Literature

Where the Christopher Walken Things are Wild

by on May 13, 2012

As I’m sure everyone who might care knows, the great children’s author Maurice Sendak died on Monday. Here’s Christopher Walken reading Sendak’s most famous work, Where the Wild Things Are.


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American poet Joshua Clover to face prison for impeding capital?

by on May 7, 2012

Poet, professor, and polymath Joshua Clover, along with 11 students, faces a possible 11-year prison sentence for participating in a peaceful sit-in of a campus bank in support of public university funding at UC Davis. The Poetry Foundation:

If you haven’t heard: The administration of UC Davis is holding poet and professor Joshua Clover and 11 students accountable for their alleged role in protests that led to the shutdown


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Cthulhu & the Übermensch

by on May 5, 2012

Cthulhu Nietzsche by MadameAsasello

There seems no limit to comedian Paul F Tompkins’ ongoing ventures, one of which is the Dead Authors podcast, featuring Tompkins as HG Wells in conversation with other dead authors (played by comedians) in front of a live audience. So far Wells has hosted Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, Dorothy Parker, Benjamin Franklin, Carl Sagan, Gertrude Stein, PG Wodehouse, and now Friedrich Nietzsche and H.P.
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A Tale Told By Orson Whales

by on April 24, 2012

Or Orson Goes a’Whaling

New York multimediast Alex Itin works a magical marriage of Led Zep and Melville. Narrator Orson Wells serves equally well as Great White Leviathan and as Mad Ahab in fatal pursuit of the illusive Rosebud.

Orson Whales from Alex Itin on Vimeo.

God help thee, old man, thy thoughts have created a creature in thee; and he whose intense thinking thus makes him a Prometheus;


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Samuel Beckett ~ Play

by on April 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Samuel Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989)

Reason n+1 to give praise and thanks to the generous deities of Youtube – the film once seen, but feared never to be seen again. Anthony Minghella (the English Patient) directs Kirsten Scott Thomas, Alan Rickman, and Juliet Stevenson in Samuel Beckett’s Play (1963), part of the Beckett on Film series.

Sartre suggested that Hell was other people; Eliot …
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Untitled Poem With Two Images

by on April 13, 2012

Jessica Alba performing acupuncture on your banana. The Shah of Iran does not attend the matinee. The little government turns to the big government for help. Shaquille O’Neal rides into battle atop your Toyota Yaris, paddling forward with his great feet on either side. The very contrary happened in Athens. The hipsters are just like anyone else, only moreso. Latex gloves for the invisible hand. Barack Obama’s revivalist funk …
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Privileged Eavesdropping: Herzog, McCarthy, Krauss

by on April 9, 2012

A physicist, a novelist and a filmmaker walk into a bar…

If I had been asked to name a few notables whom I would most like to overhear in conversation, Cormac McCarthy and Werner Herzog would certainly have made the shortlist. And here they are, along with physicist Lawrence Krauss and host of Science Friday, Ira Flatow having a chat about science, art, the insignificance of humanity and stuff. …
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Darkness at Noon or Anytime

by on March 19, 2012

Scene from Tarkovsky's Stalker.

I have seen Tarkovsky’s Stalker once, maybe two decades past. I have yet to stumble across it in the DVD bins here as I have with Solaris, but I am hopeful. I want to confirm my still vivid memories of its beauty, the tracking shot on the rail car, the tossing of the rock with the red ribbon in the zone, and the shattering ending …
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1000 Words, 1000 Days: Day 67 – The Imp Of The Perverse: From Freud To Poe To Cheap Drugs

by on March 12, 2012

So you’re looking for an excuse for why your life is the way it is. You’ve made sketchy choices, unconscionable decisions, slept with partners of questionable ethics and species. That’s okay, you’re not alone. As with any E-Z diagnosis (especially one on the internet, especially-especially one from this site), you are not responsible.

Blame the Imp. The Imp of the Perverse.

If you’ve ever thrown your Mountain Dew …
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Contemporizing Coriolanus

by on February 29, 2012

Fiennes’ Directorial Debut With Obscure Shakespeare Is Risky, But Worth It.

From the speculative storm kicked up by Anonymous to the popular release of Stephen Marche’s How Shakespeare Changed Everything, public curiosity in the Bard’s work was piqued just in time for Ralph Fiennes’ directorial shot at Coriolanus.

Granted, this is not one of old Bill’s popular plays. Still isn’t. It was his final tragedy, and also one of his …
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1000 Words, 1000 Days: Day 55 – Pretending I’m Well-Read – The Books Of 1955

by on February 27, 2012

Wikipedia has a number of groupings by year – births, deaths, I even wrote about the news events of 1927 in one of my less memorable practice articles months ago. I was not aware, however, that they grouped the events in the literature world year-by-year. Now I am. So are you. I think you can see where this is heading.

1955. It was the year that gave us …
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Mini Polis And Its Shovels

by on February 26, 2012

Six hours in a mid-western airport

Mini Polis, Mini Sota, the blandest circle of Hell where those who have sinned against style serve their termless time.

Mini Polis, densely thicketed with the commonsensical Scandinavian,

My new shovel (and the Buddha, of course)

cheerful without humor,

affable without warmth,

acquisitive without enthusiasm.

Just as given to obesity as other species of American; they carry their bulk on somewhat longer legs, and …
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