Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 123

Thread: Literary news

  1. #1

    Literary news

    Huh, we don't have a 'general book news' thread.

    Further writing unlikely from Gabriel García Márquez, brother reveals.

    The Nobel prizewinning author Gabriel García Márquez is suffering from senile dementia and can longer write, his brother has revealed.

    Jaime García Márquez told students in Cartagena, Colombia, that his older brother, affectionately know as Gabo, calls him on the telephone to ask basic questions.

    "He has problems with his memory. Sometimes I cry because I feel like I'm losing him," he said.
    I don't care to cry over not getting any new Márquez - I've still work to read by him and nobody's entitled to an author's continued output - but this is heartbreaking.

  2. #2
    Tens Across the Board Banjee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Miami Beach
    Posts
    3,121
    Poor thing . One of the living Greats. And to be trapped inside Marquez's demented mind sounds a bit frightening. The scope of his imagination is immense.

    In other news: A Salman Rushdie video game?!??

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Banjee View Post
    In other news: A Salman Rushdie video game?!??
    I NEED THIS GAME IN MY LIFE.

  4. #4
    Why is this happening to me? beanstew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8,207
    Clear a space on your bookshelves. Alert the awards commitees. Peter Andre to write a 50 Shades of Grey for men.
    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

  5. #5
    Senior Member uncanny hats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,334
    ^ Wait. It gets better, 50 Shades of Bronte
    Original:

    “‘Jane, be still a few moments: you are over-excited: I will be still too.’ Mr. Rochester sat quiet, looking at me gently and seriously. Some time passed before he spoke; he at last said — ‘Come to my side, Jane, and let us explain and understand one another.’”

    New Version:

    “‘Jane, be still a few moments, you are over-excited. I will be still too.’ My master captured my wrists and secured them behind my back, imprisoning me and preventing my movements… He exerted the force of his will as effortlessly as he schooled my person, relentlessly and with an inexorable force, he commanded me against his body… No matter how I controlled my mind, my very flesh was weak.”

  6. #6
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8,696
    Interesting BBC article about the popularity of Ayn Rand.



    A Russian-American writer who died 30 years ago is still selling hundreds of thousands of books a year, and this week one of her former devotees, Paul Ryan, became Mitt Romney's running mate in the US presidential election. So why is Ayn Rand and her most famous work, Atlas Shrugged, so popular?

  7. #7

  8. #8
    whose wheels are squeaking arsonist samael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,098
    Oh for fuck's sake!

  9. #9
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    8,696
    So JK Rowling's new book is published today



    Here's a Guardian round-up of reviews

    "No doubt there will be reviewers who have already decided to pour vitriol upon [The Casual Vacancy] no matter its merits," said Jonathan Ruppin, of Foyles, yesterday, and it appears he might have had a point. Reviews have been pouring in for JK Rowling's first adult novel this morning, and they are nothing if not mixed.

    "A solid, traditional and determinedly unadventurous English novel," wrote Theo Tait for the Guardian, while the famously vituperative Michiko Kakutani, reviewing The Casual Vacancy for the New York Times, was unimpressed. "It's as though writing about the real world inhibited Ms Rowling's miraculously inventive imagination, and in depriving her of the tension between the mundane and the marvellous constrained her ability to create a two-, never mind three-dimensional tale," she wrote.

    "The real-life world she has limned in these pages is so wilfully banal, so depressingly cliched that The Casual Vacancy is not only disappointing – it's dull. The novel … reads like an odd mashup of a dark soap opera like Peyton Place with one of those very British Barbara Pym novels, depicting small-town, circumscribed lives."

    Jan Moir in the Daily Mail, meanwhile, took umbrage at what she saw as Rowling's attack on the middle classes. "More than 500 pages of relentless socialist manifesto masquerading as literature crammed down your throat," found Moir. She went on to call Rowling "the kind of blinkered, left-leaning demagogue quick to lambast what she perceives to be risible middle-class values, while failing to see that her own lush thickets of dearly held emotions and prejudices are riddled with the same narrow-mindedness she is so quick to detect in others".

    Author Christopher Brookmyre, in the Telegraph, was far more positive, giving The Casual Vacancy four out of five stars, saying that it "reveals in unflinching detail the fractures beneath the surface of modern Britain".

    "One marvels at the skill with which Rowling weaves such vivid characters in and out of each other's lives, rendering them so complex and viscerally believable that one finds oneself caring for the worst of them. However, upon hearing the cries of so many souls in pain, the more sensitive reader might begin to crave a leavening of hope, or to fear that Rowling's own cry is one of despair," writes Brookmyre. "That leavening is there, but the novel's lesson is that it won't simply be gifted to us. Quite unmistakably Barry Fairbrother [the parish councillor who dies at the start of the novel] represents liberal aspirations towards a fairer and more integrated society, whereby we don't lecture the disadvantaged about pulling themselves up by their bootstraps: instead we have to wade in to help in ways that may be messy, unsatisfying and barely effective, but without which we abandon hope. Ultimately, The Casual Vacancy is a book that understands there are no magic wands."

    The Scotsman was also positive: "It is far grittier, bleaker (and, occasionally, funnier) than I had expected, and – the acid test – I suspect it would do well even if its author's name weren't JK Rowling." The Mirror gave The Casual Vacancy five stars, and the Express found that "some readers will be shocked at Rowling's departure from wizardry and magic but The Casual Vacancy is a highly readable morality tale for our times".

    A second Telegraph review, from Allison Pearson, awarded three stars and found the novel "sometimes funny, often startlingly well observed, and full of cruelty and despair", and "as for the ending, dear God, it is so howlingly bleak that it makes Thomas Hardy look like PG Wodehouse".

    "Invariably, the author is best when she is back on home ground, dealing with the teenage characters, their inchoate yearnings and lonely friendships," says Pearson. "The book is at its weakest when it is most angrily political, satirising what JK's friend, Gordon Brown, calls 'bigots'. And the novel pretty much explodes towards the end, losing shape in its fury at the dirty, unfair England that we Muggles have made for ourselves. It's like The Archers on amyl nitrate."

    In the Evening Standard, David Sexton said that "what the book has in common with Harry Potter is the ability to marshall an extraordinary number of characters into a coherent narrative, and a prose style so clunkily over-descriptive and repetitiously structured that it presents quite a barrier to the reader with any interest in language, until you are able to forget it, like reading a ropey translation, and concentrate on the story instead".

    "The problem for Rowling's legions of fans will be that she has forgotten to include any basic likability in her characters here, or any real suspense as to what will happen – or deliberately chosen not to supply it, now she no longer needs to do anything other than what she wants," finds Sexton. "The book is quite punishing to read and the view of human nature it takes is more fundamentally lowering than that of the most cynical French aphorist … Rowling has said pre-emptively: 'There is no part of me that feels like I represented myself as your children's babysitter or their teacher. I'm a writer and I will write what I want to write.' So that's what she has done and it is not nice."

  10. #10
    I was uninterested until Jan Moir mentioned it being a socialist manifesto, but she'll say that of anything. I've never considered Rowling a particularly good writer and I've found the flurry of excitement over this book despite very little information being available in advance sort of puzzling. I didn't realise grown-ups went in for the same kind of mindless pants-pissing pre-release worship that teenage Harry Potter fans did, but I suppose I'm forgetting Twilight Moms (and how could I?).

  11. #11
    this tornado loves you UnderTheFunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    651
    I don't think it's unfair for people who liked Harry Potter to be excited to see what she does next-- and that's a large quantity of people.

    Many of them are bound to be disappointed. It's hard to imagine what that must feel like for Rowling. It may just be her usual demeanor, but I watched an interview with her on the US Good Morning America show and her attitude was like, "Well, here's this book. If you aren't moved by it, I have nothing to say to you." like she putting distance between herself and the readers in anticipation of backlash.

    All that said, I'm ignoring reviews for now and am excited to read it.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by UnderTheFunk View Post
    I don't think it's unfair for people who liked Harry Potter to be excited to see what she does next-- and that's a large quantity of people.
    Nor do I, but I find midnight release parties for adults quite baffling. Don't people have better things to do midweek?

    I saw it in Foyles last night (on release day, by accident, and there will still loads of copies left - so grabbing one a minute after it's released wasn't exactly imperative) and had a quick skim. From what I remember (not very much), her voice remains the same, so the only thing I can think of that might disappoint her fans is that there's no magic and it's a bit doom and gloom. I wonder how many people will react negatively because they were expecting another fantasy novel?

  13. #13
    Senior Member uncanny hats's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,334
    It's Banned Books Week and the Lawrence, KS public library has made trading cards.

  14. #14
    That's so Shakespearean... Canoodlefish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    1,488
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012...on-jane-austen

    At a recent academic conference, Michigan State University professor Natalie Phillips stole a glance around the room. A speaker was talking but the audience was fidgety. Some people were conferring among themselves, or reading notes. One person had dozed off.

    Phillips, who studies 18th- and 19th-century literature, says the distracted audience made something pop in her head. Distractability is a theme that runs through many novels of Jane Austen, whom Phillips admires. It occurred to Phillips that there was a paradox in her own life when it came to distractability.

    "I love reading, and I am someone who can actually become so absorbed in a novel that I really think the house could possibly burn down around me and I wouldn't notice," she said. "And I'm simultaneously someone who loses their keys at least three times a day, and I often can't remember where in the world I parked my car."

    For Phillips, Jane Austen became both a literary and a neuroscientific puzzle.


    Could modern cognitive theories explain character development in one of Austen's most famous heroines — Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett? Phillips thinks Bennett's distractability was key to Austen's characterization of her lively mind — and that Austen herself was drawing on the contemporary theories of cognition in her time.

    If neuroscience could inform literature, Phillips asked, could literature inform neuroscience?

    She decided to conduct a study, looking at how reading affects the brain. She had volunteers lie still in a brain scanner and read Austen. Phillips sometimes instructed her volunteers to browse, as they might do at a bookstore. Other times, she asked them to delve deep, as a scholar might read a text while conducting a literary analysis.

    Phillips said the experiment produced some surreal moments: "If you asked me on a top 10 list of things that I did not expect to find myself doing as an 18th-centuryist when I first started this study on the history of distraction, I would say laying on my back in an MRI scanner trying to figure out how to position paragraphs by Jane Austen so that you wouldn't have to turn your head while reading with a mirror."

    Phillips and her collaborators scanned the brains of the volunteers using a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine. The scanner paints a rough picture of brain activity. A computer program simultaneously tracked readers' eye movements across the page, and researchers kept tabs on the volunteers' breathing and heart rate. At the end of the experiment, Phillips asked each volunteer to write a short essay based on the passages he or she read.

    Neuroscientists warned Phillips she wouldn't see many brain differences between the casual reading and intense reading.

    "Everyone told me to expect these really, really minute and subtle effects," she said, "because everyone was going to be doing the same thing, right? Reading Jane Austen. And they were just going to be doing it in two different ways."

    Phillips said she mainly expected to see differences in parts of the brain that regulate attention because that was the main difference between casual and focused reading.

    But in a neuroscientific plot twist, Phillips said preliminary results showed otherwise: "What's been taking us by surprise in our early data analysis is how much the whole brain — global activations across a number of different regions — seems to be transforming and shifting between the pleasure and the close reading."

    Phillips found that close reading activated unexpected areas: parts of the brain that are involved in movement and touch. It was as though readers were physically placing themselves within the story as they analyzed it.


    Phillips' research fits into an interdisciplinary new field sometimes dubbed "literary neuroscience." Other researchers are examining poetry and rhythm in the brain, how metaphors excite sensory regions of the brain, and the neurological shifts between reading a complex text like Marcel Proust compared with reading a newspaper — all in hopes of giving a more complete picture of human cognition.
    "Never build a dungeon that you cannot get out of."

  15. #15
    Tens Across the Board Banjee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Miami Beach
    Posts
    3,121
    Hillary Mantel wins her second Booker!!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •