The Airship: Happy Birthday, Penguin, and Thanks for Inventing the Modern Paperback Book.
“July 30 marks the 79th anniversary of a mass-market paperback revolution. On this date in 1934, publisher Allen Lane was supposedly struck by a fantastic epiphany while suffering from boredom at a British train station. The idea? To make good literature accessible to everyone.”
ArtDaily: ‘Ships, Clocks and Stars: The Quest for Longitude’ on view at the National Maritime Museum
“Crucially, it was Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne’s observations at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, his work on the Nautical Almanac and the Board of Longitude that demonstrated the complementary nature of astronomical and timekeeper methods, ultimately leading to the successful determination of longitude at sea.”
Paris Review: Cory Arcangel’s Working on My Novel.
“Cory Arcangel’s new book, Working on My Novel — based on the Twitter feed of the same name—is a compilation of tweets from people who are putatively at work on novels. No more, no less.” That’s it - never, ever say you’re working on your novel.
Ghost in the Machine: The Monuments Met.
I missed it, but K got it.
Guardian.UK: Mecca’s changing face matches the needs of its Muslim pilgrims.
“While Mecca is a site of great historical religious significance, it cannot be preserved in the familiar sense, as its history has not ended. You might not appreciate what it looks like – but it matches the tastes and requirements of the present, as every place of pilgrimage has done in its heyday. ”
Paris Review: The Best Medicine.
“Can a reader and a character be simultaneously amused?” Hmmm. Interesting. Conflict tends to drive dialogue, not amusement. I can’t think of a single example of mirthful characters, off the bat. Mercutio’s mirthful wit, perhaps.
The Airship: Have You Failed as a Writer If You Aren’t Famous?
BBC: Possible Rodin and Degas works found at Gurlitt home.
“Two sculptures, possibly by Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas, have been discovered in the home of the late art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt.” Good grief, sounds like the man was sitting on his own personal Louvre, and never really bothered to enjoy any of it.
WSJ: In India, Hindu Gods Get a Muscular Makeover.
“In “Shiva: The Legends of the Immortal,” a series of graphic novels, the title character boasts bulging muscles that ripple under his tiger-skin wrap and dark tresses that blow in the wind as he battles with his trident.” Don’t gods depicted in art always reflect the taste of the era in which the art is created?
Guardian.UK: The owl who liked sitting on Caesar by Martin Windrow.
“Throughout their 15 years together, Windrow filled notebooks with fascinating observations of Mumble’s behaviours, such as her improving flight and hunting skills, her eating and bathing habits, and even that she enjoyed drinking from a dripping kitchen tap. We also learn that the fledgling Mumble was a delight to Windrow’s friends, who later had to don protective helmets before Mumble’s growing possessiveness ruled out visitors altogether.” They are territorial birds. As my scalp can attest from various photographic misadventures.
Colossal: Mesmerizing Studio Visits with Five South Korean Master Ceramicists.
VQR Online: Away.
“Writing is a bit like inflating a vast oxygen tent contained by a thin filmy membrane. Each time I write I have to breathe life into this, slowly blowing it larger and larger, making it more and more substantial, giving it shape. The sound of anyone’s voice, an approaching step, arrests me. I waver, and the whole filmy construct trembles, shudders, and then deflates, sliding into nothingness. It’s gone.” Beautifully expressed. One’s muse can be as diaphanous as a soap-bubble — fragile, vulnerable.
WNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show - Do You Have to Be Crazy to Be a Genius?
“Neuroscientist and literary scholar Nancy C. Andreasen tries to answer the question: If high IQ does not indicate creative genius, then where does the trait come from, and why is it so often accompanied by mental illness?” Audio; linking it without having the time to listen to it yet, because it’s one of my favorite bugbears.
Hemingway App for Mac OSX.
Of note. Does a bit of editing while you write.
Removed a post for the first time.
About how publishers should contemplate “director’s cuts”. I decided my comments and critiques were not phrased well, and offered too wide an opportunity for misinterpretation. My apologies. Sometimes it is indeed better to shut one’s cake-hole and listen a bit more.
Guardian.UK: E-readers vs books - the debate.
Never thought I’d say it, but I miss our old Borders Books. I preferred NYC-style B&N’s, but all Santa Fe had was a Borders. I support independent bookstores, but they just don’t have the huge storespace, the strollspace that the chains had. And I could kill hours - even days (after returning from a long a/v tour) - in bookstores.
Lens Between Us.
Another cute attention-getting gimmick. Similar to the ‘woman leading photographer around the world’ that we saw a month or so ago (endlessly relinked). Why can’t I think of something like this to go viral with?
BBC: My friend, Picasso.
The Airship: Reading in Public - Tales of Love and Literature, Pt. II.
“I actually didn’t like the book. But I still really like you.” Begging the question ... can you live with another person if they don’t like the same reading material? If the beacon of your life is prose, then I’d say tread carefully.
NPR: ‘Rocket Girl’ Is A Jetpack-Powered 21st Century Angel.
“It seems DaYoung wasn’t any ordinary teenager in her version of 2013. She was a member of the New York Teen Police Department. Now back in 1986, armed only with her flight gear and some awesome fighting moves, she beats down baddies of all stripes while pursuing her mission to stop the evil mega-corporation Quintum Mechanics.” Sounds like fun.
Italian Ways: The transparent mystery in Antonello da Messina’s portraits.
Very lively, knowing looks. I’ve not seen a group of his portraits in a row like this - gave new insights.
City Arts: Stop Using ‘Poet Voice’.
“The voice flattens the musicality and tonal drama inherent within the language of the poem, and it also sounds overly stuffy and learned. In this way, Poet Voice does a disservice to the poem, the poet and poetry. It must be stopped.” I give the poet a break; it must be terribly hard to read one’s own work. There’s a deal of baggage involved. My memory still resounds with the crypt-like croak of an elderly TS Eliot reading “Prufrock”. I’ll pass.
Colossal: An Amazing Collection of Mechanical Singing Bird Automata.
Leave the volume up and drive your office-mates to distraction.
DP Review: MIT photography course materials freely available online.
MetaFilter: Ah yes, the old rumpscuttle and clapperdepouch (aka “fadoodling”).
Oh, yes. Period slang. Just the thing to add to the weblog.