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Square Eyes by Anna Mill and Luke Jones review – dystopian visions | Books | The Guardian
An inventive, immersive adventure vividly imagines a bleak near future shaped by sinister software
books 
3 hours ago by tonys
Review: 'Ready to Burst' by Franketienne - Chicago Tribune
"This is the book of an intellectual, French and Haitian style, filled with ideas, politics, snatches of conversations, contemporary retellings of folktales. Zombies, unnamed, stalk through its pages. Engrossing as all this is, it's right to be wary of a book that opens with this declaration: "I no longer worry about what I write. I simply write. Because I must. Because I'm suffocating. I write anything. Any way."

Here, back in 1968, Frankétienne is making his declaration against writing as a trade or business. For him, writing is a mission and a doctrine with a name: Spiralism, which he created in the mid-1960s along with two other highly regarded Haitian writers, Jean-Claude Fignolé and René Philoctète, all of whom were persecuted by Papa Doc's regime, like all members of the intelligentsia who did not come to heel. Described in somewhat ecstatic terms in the novel, both by an unnamed first person narrator and later, at greater length, by Paulin, Spiralism seems, to our contemporary minds, antiquated or wacky, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Spiritualism. But it is much more rigorous than that, and much closer to a literary theory and an aesthetic movement.

"Spiralism," the narrator tells us on the very first page, "defines life … not in a closed circuit, but tracing the path of a spiral. So rich that each new curve, wider and higher than the one before, expands the arc of one's vision." Whenever friends converse in these pages, we get a real sense of the intellectual and political ferment of the 1960s as it touched Haiti, from which the idea of Spiralism grew.

The narrator describes Spiralism also as a kind of "explosive vertigo," and that's how the reader feels as he or she follows Raynand walking to the wharf, or traveling out of the country to the Bahamas (briefly), or as he sails back to Haiti, or coming upon a political rally, or being hurled into prison, or ending upon his sickbed. Raynand walks everywhere because, he says, walking is "his sole and apparent freedom" in a book where Haiti is depicted as a sort of grand, inescapable penitentiary.

The book has the occasional stylistic flaws of its era ("Electricity. Mechanics. Ballistics. And from end to end, the tragicomedy of History. Vast circus of dwarves and clowns"). But the sinewy strength of the rest of the work pushes the reader beyond those fragmentary bits onward to an appreciation of the artistic whole. Frankétienne can bore you with a few paragraphs of blather on Spiralism and then stun you with simple language like this: "(He) carefully sparks the purple flame of a lovely little yellow lighter." Often, when reading a wild, passionate, exotic and surreal passage about a crowd or a scene or a landscape, I felt the pang of surprised recognition. You feel, too, as you will if you've ever been to actual Haiti, that you've gotten lost inside a fantastic and writhing Haitian painting. (Frankétienne is also a painter and a playwright.)

Those Haitian paintings, of markets, of crowds, of Vodou ceremonies, and other aspects of Haitian daily life, are timeless, and so is the Haiti Frankétienne describes, both for better and for worse. Timeless is Haiti's undercurrent of revolution. Timeless are its elite's pronouncements about the dignity of the individual. Timeless, too, is the appearance of the spiritual world in the world of daily life.

Equally persistent, unfortunately, are the untreated malaria, the abandoned children treated as slaves, the terminal tuberculosis, the lifelong unemployment, the degradation of women, the useless and corrupt government, the inconclusive political unrest, the endless ineffective blah blah blah (actually a phrase in Haitian Creole) of the Haitian intellectual class — all liabilities of a country that in the last half century and more has experienced the inroads of globalization as the direst of poverty.

We are so lucky, and Frankétienne is so lucky, that Kaiama L. Glover has come along to translate his works into English and to give Spiralism the international attention it deserves as a historic Caribbean literary movement.

I interviewed Frankétienne in 1986, when I first arrived in Haiti. I had no idea what he was talking about then and couldn't get over the fact that he had put his two names together. Thinking back on it, I'm sure he was talking about regime change and Spiralism. And now, having finally, belatedly, read "Ready to Burst," I know what he meant."
frankétienne  1968  2014  books  haiti  spiralism  amywilentz 
6 hours ago by robertogreco
bookdown
A list of useful resources aimed to self-publish a book on Amazon using Bookdown. From using an editor, to proofreading, ISBN, cost, earnings and more!
books  publishing 
8 hours ago by bradbarrish
Home :: The Trove
directory of RPG PDFs
games  rpg  books 
14 hours ago by toyg
Yo-Yo Boing! - Wikipedia
"Yo-Yo Boing! is a Spanglish novel by Puerto Rican poet and novelist Giannina Braschi. Braschi is the author of the postmodern poetry trilogy "El imperio de los sueños/Empire of Dreams" (1988) and the postcolonial dramatic novel United States of Banana (2011). Published in 1998 as the first full-length Spanglish novel, Yo-Yo Boing! is a linguistic hybrid of literary Spanish, American English, and Spanglish.[1] The book mixes elements of poetry, fiction, essay, musical, manifesto, treatise, bastinado, memoir, and drama. The New York Daily News called it an "in your-face-assertion of the vitality of Latino culture in the United States".[2] The book dramatizes the tensions between Anglo-American and Hispanic-American cultures in New York City.[3]"



"Yo-Yo Boing! has many examples of the linguistic phenomena of code-switching between English and Spanish, as spoken by millions of Latinos and Hispanic-Americans in the United States and in Puerto Rico.[12] Through dramatic dialogues and conversations among a nameless chorus of voices, the work treats subjects as diverse as racial, ethnic, and sexual prejudice, discrimination, colonialism, Puerto Rican independence, revolution, domestic violence, and writer's block. In the book, intellectuals and artists debate English-only laws, ethnic cleansing campaigns, and the corporate censorship.[13][14]

The dialogue also features references to popular culture, books, films, sex, poetry, inspiration, and Puerto Rican artistic expression in New York. Artists and celebrities such as Woody Allen, Almodovar, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pavarotti, Martin Scorsese, Fellini, Pee-Wee Herman, and Nabokov are celebrated and derided.[15] Scenes cross-cut throughout New York City from the Upper West Side literary soiree to the Lower East Side tertulia at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, "from the diner booth to the subway platform, from the movie theater line to the unemployment line, and from the bathroom to the bedroom".[16]"
books  toread  gianninavraschi  puertorico  code-switching  intertextuality  codeswitching  english  spanish  spanglish  español 
15 hours ago by robertogreco
Dézafi | The University of Virginia Press
"Dézafi is no ordinary zombie novel. In the hands of the great Haitian author known simply as Frankétienne, zombification takes on a symbolic dimension that stands as a potent commentary on a country haunted by a history of slavery. Now this dynamic new translation brings this touchstone in Haitian literature to English-language readers for the first time.

Written in a provocative experimental style, with a myriad of voices and combining myth, poetry, allegory, magical realism, and social realism, Dézafi tells the tale of a plantation that is run and worked by zombies for the financial benefit of the living owner. The owner's daughter falls in love with a zombie and facilitates his transformation back into fully human form, leading to a rebellion that challenges the oppressive imbalance that had robbed the workers of their spirit. With the walking dead and bloody cockfights (the "dézafi" of the title) as cultural metaphors for Haitian existence, Frankétienne’s novel is ultimately a powerful allegory of political and social liberation."
books  toread  frankétienne  haiti  novels  1975 
15 hours ago by robertogreco
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II - YouTube
US National Archives
Streamed live on Oct 18, 2017
In the tradition of Hidden Figures and The Girls of Atomic City, Liza Mundy’s Code Girls is the astonishing, untold story of the young American women who cracked key Axis codes, helping to secure Allied victory and revolutionizing the field of cryptanalysis. A book signing will follow the program.
computers  encryption  math  WWII  women  40s  books  gov2.0  military  waves  uniform  presentation  youtube 
16 hours ago by rgl7194
sister-hood interview with Mona Eltahawy. Feminist author and public speaker. - YouTube
[2:00] "For some reason — I don't know who did this because there's no women's and gender studies program in that university to this day — some renegade librarian or professor had put all these feminist journals on a bookshelf that I discovered. And they had all these feminists from my heritage, from the Middle East, from Muslim backgrounds, and also other feminists from different backgrounds. And I remember when I first discovered the word 'feminism' and discovered their writing. [It] terrified me. It terrified me. I would just put these books down and these journals down and just walk away because I was really scared because I understood that the more I got into that, the more it would just unravel everything. And I use that experience now to tell people, "when something really scares you, it's an indication that it's something you really need because it's going to really unsettle all of the things that you need to shake up in you life." Feminism saved my life and feminism saved my mind. And thanks to Saudi Arabia, ironically enough, I became the woman I am today."
monaeltahawy  feminism  change  books  2018  unlearning  learning  patriarchy  librarians  libraries 
17 hours ago by robertogreco

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