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Showing posts from February, 2011

David Markson's Marginalia

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I just got sent a link to a new Tumblr blog, Reading Markson Reading, created by Tyler Malone. You remember, of course, that David Markson died back in June, and then (according to his wishes, it seems) his personal library was discreetly mingled in with all the other books for sale at The Strand. This led to fans collecting them and sharing the marginal notes they found.

Tyler Malone describes the purpose of the blog:
The Strand is pretty much out of any Markson-owned books now, the hunt is officially over. Not too long ago I was told by a worker at The Strand that he is fairly positive that I own more than double the amount of Markson-owned books of any other Markson Treasure Hunter. I have around 250 or so of his books. And here, once a day, I plan to share some of his marginalia.For those of us who weren't able to join in the hunt, and who now suffer, perhaps, a little bit of envy of those other lucky souls, this blog is a marvel and a joy. Thank you, Tyler Malone, for caring e…

Stylin'

Jeff VanderMeer has a good post up about style. You should read it.

I, being endlessly excited by the topic, responded with a comment as long as the post itself. I didn't really mean to do that, and was embarrassed upon posting it to see just how much I'd written, but I was in a hurry and didn't have a chance to write concisely. But I wanted to offer a comment/question about translation -- specifically the fact that some great writing survives some really bad translation -- and see what folks did with it, if they did anything other than just groan and ignore me. Which might be the best response. Nonetheless, the post itself is worth considering...

Meanwhile, I was tempted to write a long post here about the blazing idiocy of John Mullan's "12 of the Best New Novelists" thing at The Guardian, but otherpeopleare on it.

Really, though, I know what you most want from me: cute wombats!

The Perils of Prediction

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Lester del Rey in Galaxy Magazine, 1968 (reprinted in Best SF: 1968 edited by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss):
[2001: A Space Odyssey] isn't a normal science-fiction movie at all, you see. It's the first of the New Wave-Thing movies, with the usual empty symbolism. The New Thing advocates were exulting all over it as a mind-blowing experience. It takes very little to blow some minds. But for the rest of us, it's a disaster.It will probably be a box-office disaster, too, and thus set major science-fiction movie making back another ten years.
Peter Krämer, 2001: A Space Odyssey (BFI Film Classics, 2010):
2001's most far-reaching contribution to American -- and also to world -- culture arguably lies in the fact that it both inspired the making, and prepared the ground for the success, of two movies that in 1977 marked an important turning point in Hollywood's operations: George Lucas's Star Wars and Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. ...…

The Polymath in Boston

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Last week -- Friday, February 18, to be exact -- I trekked down to Boston for the New England premiere of Fred Barney Taylor's film The Polymath, or, The Life & Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman. I'd seen it a few years ago at its premiere at the TriBeCa Film Festival, and more recently on DVD, but Fred and Chip were both going to be at the Boston event, and I was curious to see the Q&A, since Chip hadn't been able to be at the TFF premiere, and I was interested to see what sorts of things the audience would want to discuss.

The DVD version, which is what was shown in Boston, is different from the TFF version, and, I'm told, from the version that won the Best Documentary Feature award at the Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The editing is, to my eyes, smoother; there are fewer title cards; there's some new footage; and the whole film has been through additional post-production color correction, which I found most noticeable…

Collected Stories of Carol Emshwiller Table of Contents

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A book I am looking forward to with more excitement than I can possibly express without exploding or somehow otherwise embarrassing myself is The Collected Short Stories of Carol Emshwiller, Volume 1, forthcoming from Nonstop Press. You'll be hearing a lot more about it and Carol Emshwiller here in the coming weeks, but for now I wanted to note that the table of contents for the book has now been posted.

Wow!

For the moment, that's the most eloquent response I can summon.

Return of the Sandman Meditations

Things are likely to remain quiet around here for a little bit, because I need to force myself to kill the demons of procrastination and write a bunch of things for which I have deadlines.

But as one little hiatus begins, another ends -- Gestalt Mash is back (in beta) with new and better hosting, having suffered what any new site likes to suffer: faster-than-expected growth. Kudos to Jay Tomio for a huge amount of work migrating the site over the past few weeks.

Anyway, my latest column is about Season of Mists, Episode 3. (Previous installments are still here.) It contains this brilliant nugget of subtle insight, sure to recontextualize the entire Sandman series for you:
Entrails. Yum.