Getting the Links Out

  • The NY Times posted a new profile of one of my favorite American playwrights, Christopher Durang, who is apparently more given to spirituality than might be expected of the author of "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You" ("He was a bad boy," Sister Mary says of one child. "Some of them should be left on the side of a hill to die, and he was one.")

  • Ron Silliman: "There is a horror at the heart of Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire that comes far closer to [What's Eating Gilbert] Grape & [Spanking the] Monkey than it does to LOTR or Star Wars. That horror is the secret & heart of this film." Well, that's going a bit far, but it was certainly nice that the movie wasn't as long as the book.

  • Ron Silliman: "Perhaps nothing could be further from the swell of extras, computer-generated effects & dizzying pace of Harry Potter than Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter ... and Spring..." Very few films of the last five years have impressed me as much as Spring, Summer..., and Silliman offers a good overview of why.

  • Marjorie Perloff on Paul Celan: "Celan’s life was nothing if not tragic, but the difficulty with the ubiquitous designation 'Holocaust poet' is that its thematic import has eclipsed the role of sound, rhythm, tone, and spatial form in the lyric of this particular poet." (Celan is my favorite poet of the 20th century, so I have probably offered various links to his work before, but for anyone new to his work, this multilingual page has good links, and The Academy of American Poets offers a brief overview of his work.)

  • "College, Reading, and the Internet"

  • Tingle Alley: "A Feast for Crows has to be the most nippletastic book I've read since, oh, Candy. It felt like not a page went by that a pair wasn't being pinched, suckled, eyed, prized, fondled, lopped off (seriously) or otherwise palpated. Boys' nipples, girls' nipples, big brown nipples, fulsome nipples, nipples like black diamonds, lactating nipples, male pepperoni-style nipples. All kinds of nipples. It makes me wonder if a retread of Lord of the Rings isn't in order, with 100% more detail on the hobbit nipples."

  • Hal Duncan writes in his inimitable way about a discussion that I hadn't previously been interested in:
    Two small subsets of the field may live by their words, creating Hard SF or High Fantasy that do exemplify the warring aesthetics of Rationalism and Romanticism -- probably par excellence. But if you look around the drunken wedding party, ignore the two old maids sitting in their corners, that dusty old duality looks pretty irrelevant. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's fucking Modernism. Pulp Modernism, cheap, populist, balls-to-the-wall-and-entertaining-as-fuck Modernism, but still Modernism. We use mimesis on the one hand, fantasy on the other. We rationalise magic and romanticise science. We combine the exotic and the mundane. We experiment with literary conventions. This isn't the fiction of science; it's the science of fiction. We take metaphoric conceits, fantastic ideas, and we put them to the test with literature as the laboratory. Of course, when we get good results, we do have a tendency to go into mass production mode, churning out dodgy copies from the cheapest of materials for a consumerist market that loves our new toys for a few days before abandoning them for the next shiny doohicky... but, hey, that Big Corporate Structure keeps the R & D department going so I'm not complaining.
  • The Little Professor on the inflation and deflation of literary texts.

  • I have never advocated putting babies on spikes. Well, not exactly. The rest is true. And I will release my photos of Nick Mamatas with a mandolin and daisies in his hair for the right price...

  • Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary. (via Language Log)

  • Nalo Hopkinson needs a new computer, so she's selling a bunch of books. I'm very fond of both Mojo: Conjure Stories and Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora, so can recommend them without hesitation. I've not read any of Hopkinson's novels, and don't think I even own any, but I've liked the short stories I've read, and so should probably get myself one of her novels, so she can have a machine on which to write more... (via Cheryl)

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