Book Expo is a giant trade fair, yes, and we go to meet with publicists and plan half a year’s worth of book coverage, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: *I* personally am there mostly for the weird freebies (and Grumpy Cat). And I was not disappointed! Amy Poehler’s memoir Yes Please is slated for October, and while I missed her appearance, I did not miss these odd and rather delightful pink fortune cookies (they were strawberry flavored!). Better than the Fault in Our Stars-branded Kleenex packets? Probably not. But still pretty darn cool. Also strawberry-flavored, did I mention that?
Oh my God I get this feeling like the next four months will be a slow buildup of new reasons to want this book more than I’ve ever wanted anything
how people use to imagine the future:
how people now imagine the future:
this actually says so much about society
I don’t usually reblog this kinda thing but I feel compelled to point out that fear for the future has existed literally as long as people have been imagining the future, and most especially as long as people have been imagining it in the form of science fiction. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 came out in 1953. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four came out in 1949. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World came out in 1932. Karel Čapek’s R.U.R. (the play that included the first use of the word “robot”) came out in 1920. Jack London’s The Iron Heel came out in 1908. H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine came out in 1895, for goodness’s sake.
There’s just not a time you can point to in the history of science fiction when “people use [sic] to imagine the future” as a flawless utopia. We have always been worried. This doesn’t say “so much about society.” It says a lot about human nature.
The rule here is simple: If you are invoking 1984 in a country in which 1984 is available for purchase and can be freely deployed as a rhetorical device, you likely don’t understand the point of 1984.
"In his 1941 essay “England Your England,” Orwell took pains to highlight this distinction. While identifying the United Kingdom’s numerous “barbarities and anachronisms”—and even declaring the country not a “genuine democracy”—he argued that these defects meant that ideas like “democracy is ‘just the same as’ or ‘just as bad as’ totalitarianism” were colossally wrong, employing fallacious “arguments [that] boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread.”
EXCELLENT. None of this, obviously, is to say that there’s no cause for concern about the modern state of the nation, but this paragraph in particular is useful. Nothing grinds my gears like a literary analogy blatantly misused for purposes of political rhetoric.
Nabokov used to say that he pushed his characters around like serfs or chess pieces—he had no time for that … impotence whereby authors like to say, “I don’t know what happened, but my character just got away from me and did his own thing. I had nothing to do with it.” Nonsense, said Nabokov, if I want my character to cross the road, he crosses the road. I am his master.
From How Fiction Works, by James Wood. Picador, page 116.
This little debate on how to characterize the author-character relationships is something I have always found wonderful. For years I was made anxious by the “my character ran off and did his own thing” description, because my characters never did - were they not fully realized if I was able to keep them under control? Nabokov, at least, is with me on this one, although if you have to be a master of the medium to get away with it I might still be in trouble.
the child grows enormous but never grows up: Ancient religious texts among the 25,000 new images online
Launched in December 2011, the Cambridge Digital Library has already attracted tens of millions of hits on its website. Among the 25,000 new images being made freely available are a 2,000-year old copy of The Ten Commandments on the famous Nash Papyrus and also…
This is super super super super cool.
As well done as some movies may be – no matter the emotions they stir or the experiences they connect with – we talk of their stories as being something “other” that is different from books or plays. Let’s face it, a play is just a hop and a skip to movie; they both consist of dialogue, setting, and directions. Somehow a script is considered more important – weightier – than a screenplay. We read scripts as students. Shakespeare is thrust upon us, and occasionally we find ourselves with Ibsen or Wilde in hand.