Saturday, March 17, 2018

Seeds for WWIII

Russia expels 23 British diplomats as crisis over nerve toxin attack deepens

Xi Jinping reappointed China's president in unanimous vote

Myth is the nought that means all

Who uses keys these days to unlock a car door, eh?

How New York Breaks Your Heart with Hayes’s splendid prose counterpart, Insomniac City, then revisit Walt Whitman’s sensual ode to New York


For all my friends, colleagues and fellow cyclists – wherever you may be cycling: “There are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike. The BBC’s Hague correspondent, Anna Holligan, who rides an omafiets – or “granny style” – bike complete with wicker basket and pedal-back brakes, examines what made everyone get back in the saddle.

Had I not actually been through everything which makes up my present existence, I should probably have invented it all for myself and ended up with the same result.

For reasons sufficient to the writer, many places, people, observations and impressions have been left out of this book. Some were secrets and some were known by everyone and everyone has written about them and will doubtless write more.

There is no mention of the Stade Anastasie where the boxers served as waiters at the tables set out under the trees and the ring was in the garden. Nor of training with Larry Gains, nor the great twenty-round fights at the Cirque d’Hiver. Nor of such good friends as Charlie Sweeney, Bill Bird and Mike Strater, nor of André Masson and Miro. There is no mention of our voyages to the Black Forest or of our one-day explorations of the forests that we loved around Paris. It would be fine if all these were in this book but we will have to do without them for now.

If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact

Jorge Luis Borges in "A Profession of Literary Faith" postulated that all literature, in the end, is autobiographical. Everything literary is non-fiction, including fiction. This is probably because the reverse is also true. In Bernhard, the reenactment of his younger self's troubled life was truthful only in the sense that it was only ever an approximation: "Truth is always wrong, even if it is one hundred percent truth. Every error is pure truth." This pure dose of contradiction was his literary framework, in novels and autobiography both.

Language is inadequate when it comes to communicating the truth, and the best the writer can offer is an approximation to the truth, a desperate and hence unreliable approximation. Language can only falsify and distort whatever is authentic.

Years after the Cold War, after marriages, children, divorces, blogs, books, he came to Prague with his wife. He phoned her. It's me. She recognized him at once from the voice. She said, It's me, hello. He was nervous, afraid, as before. His voice suddenly trembled. And with the trembling, suddenly, she heard again the voice of The High Tatra Mountains. He knew she'd begun writing books, he's heard about it through her mother whom he'd met again in Sydney. Surreal memories behind and even more Kafkaesque moments ahead ...

Daughters are like flowers – they fill the world with beauty and sometimes attract pests.

    The Bears vs. Vikings game. It’s not based on a book, but a multitude of tie-ins are being published. In keeping with recent tradition, to avoid spoilers, novelizations won’t be released until March, well after the movie’s December debut. Until then, publishers have to content themselves with publishing bridge Journey to Star Wars titles. Entertainment Weekly describes the titles in the publishing program. See the list of titles in our catalog of Upcoming — Tie-ins

    A flurry of other new trailers have been released since our last update:

    1922 (Stephen King)
    Shadowhunters, Season 3

    In other news since our last update, what’s old is new again. Back in 2010, there was much excitement about an adaptation of Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra, to be directed by James Cameron with Angela Jolie potentially in the lead. Both went on to other things, but theproject may be getting new life, with Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve in talks to take it on. No word on potential stars.

    The many Tana French fans will be delighted that her Dublin Murders series is being adapted by BBC One as an eight-part series.

    For a full rundown of upcoming adaptations, link to our Movies & TV Based on Books collection. To browse just the recent updates, download EarlyWord, Books-to-Movies UPDATES-—-Sept-22 thru Oct 9, 2017

    George Saunders’ novel Lincoln in the Bardo(PRH/RH; RH Audio/BOT), a number one best seller in the US, has won the Man Booker Prize. Saunders is the second American to win the British prize, following Paul Beatty’s The Sellout(Macmillan/FSG) last year. Americans only became eligible for the Prize  four years ago.

    Back in March, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman bought the film rights to the book. It has also had a virtual reality adaptation

    Librarians have been celebrating the end of a remarkable publishing year with their own year-end roundup of favorites, tweeting a title a day using the hashtag #libfaves17.

    An astounding 750 titles were tweeted, with a total vote count of 1,625, 14.1% higher than #libfaves16. Link the full list here.

    Thanks to GalleyChatters Robin Beerbower, Stephanie Chase and Linda Johns who began this project six years ago.

    Thanks also to the those who helped with the vote counting,
    P.J. Gardiner, Marlise Schiltz, Jane Jorgenson, Joe Jones. Vicki Nesting, Lucy Lockley, Jenna Friebel, Gregg Winsor, Susan Balla and Andrienne Cruz.

    And thanks to all the librarians who joined in.

    Special thanks to Janet Lockhart for her late night work in compiling the final list. We can now announce the top ten vote-getters, but before we do, we’d like to encourage you to take a look at the Storify transcripts of each day’s tweets. As many have attested over the years, the true fun of libfaves is the sheer range of titles and reading how librarians write about them.

    Inside Higher Ed, Email Crime and Punishment:
    Sheldon Pollack ..., professor of law and political science at the University of Delaware, has been formally reprimanded by Matthew Kinservik, vice provost for faculty affairs, for sending the wrong colleague a link to an Inside Higher Ed article with the word “penis” in it.
    Pollack, a longtime Delaware professor and former president of the Faculty Senate, says he also narrowly escaped mandated counseling recommended by the university’s human resources office.
    “This is an outrageous violation of academic freedom and free speech,” Pollack wrote in a draft appeal of the reprimand he prepared for the Faculty Senate’s Faculty Welfare & Privileges Committee and shared with Inside Higher Ed. “This administrative action is arbitrary and capricious. The ‘unprofessional’ action that Dr. Kinservik deems to be a violation of university policy and professional ethics is protected speech.”

    Joe Gould was an old and penniless and unemployable little man who came to the city in 1916 and ducked and dodged and held on as hard as he could for thirty-five years.”

    St Patricks Day - The road to salvation …Hasta Muerte

    IG:vhutali.n 🇿🇦 on Twitter: "For us to be Successful we go through Media Dragon like Difficult things ...

    I believe the root of all happiness on this earth to lie in the realization of a spiritual life with a consciousness of something wider than materialism; in the capacity to live in a world that makes you unselfish because you are not overanxious about your own comic fallibilities; that gives you tranquility without complacency because you believe in something so much larger than yourself.
    — Hugh Walpole, born in 1884

    Compared with the heyday of antiques collecting, prices for average pieces are now “80 percent off,” said Colin Stair, the owner of Stair Galleries auction house in Hudson, N.Y. “Your typical Georgian 18th century furniture, chests of drawers, tripod tables, Pembroke tables,” he noted, can all be had for a fraction of what they cost 15 to 20 years ago.

    That is from Tim McKeough at the NYT, there is plenty more evidence in the article

    The only thing that could keep me away from Andrew Sean Greer's Pasadena reading this evening is teaching, and unfortunately I have a class tonight.  But otherwise I would make the trek for Greer's only L.A. appearance to hear him read from his latest novel, "The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells."  

    I am a longtime fan of Greer's fiction - he was my first author interview here at TEV all those years ago - and I'm eager to crack open the covers on this one.  (We've also appeared together at LAPL ALOUD, and he was kind enough to blurb my first novel.)  

    He's an engaging reader, and is very much worth making the trip for.  I hope you'll head out to Pasadena this evening, and support a tremendous novelist and a fine independent bookstore.  What could be better, right?

    “No one tells the secrets of the human heart more bravely or eloquently than Andrew Sean Greer. He has been called our Proust, our Nabokov, but with this novel he transcends all comparison. This is a genius-stroke of a book. Read it and weep.”
    — Julie Orringer

    Sometimes I LieAlice Feeney, (Macmillan/Flatiron,March 13, 2018) — this one is SO twisty, that it lost several readers. The title itself warns readers that this is they’re dealing with the ultimate in unreliable narrators

    The Encore: A Memoir in Three ActsCharity Tillemann-Dick, (S&S/Atria, October 3) — an opera singer continues her career despite having BOTH lungs transplanted.
    Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesia, Henry Jay Przybylo, (Norton, November 14), — “takes you past the forbidden operating room doors into the O.R.”
    In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of HopeRana Awdish, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s, October 24)  — A doctor learns first hand the flaws in current medical practice when she nearly dies herself.
    The Cookie Cure: A Mother/Daughter Memoir of Cookies and CancerSusan Stachler, Laura Stachler, (Sourcebooks, February 1, 2018)   — “an almost unbelievable story of medical coincidence.”

    Some of you may remember an earlier time when medical narratives were all the rage. GalleyChatter Robin Beerbower says they’ve never gone out of style for her. She remembers, “Back in the late 70s I read Elder’s And I Alone Survived, which fueled my obsession with survival stories. My medical obsession started in the early 1970s with James Kerr’s soap opera-ish novel The Clinic and, of course, Hailey’s Diagnosis. About 30 years ago Echo Heron publishedIntensive Care, about her stint as a nurse, along with Carol Gino’sThe Nurse’s Story. Like many library patrons, I couldn’t get enough of these kinds of stories.”

    Below is a transcript. If it does not load, or you prefer reading it in story form, link here.

    Dadon: The secret to blogging success

    How to get a buzz out of backyard beekeeping Telegraph

    A look back at postwar British experimental literature, publishing blank pages and rejecting Kingsley Amis.↩︎ The GuardianHe arrived in America in 1774, broke and sick. Two years later, he was at the heart of the revolutionary movement.Thomas Paine has quite a story... ME Paine  

    3D-Printed Houses That Can Be Built In a Day

    Using the Vulcan printer, ICON can print an entire home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house. “It’s much cheaper than the typical American home." It’s capable of printing a home that’s 800 square feet, a significantly bigger structure than properties pushed by the tiny home movement, which top out at about 400 square feet. In contrast, the average New York apartment is about 866 square feet. … Read More

    THAT BOHEMIAN SELFIE: Yes, it’s two penguins in Antarctica. Yes, they stumbled upon a camera left by a human. Here’s the full story, by the Washington Post’s Amy B. Wang. And, oh yeah, an image from the 38-second video. Have a good day!
    Screengrab / Australian Antarctic Division

    Story image for cranston from The Australian

    Former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston's trial date set

    Mr Cranston's son Adam was arrested during Australian Federal Police raids in May over his alleged masterminding of the $144 million Plutus Payroll fraud tax fraud. Adam Cranston faces a string of criminal charges over the scheme, while Michael Cranston has been charged over his attempts to discover ...

    A lot of people say that a picture paints a thousand words, but none make that more obvious The blog features some truly stunning and authentic images, coupled with some content that are truly sincere. offers a glimpse into a rich life, which makes it worth nominating.

    African gang bashes disability pensioner in violent Melbourne home invasion

    It’s so important, answering it will determine your destiny as a writer

    Secret NYPD files show rampant officer violence against innocents—and taxpayers foot millions in coverups
    ↩︎ BuzzFeed

    In 1905 the poet George Sterling established an artists' colony at Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. Then things got dark: murders and suicide pacts... Pacts  

    In 2005, Irish writer John Banville told University of Philadelphia creative writing students: "The writing of fiction is far more than the telling of stories. It is an ancient, an elemental, urge which springs, like the dream, from a desperate imperative to encode and preserve things that are buried in us deep beyond words." 

    Four top inspirational memoirs
    Tara Westover's new book is Educated: A Memoir. One of four memoirs that moved her as a reader, then as a writer, as shared at the Waterstones blog:
    The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

    Didion’s husband had a heart attack during dinner; he did not survive. Didion chronicles the year after his death, and her own feelings about it, in what has been described as a manual for grief for the agnostic. If believers have the Bible, and the warm comfort of belief in an afterlife, non-believers have Joan Didion, and her thoughtful reckoning with the senselessness of death and the insanity of grief. She writes: “Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it.…We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.”
    Read about another entry on the list.

    The Year of Magical Thinking is among Mark Whitaker's six favorite memoirsAdam Haslett's five best deathless accounts of mourning,Douglas Kennedy's top ten books about grief, and Norris Church Mailer's five best memoirs. It is a book that made a difference to Samantha Bee.

    --Marshal Zeringue