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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Famous Writers From Syracuse

"Yesterday, famed poet T.S Elliot was born in 1888, which got the OHA staff thinking- who are some famous writers from Syracuse? As fate would have it, not only did we find a number of writers and authors, but one of them was born on this day in history."

Is It Hemingway Or A Children's Book?

Is It Hemingway Or A Children's Book? Take the quiz.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Follow In The Footsteps Of Woolf And Co

There are over 40 talks and walks taking place in London between 1-31 October as part of the Literary Footprints festival. Among them are Circles, Squares and Triangles (Stephen Benton visits the sites of Virginia Woolf’s four Bloomsbury homes, and discusses the books she penned therein), and The Lives and Loves of the Bloomsbury Group — in which Jenni Bowley explains how Woolf et al “lived in squares and loved in triangles”.


What The Author Meant Vs What Your English Teacher Thinks The Author Meant


10 Books That Capture Toronto

From turn-of-the-century descriptive writing to a modern graphic novel, ten books that capture portions of the city.

More: Toronto Star

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nabokov Draws Ulysses

This Ulysses fan map comes from the hand of a very special reader indeed: Vladimir Nabokov, author of a few much-discussed works of twentieth-century literature himself, including Lolita, Pale Fire, and Speak, Memory.
Open Culture

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Homeowners by Steve Vermillion

The Homeowners, a story by Steve Vermillion, one of my favourite dudes, has been nominated for a Best of The Net award!

Read it here

Pasternak and the Valet

The story of Boris Pasternak's publication of his novel, Dr Zhivago, is a cat’s cradle, an eternal zigzag of plotlines, coincidences, inconsistencies and maddening disappearances.
"Isaiah Berlin was on his honeymoon – he married late – when he first read Dr Zhivago. It was the evening of Saturday, 18 August 1956, and he had just made the short journey back to Moscow from the village of Peredelkino, where he had spent the day with Boris Pasternak. Pasternak’s dacha was part of a complex set up on Stalin’s orders in 1934 to reward the Soviet Union’s most prominent writers. One of them, Korney Chukovsky, described the scheme as ‘entrapping writers within a cocoon of comforts, surrounding them with a network of spies’. Periodically, and usually at night, the NKVD would turn over a dacha and bundle its resident into a waiting car. Pasternak’s immediate neighbour and friend, Boris Pilnyak, was arrested in October 1937, removed to the Lubyanka, and killed with a single bullet to the back of the head. The same fate awaited Isaac Babel, who was taken from Peredelkino in May 1939. There were others, less well known, but equals in the manner of their death."
Full story:  LRB 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crow Lake

Crow Lake is Mary Lawson's bestselling first novel. It got a lot of buzz when it was published in 2003 and I always meant to read it but didn't get around to it until now.
Set in Northern Ontario it is the story of the Morrison family. The parents die in a car accident, leaving 4 children behind. The two teenaged brothers, Luke and Matt, take over the care of their young siblings, Kate and Bo. Kate, just 7 years old at the time of her parents' deaths, narrates the story from the point of view of a child and as an adult preparing to return for a family gathering with her partner, Daniel.
The novel is about the sacrifices made to keep the family together. It's about having to hide grief for fear of fracturing what little is left after tragic loss. It's about the love that keeps the family going. It's about a small community that does what it can to help.
I tore through it quickly, not wanting to put it down, and find myself thinking about it days after I finished it. It's a quiet book, touching without veering into sentimentality and I recommend it.

Male Novelist Jokes

Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: The terrible sex had made him feel deeply interesting, like a murder victim.

 Q:How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: The beast, which had represented his feelings, was dead. “I think I’ll do a pushup,” he announced to the sea. The sea respected him for it.

 Q:How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: [4000 words from the narrator about his feelings on his childhood circumcision]

Q:How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A:War is hell.

Q:How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A:His alcoholism was different, because someday he was going to die.

Q:How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A:[Nothing happens for 450 pages; receives fourteen awards]

More at The Toast

Via the always hilarious Steve Vermillion

Short story by Plan 9 from Outer Space auteur Ed Wood, Jr.

"The Day The Mummy Returned" is a 1971 short story written by Ed Wood, Jr. the American original who gave us Bride of the Monster, Plan 9 from Outer Space, and so much more. It's presented here for the first time in over forty years since its initial publication.
Read it at Boing Boing

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Snow Queen

Barrett Meeks is walking through Central Park when he looks up and sees a pale aqua light in the night sky. This light takes on enormous significance for Barrrett. He has just been dumped by his lover, has failed to find a career for himself despite his intelligence and education and is now living with his brother Tyler, an addict, and Tyler's dying girlfriend, Beth, in a run down Brooklyn neighbourhood.
Was the light a divine miracle? Is Beth's remission proof? Barrett thinks it might be and turns to religion.The book follows the brothers, Beth and their sophisticated circle of friends over a period of four years. All are middle aged and searching for meaning in their anchorless lives. They seem to bump into people without making any substantive connection. 
It's a short novel and a good one although it never seems to take shape. If you want to read something by Cunningham I recommend The Hours and Specimen Days.

The Last Saturday

The Last Saturday is a graphic novella by the award-winning cartoonist Chris Ware, tracing the lives of six individuals from Sandy Port, Michigan, published in weekly episodes.

​Gigantic Word Search Contains Every Single Word Jorge Luis Borges Wrote

With the installation Borges Library, Daniel Temkin, algorithmic artist and theorist, along with writer and artist Rony Maltz, dig into Borges' fascination with this infinity of words. It takes the form of a gigantic projected word search containing every word Borges wrote, both in his native Spanish and in English translation.

More: Motherboard