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mudd up! » archive » MUDD UP BOOK CLUB: MAY EDITION – TOLSTAYA’S THE SLYNX » mudd up!
For this month’s Mudd Up Book Clubb, we have a very special selection — Tatyana Tolstaya’s The Slynx. It is the only novel I’ve ever read which is both laugh-out-loud funny *and* has given me nightmares. Amazing.

Some people call it a dystopia, and true – The Slynx does take place in Moscow about 200 years after an unspecified Blast has knocked everyone back to Stone Age level amenities – but Tolstaya’s prose is luminous, alive, bursting with a belief in language’s power to create worlds, which is precisely what this book does. Textual pleasures surround the tale of a quasi-literate copyist in the era of Degenerators…
literature  books  toread 
may 2012 by cmillward
Young Critics: Michael Schaub | Full-Stop.net
haha!
'Do you write or have you ever written fiction?

I wrote fiction in college. As I recall, it was the kind of awful, pretentious stuff that only 19-year-olds with depression can write. One story was actually called “The Abortionist’s Daughter,” which I still maintain is the worst title in the history of everything.'
criticism  literature  interview  michael_schaub  bookslut 
april 2011 by cmillward
Good book, great film | Books | The Guardian
When he was asked to be guest director for a festival dedicated to films based on books, Jonathan Coe set out to disprove the adage that great literature makes terrible movies
film  literature  adaptations  criticism 
april 2011 by cmillward
books loved by a brother
One year ago today, my brother Randy Schaub, a Bookslut contributor, died at 37. And for one year, I've been trying to figure out how to remember him, how to do anything worthy of who he was.

I'm not sure I'll ever figure that out. So for now, I'll just urge every one of you to become an organ donor (here's information for the UK, Canada, India, and Australia), and to give books that you love to the people that you love while you still can.

These are ten books that my brother loved,
lists  literature  death  rememberance 
march 2011 by cmillward
Myth, reality and Steve Earle - Los Angeles Times
"It's about mortality," the singer-songwriter says by phone from his New York apartment. Hence, the name of the book, a reference to the last song Williams released before he died on Jan. 1, 1953, in the back seat of a car, on the road to a New Year's Day gig in Canton, Ohio.

That lonesome death, because of drugs and alcohol, centers the novel, which revolves around a character named Doc, a physician fallen into heroin addiction, who gave the singer his final injection. Ten years later, Doc is living in a San Antonio flophouse, performing back-alley abortions, haunted by his failures and his sins. "I'd always heard," Earle notes, "that there was a doctor traveling with Hank when he died. When I buckled down, I discovered that Hank had been seeing a guy named Toby Marshall, who was not a doctor; he was a quack who claimed to be able to cure alcoholism with chloral hydrate. But I thought it would be more interesting if my character was a real doctor, so I went with that."
literature  music  steve_earle  interview  2011 
march 2011 by cmillward
How novels came to terms with the internet | Books | The Guardian
"We spend hours on the web, but you wouldn't know that from reading contemporary fiction. Novelists have gone to great lengths – setting stories in the past or in remote places – to avoid dealing with the internet. Is this finally changing, asks Laura Miller"
literature  culture  web  internet  via:migurski  dfw 
january 2011 by cmillward
ted chiang makes a neat distinction (2 January 2011, Interconnected)
Ted Chiang makes a neat distinction between science and magic in this interview:
science  magic  ted_chiang  interview  literature 
january 2011 by cmillward
Tom McCarthy, Lydia Davis, Ben Brooks: is experimental fiction making a comeback? [The Observer]
"William Skidelsky looks at the resurgence of literary experimentation, and the writers on radical form"
literature  books  experimental  fiction  interview  2010 
august 2010 by cmillward
Beckett-Gray code
The Beckett–Gray code is named after Samuel Beckett, an Irish playwright especially interested in symmetry. One of his plays, "Quad", was divided into sixteen time periods. At the end of each time period, Beckett wished to have one of the four actors either entering or exiting the stage; he wished the play to begin and end with an empty stage; and he wished each subset of actors to appear on stage exactly once. Clearly, this meant the actors on stage could be represented by a 4-bit binary Gray code. Beckett placed an additional restriction on the scripting, however: he wished the actors to enter and exit such that the actor who had been on stage the longest would always be the one to exit. The actors could then be represented by a first in, first out queue data structure, so that the first actor to exit when a dequeue is called for is always the first actor which was enqueued into the structure.
samuel_beckett  cs  algorithms  literature 
july 2010 by cmillward
poems or stories about motherhood? [HTMLGIANT]
"Are there cool poems and/or stories about motherhood? This is a serious, not sarcastic, question."
lists  motherhood  literature  poetry 
june 2010 by cmillward
Ben Marcus and His Flame Alphabet. A Word Exchange. [WAC = WE ARE CHAMPION | ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE]
"It's rare anymore you get excited simply hearing a premise for a new book. Everything's been done before and other defeatist maxims. But on occasion you hear snatches of just what a book is about and you get that flop sweat, synapse snapping nether and neural joy. My friend, Blake Butler, attended a reading by Ben Marcus, Tao Lin, and Nicholson Baker at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and afterward gave me a rough sketch of what Marcus' new book was about. Language. Kids. Words as weapons. The words Flame Alphabet.

I'll leave the details for you to find out further down in the interview, but let me say I walked around for days screaming at strangers. Widening the mouth seemed the best reaction."
interview  literature  books  language  fiction  2010  ben_marcus  via:bookslut 
april 2010 by cmillward
The Policeman's Beard Is Half-Constructed (1984)
Includes a link to download the entire volume as a pdf.
ai  books  generative_narrative  1984  literature  cs 
april 2010 by cmillward
a letter of George's Bernard Shaw regarding James Joyce's Ulysses [bookslut]
"From Sylvia Beach's wonderful Shakespeare and Company, a letter from George Bernard Shaw regarding the publication of Ulysses:

Dear Madam,

I have read fragments of Ulysses in its serial form. It is a revolting record of a disgusting phase of civilization, but it is a truthful one; and I should like to put a cordon round Dublin; round up every male person in it between the ages of 15 and 30; force them to read all that foul mouthed, foul minded derision and obscenity"
literature  james_joyce  ulysses  letters  via:bookslut 
april 2010 by cmillward
Gallery at The LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies
Included as a footnote in Wallace's novel is the Complete filmography of James O. Incandenza, a detailed list of over 70 industrial, documentary, conceptual, advertorial, technical, parodic, dramatic non-commercial, and non-dramatic commercial works. The LeRoy Neiman Gallery has commissioned artists and filmmakers to re-create seminal works from Incandenza's filmography.
infinite_jest  art  2010  dfw  literature  film  gallery  show 
january 2010 by cmillward
Hilo Hero: Albert Camus [Hilobrow]
An anarchist sympathizer, Camus renounced dehumanizing worldviews, whether fascist, socialist, or capitalist-triumphalist. Yet he remained a utopian thinker who, in 1947, around the time that he fell in with a dispersed Argonaut Folly (whose members included George Orwell, Hannah Arendt, and Simone Weil in absentia) eccentrically orbiting Dwight Macdonald’s magazine Politics, declared that “We must all of us create outside of parties and governments communities of thought which will inaugurate a dialogue across the boundaries of nations; the members of these communities should affirm through their lives and their words that this world must cease to be a world of policemen, of soldiers and of money, and become a world for man and woman, of fruitful work and reflective leisure.” Can I get an AMEN, somebody?
albert_camus  literature  profile  history  quotes 
november 2009 by cmillward
Guernica / Bolaño Inc.
"Roberto Bolaño is being sold in the U.S. as the next Gabriel García Márquez, a darker, wilder, decidedly un-magical paragon of Latin American literature. But his former friend and fellow novelist, Horacio Castellanos Moya, isn’t buying it."
roberto_bolano  consumerism  culture  literature  usa  latin_america  2009 
november 2009 by cmillward
Salman Rushdie Considering Graphic Novel [Bleeding Cool]
Forget your Maus, your Jimmy Corrigan, your City Of Glass, this could well be the next high-minded literary comics fetish object for your bookshelf.

Salman Rushdie, author of Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses is planning to write a graphic novel.
comics  2009  literature 
october 2009 by cmillward
Oulipo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oulipo (French pronunciation: [ulipo], short for French: Ouvroir de littérature potentielle; roughly translated: "workshop of potential literature") is a loose gathering of (mainly) French-speaking writers and mathematicians which seeks to create works using constrained writing techniques. It was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. Other notable members include novelists Georges Perec and Italo Calvino, poet Oskar Pastior and poet/mathematician Jacques Roubaud.
writing  french  literature  theory  oulipo  contraints 
october 2009 by cmillward
The New Skrullicism [Hilobrow]
"When John Holbo — an assistant professor of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore, and impresario of The Valve — jokingly introduced the world to The New Skrullicism, an invented field of literary criticism whose practitioners are dedicated to outing Skrulls masquerading as characters in great works of literature, I took it seriously. (Referencing Hamlet, for example, Holbo suggests that Gertrude’s lament concerning her “too much changed son,” is “a clear reference to the protagonist’s shape-changing abilities.”) If such a thing as hilobrow lit crit were remotely possible, I decided, this is precisely what it would look like: ’pataphysics for the humanities.

That was two years ago, but I keep running across Skrulls in literature. So I thought I’d reprint a version of the post that I published, at the time, on Brainiac (the Boston Globe Ideas section’s blog), and ask Hilobrow.com readers to chime in with more examples."
new_skrullicism  literature  comics  jack_kirby  criticism  skrulls  humor 
september 2009 by cmillward
'Pataphysics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"a term coined by French writer Alfred Jarry (1873 – 1907), is a philosophy or pseudophilosophy dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. It is a parody of the theory and methods of modern science and is often expressed in nonsensical language."
surreal  alfred_jarry  humor  surrealism  pseudoscience  pataphysics  literature  french  anarcho_symbolists 
august 2009 by cmillward
Dave Eggers' heartbreaking work of staggering reality | Salon Books
"The literary star discusses the future of journalism, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and his new book

By Andrew O'Hehir"
interview  david_eggars  journalism  writing  future  mcsweeneys  newspapers  literature 
july 2009 by cmillward
Fired from the cannon
"Below is a list of ten books that will be pressed into your hands by ardent fans. Resist these people. Life may not be too short (I’m only in my mid-30s, and already pretty bored), but it’s not endless."
lists  books  literature  worstof  bestof  reading 
july 2009 by cmillward
The Genre Artist [NYTimes.com]
"Jack Vance, described by his peers as “a major genius” and “the greatest living writer of science fiction and fantasy,” has been hidden in plain sight for as long as he has been publishing — six decades and counting. Yes, he has won Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy awards and has been named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and he received an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America, but such honors only help to camouflage him as just another accomplished genre writer. So do the covers of his books, which feature the usual spacecraft, monsters and euphonious place names: Lyonesse, Alastor, Durdane. If you had never read Vance [...] you would go on your way to the usual thrills with no idea that you had just missed out on encountering one of American literature’s most distinctive and undervalued voices."
jack_vance  literature  fantasy  scifi  profile  2009  books 
july 2009 by cmillward
In praise of John Barth's 'The Floating Opera'
"Postmodernism is tying your necktie while simultaneously explaining the step-by-step procedure of necktie-tying and chatting about the history of male neckwear -- and managing a perfect full windsor anyhow." - John Barth
quotes  postmodern  john_barth  review  books  literature 
july 2009 by cmillward
Naked Novels --- We Write on Our Favorite Guys [Lemondrop]
'Last week, the Internet was buzzing over this Esquire cover featuring a nude Bar Refaeli covered in text from a Stephen King novel. In our opinion, the "naked chick covered in writing" theme is getting to be as tired as the patented "startlet with her hands over her boobs" magazine cover.

So we decided to turn this cliché on its head by plastering some of our favorite guys with quotes from books girls like, such as David Beckham sporting "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret"'
humor  literature  cliche  images  list  celebrities 
june 2009 by cmillward
James Franco will make one great Allen Ginsberg [GQ]
'James Franco, occasional Spider-Man villain, Pineapple Express stoner and British GQ favourite has been cast in Howl, a biopic about the late beat poet Allen Ginsberg.

For once, the casting is spot on: Franco is a serious-minded actor with a great sense of humour and a voracious appetite for literature ... Of course Ginsberg has been played on screen before - GQ's personal favourite was a heavily bearded David Cross on a golf buggy in I'm Not There - but Howl looks to be something very special indeed.

The first pictures of Franco as Ginsberg have emerged and, so far, so good. Howl is executive produced by Gus Van Sant (who previously collaborated with Franco to great effect in Milk) and he certainly looks the part. He told Entertainment Weekly he was playing Ginsberg as "'an unsure young man who's trying to find his way. All his uncertainty culminates in the poem 'Howl' and gives birth to the Ginsberg we know."'
film  literature  2009  news  howl 
june 2009 by cmillward
Fantasy master David Eddings dies aged 77 [guardian.co.uk]
and so it goes. My middle-school years were spent voraciously reading his books along with those by Orson Scott Card and Piers Anthony.
david_eddings  fantasy  literature  2009  death 
june 2009 by cmillward
A Timeline of Roberto Bolaño's Career [New York Magazine]
money line: "How much more is out there? New Directions will publish The Skating Rink in August 2009 and plans to follow with four more novels, an essay collection, and even more short stories—making Bolaño the unofficial Tupac of publishing."
roberto_bolano  timeline  literature  books 
march 2009 by cmillward
A translator's task – to disappear [csmonitor]
"Natasha Wimmer's acclaimed translation of Roberto Bolaño's '2666' is giving foreign works new prominence."
2666  roberto_bolano  natasha_wimmer  translation  literature  publishing  books  profile 
march 2009 by cmillward
Michael Muhammad Knight, Bookslut's Indie Heartthrob Interview Series
Knight, a former backyard wrestler and cultural provocateur, is the author of the upcoming memoir Impossible Man, an exploration of Knight's exposure to Islam and eventual disillusionment before a moment of self-definement. With a fluid mastery for prose, Knight recounts his upbringing and movements of faith with language reminiscent of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, who invokes Joyce and the Fitzgeralds in an attempt to understand her own existence.

Knight's first novel The Taqwacores is also the basis for what can be called, for lack of better words, a Muslim Punk movement. His burqa-wearing riot grrls and other characters helped spawn a Taqwacores movement featuring bands like The Kominas, 8-bit, and Vote Hezbollah as well as a mixed gender prayer organized by author Asra Nomani in support of women as imams.
interview  literature  books  islam  taqwacores 
january 2009 by cmillward
Wild Things All Over
One of the more significant and highly anticipated literary collaborations of recent years isn't even a book—it's a movie. Where the Wild Things Are, based on Maurice Sendak's classic picture book, is slated for major motion picture release in mid-2009. The collaborators on the screenplay are director Spike Jonze and author Dave Eggers, though the pair consulted with Sendak throughout the screenwriting process. And the film will carry a blockbuster of a tie-in—and it's not the book the film is based on: it is a solo novel, written by Eggers (working title: The Wild Things) inspired by Sendak's iconic tale, to be published by Ecco Press.
david_eggars  books  film  2009  where_the_wild_things_are  novel  literature  novelization  adaption 
january 2009 by cmillward
Lethem Exits the Unknown with “Omega”
In closing, Lethem teased CBR readers with a glimpse into the world he is creating for his yet-to-be-named next novel. “It is coming together, and it should be published in the fall of 2009. It still doesn’t have a title, but I can tell you, it’s set on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, it’s strongly influenced by Saul Bellow, Philip K. Dick, Charles Finney and Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ and it concerns a circle of friends including a faded child-star actor, a cultural critic, a hack ghost-writer of autobiographies, and a city official. And it’s long and strange.”
interview  jonathan_lethem  authors  comics  books  literature 
january 2009 by cmillward
Most Anticipated: 2009 May Be a Great Year for Books [The Millions]
highlights for me are: Atwood, Pynchon, Lethem, Eggars' novelization of 'Where the Wild Things Are'
books  2009  lists  literature 
january 2009 by cmillward
M.T. Anderson
"The Millions calls M.T. Anderson the David Foster Wallace of young adult literature and points to a profile in the Washington Post."
kottke  literature  ya  m_t_anderson 
december 2008 by cmillward
A method for socially responsible book-buying
"Since so few people buy literary fiction, a few copies go a long way. Your purchases could help keep an author writing and a press publishing. Many laud the virtues of buying books from independent bookstores, and I’m all for that. I focus, however, on what I buy, not where I buy it—I may order novels from amazon.com, but I favor those published by independent presses or written by lesser-known authors (regardless of publisher). Each time you buy a book this way, you help preserve literary diversity."
books  literature  social  shopping 
november 2008 by cmillward
Brion Gysin
Brion Gysin (January 19, 1916 - July 13, 1986) was a painter, writer, sound poet, and performance artist born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.[1]

He is best known for his discovery of the cut-up technique [2] used by William S. Burroughs. With Ian Somerville he invented the Dreamachine, a flicker device designed as an art object to be viewed with the eyes closed. It was in painting, however, that Gysin devoted his greatest efforts, creating calligraphic works inspired by Japanese and Arabic scripts.
beat  artist  surrealism  person  literature 
november 2008 by cmillward
Less is More [Remarkable]
'We are so close to a kind of editorial revolution where we will all be able to edit our favorite movies ourselves when they go on for too long. It could be like those "clean" Christian movies severely edited for content, except we could edit against self-indulgent bloat, rather than, say, violence or nudity. Think how great our bold new world of 50 minute summer blockbusters could be!'
minimalism  future  ideas  criticism  pop  film  editting  geoff_klock  bloat  literature  lists 
november 2008 by cmillward
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