paris Review

     
  • Titus Toledo @10:30AM, 2016-01-28
    Tags: books, finnegans wake, fractals, james joyce, ,   

    Literary multifractals 

    James Joyce, Julio Cortazar, Marcel Proust, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Umberto Eco. Regardless of the language they were working in, some of the world’s greatest writers appear to be, in some respects, constructing fractals. Statistical analysis carried out at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, however, revealed something even more intriguing. The composition of works from within a particular genre was characterized by the exceptional dynamics of a cascading (avalanche) narrative structure. This type of narrative turns out to be multifractal. That is, fractals of fractals are created.

    Read the rest from phys.org

     
  • Spread @12:08AM, 2015-12-04
    Tags: books   

    NYT’s The 10 Best Books of 2015 

    The year’s 10 best books as selected by The New York Times Book Review.

    Source: The New York Times

     
  • Spread @3:11AM, 2015-11-29
    Tags: books, , non-fiction,   

    100 Notable Books of 2015 

    The year’s notable fiction, poetry and nonfiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.

    Source: The New York Times

     
  • Titus Toledo @3:09AM, 2015-11-29
    Tags: books, cosmic horror, lovecraft   

    Malign Universe 

    Styles and themes and topics in horror fiction come and go. One season vampires are all the bloody rage; then next year fans can’t get enough of werewolves or zombies. One midnight moment, the field is saturated with explicit guts and gore; the next, every writer is striving for Henry Jamesian or Shirley Jacksonian subtlety in their frissons. Fresh manifestos and movements bubble up at regular intervals: New Weird gives way to Dreadpunk, with the next buzzword just around the darkling corner.

    But ever since its conception, one type of horror seems always to have a goodly number of unfaltering albeit gloom-filled partisans. (And right now, their numbers seem to be trending upward.) It’s a type of writing that acknowledges and caters to some of the most essential, existential fears and metaphysical bugbears of the modern and postmodern eras — the fear that humanity is akin to a small bug trying to survive in a careless, malign realm of implacable titanic beings and forces.

    That mode is “cosmic horror,” sometimes dubbed “Lovecraftian fiction” in honor of its most famous exponent, the man whose work helped to crystallize and codify the subgenre. The phrase itself predates Lovecraft, being found even in such anomalous sources as George Milbry Gould’s The Meaning and the Method of Life: A Search for Religion in Biology (1893). “I have learned that many another sensitive despairing soul, in the face of the glib creeds and the loneliness of subjectivity, has also and often felt the same clutching spasm of cosmic horror, the very heart of life stifled and stilled with an infinite fear and sense of lostness.”

    Read the rest from The Barnes & Noble Review

     
  • Titus Toledo @11:59PM, 2015-08-16
    Tags: books, , ,   

    A Reader’s Guide to Stephen King 

    king

    When Joyce Carol Oates introduced Stephen King at Princeton in 1997, she began, “It’s commonly said that certain individuals, notably the famous, need no introductions. On the contrary, I think, it’s precisely those whom we imagine we know, in broad stereotypical terms, who require introductions.” And it’s true, most people know Stephen King in very broad, stereotypical terms; you can’t sell over 350 million books without making a serious cultural impression. He’s been a fixture of the American literary landscape for so long that casual readers and even non-readers know much of his background by heart. Horror writer, folksy Mainer—the addict who scribbled out his first novel while sitting on a washing machine, and eventually rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. He’s also among that rare circle of writers whose film adaptations have become just as iconic as his words—more so, even, than their original source material. He’s the Horatio Alger of horror.

    Read the rest from The Oyster Review

     
  • Titus Toledo @5:08AM, 2015-07-20
    Tags: books, pornogami   

    Pornogami 

    pornogami

    “For Master Sugoi, what began as a simple yet effective icebreaker and a means of entertaining and delighting friends has evolved into Pornogami: Original Erotic Origami, a new book from Green Candy Press intended for creative adults everywhere.

    “In Pornogami, Sugoi, a skilled practitioner of many creative arts, exposes the lighter side of the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding.

    “Master Sugoi’s main focus in origami is a love of classical figures, animals, creatures, and design. A shy person by nature, Sugoi has found that a piece of pornogami, folded in the right setting, will incite smiles and laughter in a way that no butterfly or bird possibly could. Those who have mastered the technique can produce their own memorable and amusing adult ‘objects d’art’. Pornogami, like laughter, is at its sweetest when it is shared.

    “May the Laughing Buddha make your journey sweet, light and happy.”

    Get it from Amazon

     
  • Titus Toledo @2:04AM, 2015-07-19
    Tags: books, J. K. Huysmans   

    Divine Ordure 

    “The odor from those incense burners is unbearable … What do they burn that smells like that?” “Asphalt from the street, leaves of henbane, datura, dried nightshade, and myrrh. These are perfumes delightful to Satan, our master.”

    Read the rest from The Paris Review

     
  • Titus Toledo @3:52AM, 2015-07-04
    Tags: , books, ,   

    We need the books that affect us like a disaster 

    kafka_books

    Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own castle. I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. That is my belief. —Kafka

    here: http://amzn.to/1JJXgNq

     
  • Titus Toledo @3:51AM, 2015-06-26
    Tags: , books, paola antonelli,   

    Humble Masterpieces 

    humble-masterpieces

    From M & Ms to Post–It Notes, a charming and insightful collection of design marvels from everyday life, celebrated by the curator of the MoMA’s department of architecture and design.

    Every day we use dozens of tiny objects, from Post–It notes to Band–Aids. If they work well, chances are we do not pay them much attention. But although modest in size and price, some of these objects are true masterpieces of the art of design.

    Paola Antonelli, curator of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Design and Architecture, is a highly celebrated figure in the world of design (she was just ranked among the top 100 most powerful people in the world of art). Paola has long been passionate about the subject of everyday objects that are marvels of design. The response to her recent MoMA show, also called Humble Masterpieces, was electric. In addition to lively coverage in dozens of publications, the museum goers spread the word about the fun of learning about and nominating their own picks for humble masterpieces.

    Now, in this colorful visual feast, Antonelli chooses 100 fabulous objects, from Chupa Chup lollipops to Legos to Chopsticks and Scotch tape. Each object will be portrayed with a gorgeous close–up detail, a brisk and informative text on its origin and special design features, as well as a silhouette image of the object as we see it each day. Certain to appeal to a broad audience, and to lend itself to fun, creative promotional opportunities, Humble Masterpieces will celebrate the possibility of looking at our everyday lives in an all–new way.

    *Grab your copy of “Humble Masterpieces” from Amazon

     
  • Titus Toledo @2:22AM, 2015-06-06
    Tags: books, ,   

    Top 5 Deathbed Regrets 

    Regrets_of_the_Dyi

    1. I wish I had been true to myself.
    2. I wish I hadn’t worked so much.
    3. I wish I had been brave in the face of my fears.
    4. I wish I hadn’t neglected my friendships.
    5. I wish that I had allowed myself to be happier.

    Source

     
  • Spread @1:44AM, 2015-05-24
    Tags: books, , pschology   

    The Worm at the Core 

    “The terror of death has guided the development of art, religion, language, economics, and science. It raised the pyramids in Egypt and razed the Twin Towers in Manhattan. It contributes to conflicts around the globe. At a more personal level, recognition of our mortality leads us to love fancy cars, tan ourselves to an unhealthy crisp, max out our credit cards, drive like lunatics, itch for a fight with a perceived enemy, and crave fame, however ephemeral, even if we have to drink yak urine on Survivor to get it.”
    —Excerpt from ‘The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life‘ by by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, Tom Pyszczynski

    *here: http://amzn.to/1LxdXfk

    the_worm_at_the_core

     
  • Titus Toledo @10:26AM, 2015-03-30
    Tags: books,   

    Is Franz Kafka Overrated? 

    Critics have long tended to see him as a modernist master on par with Joyce, Proust, and Picasso. Let’s reconsider that.

    Read it in The Atlantic

    franz_kafka

     
  • Titus Toledo @12:39PM, 2015-02-21
    Tags: , books, , vandalism   

    Ancient vandalism? 

    “Graffiti often has a distinctive local identity. In the coastal church at Salthouse in Norfolk, for example, bored congregations of sixteenth-century seafarers scratched pictures of ships on the pews. In New York, where graffiti artists are feted by smart galleries, the hip-hop movement specializes in deliberately illegible “wildstyle” spray paint. In the Arab world, political slogans are still rendered in timeless calligraphy. Pompeii, a city dedicated to Venus, contains a disproportionate amount of erotic graffiti and erotic wall-painting, though it is still unclear how much that really reflects the economic activities of this particular town. ”

    Read the rest from The Times Literary Supplement

    romangraffiti

     
  • Spread @1:34AM, 2014-12-05
    Tags: , books, dante alighieri, inferno,   

    Blake’s epic visions of heaven and hell 

    blake_dante

    Celebrated around the world as a literary monument, The Divine Comedy, completed in 1321 and written by Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) is widely considered the greatest work ever composed in the Italian language. The epic poem describes Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, representing, on a deeper level, the soul’s path towards salvation.

    In the last few years of his life, Romantic poet and artist William Blake (1757–1827) produced 102 illustrations for Dante’s masterwork, from pencil sketches to finished watercolors. Like Dante’s sweeping poem, Blake’s drawings range from scenes of infernal suffering to celestial light, from horrifying human disfigurement to the perfection of physical form. While faithful to the text, Blake also brought his own perspective to some of Dante’s central themes.

    Today, Blake’s illustrations, left in various stages of completion at the time of his death, are dispersed among seven different institutions. This TASCHEN edition brings these works together again, alongside key excerpts from Dante’s masterpiece. Two introductory essays consider Dante and Blake, as well as other major artists who have been inspired by The Divine Comedy, including Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Eugène Delacroix, Gustave Doré and Auguste Rodin.

    With a close reading of Blake’s illustrations, and 14 fold-out spreads to allow the most delicate of details to dazzle, this is a breathtaking encounter with two of the finest artistic talents in history, as well as with such universal themes as love, guilt, punishment, revenge, and redemption.

    Get the TASCHEN edition here

     
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