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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.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


 Adrian McKinty tries to get some writing done in Kafka's old office in Prague.
I wrote a couple of opening lines and crossed them out and got a fresh sheet of paper and stared at that for a while.
 I looked through the window at the building opposite. This must have been Franz’s view when he was writing those bloody insurance reports. It was an attractive building and on the third floor there was a large, peculiar sheep bas relief highlighted in gold paint. If it was there back then Kafka must have stared at that sheep for hundreds of hours. He did in fact write one short story about a sheep, “A Crossbreed,” which is a story about an animal that is half-cat, half-sheep with odd eating habits and dietary restrictions. It’s not his best work if I’m honest.
More: Literary Hub

Monday, November 20, 2017

See the Detailed Diagrams Kathy Acker Drew of Her Dreams

Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School is a metafictional account of her relationship with Peter Gordon. The novel contains reproductions of Acker’s hand-drawn Dream Maps.

Via Literary Hub

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Marcel Proust died on this date in 1922

Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust, a French novelist, critic, and essayist best known for his monumental novel À la recherche du temps perdu, died at 51 on this date.

Via Dr. Caligari's Cabinet

Friday, November 17, 2017

Charles Bukowski Wrote So Fast His Publisher Couldn't Keep Up

For a controversial writer who always seemed to be on a binge, Charles Bukowski was prolific beyond words. Writing some 5,000 poems should be proof enough. But how—and when—did he manage to pump out so many poems? His German discipline and endurance helped; his slovenliness didn’t.

Read more 

The Kids Of Bowery's Hardcore 'Matinee,' Then And Now

From 1983 to 1985 photographer Drew Carolan set up a make shift mobile studio on the Bowery in close proximity to the iconic CBGB's - where he intercepted kids, bands, and assorted characters on their way to and from hardcore matinees.

Recently he found himself wondering "Where are they now? Who have they become?" He decided to track the kids down. In his new book, Matinee: All Ages On The Bowery, he presents his portraits ... the boots, leather, patches, buzzed heads and middle fingers.

Read more here

Matinee: All Ages On The Bowery is out now via Radio Raheem Records.

Thanks David!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Why Urban Dictionary Is Horrifically Racist

It is terrifying to think that a whole generation of young men is reinforcing the idea that it is OK to call Serena Williams an “ape” or to define Rihanna as “Chris Brown’s punching bag.”
Started in 1999 by then-computer science student Aaron Peckham, the crowd-sourced online dictionary that The New York Times calls the “lexicon of instant argot” has grown over the past two decades into an internet behemoth.But the crowd-sourced repository of internet slang is rife with racist and sexist content and owner Aaron Peckham doesn't seem to care. 

Read more

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Imprisoned but not silenced – Day of the Imprisoned Writer

Each year, on 15 November, PEN International, PEN Centres and PEN members from around the world commemorate the Day of the Imprisoned Writer to highlight and campaign on behalf of writers who face unjust imprisonment, attacks, harassment and violence simply for expressing themselves.

Started in 1981 by PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee, the day is marked by celebrating the freedom to write, and by taking action to call for justice and freedom for imprisoned and murdered colleagues. Since 15 November 2015 at least 35 writers have been killed worldwide as a result of their work.

More here 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

How would Emily Dickinson fare with online dating?

Erin Bealmear didn't want to be "the kind of woman who spends all her time talking about boys." She started humorously answering questions on the OK Cupid dating site, imagining how Emily Dickinson would answer them. For an extra layer of authenticity, she included specific details from the 19th-century American poet's life:

What I’m doing with my life
Being a hermit. Overusing the dash. 
I’m really good at
Breaking rules, specifically capitalization and punctuation. 
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Movies: What is a movie?
Books: Wordsworth, Browning, Keats, Emerson, Shakespeare (i.e. dead people)
Music: Yes, I do enjoy playing the piano on occasion. Thank you for asking.
Food: Baked goods, especially my famous gingerbread. I love making it for the neighborhood children, but I can’t leave the house. Instead, I stand at the window and lower it down to them in a basket. It’s so much easier that way.


Law and the Senses Series

The Westminster Law and Theory Lab is developing the Law and the Senses series, a project involving publishing five small edited book (University of Westminster Press), one for each sense, both available for free download as epub as well as sold in print, on demand, as “pocket size” (178mm x 111mm).

Read a small online issue

More here 


 Literary Hub has posted three of the first reviews of J.M Coetzee's1999 Booker prize-winning novel Disgrace. The novel tells the story of David Lurie, a divorced university professor in his fifties, who falls into disgrace after being accused of sexual misconduct with one of his students. It is about ruin and salvation.

I'm going to pull it off the bookshelf and reread it in the light cast by recent sexual harrassment allegations.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Virginia and Leonard Woolf's Hogarth House For sale

The Richmond home where Leonard and Virginia Woolf established Hogarth Press has hit the market, on the centenary of the fabled publishing house.
The Woolfs moved into Hogarth House on Paradise Road in 1915, and established their publishing empire from its drawing room in 1917. The iconic press published works by leading Modernist thinkers of the age, including the Woolfs, T S Eliot, John Middleton Murray and Sigmund Freud.

More here

On this day in 1850, writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born

He authored Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and A Child’s Garden of Verses.

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea. 
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Alan Bennett: The Time I Saw T.S. Eliot on a Train Platform

Legendary playwright Alan Bennett writes about his brush with the great poet.
It was at this point the train came in and after most of the passengers had cleared there came a small procession headed by the friendly lady, whom I now recognized as Mrs. Fletcher, a customer at my father’s butcher’s shop, followed by her daughter Valerie pushing a wheelchair with, under a pile of rugs, her husband T.S. Eliot.
More: Literary Hub

Related: Are you a fan of Alan Bennett? Perhaps you'd like to live in his house: Alan Bennett's 'Lady in the Van' house in Camden for sale.

Friday, November 10, 2017

That first book

But that’s the thing about the first book, the second book, or even, should you be lucky enough, the 17th book: There’s always the question of the next book — where it will come from, what it will be, and what will become of it…
Read more: Austin Kleon's notes on writing

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

The 1885 Reviews of Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The San Francisco Chronicle reviewed Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on March 15, 1885:
What can be said of a man of Mr. Clemens’s wit, ability and position deliberately imposing upon an unoffending public a piece of careless hackwork in which a few good things are dropped amid a mass of rubbish, and concerning which he finds it necessary to give notice that ‘persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot’?
Read more: Literary Hub