LRB: Hilary Mantel reviews ‘The Voices of Gemma Galgani’.
“It ought to be possible to live and thrive, without conforming, complying, giving in, but also without imitating a man, even Christ: it should be possible to live without constant falsification. It should be possible for a woman to live – without feeling that she is starving on the doorstep of plenty – as light, remarkable, strong and free.” Powerful load of baggage to load on a book or four. But worth the read.
ArtDaily: Works by Leonardo da Vinci on display the Phoenix Art Museum for the first time.
“The exhibition is focused around the Codex Leicester—comprised of 18 double-page and double-sided sheets (72 pages total). This is the only manuscript by Leonardo in a private American collection and one of the world’s most important intellectual manuscripts.” Oh man. I just might have to take a drive.
Paris Review: Hoarding Books on a Road Trip to California
“One of our hosts, a kindly German who spent time in Tibet as a young man before becoming an old one in the hills above Santa Fe, strongly encouraged us to invest in snow chains ahead of a coming storm. The advice was sound, but Sheena and I had trouble accepting that problematic amounts of snow could find their way to any part of Arizona. The next morning, in Flagstaff, we could just make out the Jetta under a foot of fresh, white powder, as more flakes fluttered down.” Never underestimate Mother Nature and the high desert mountain region. This isn’t the Sahara.
NPR: What If Heaven Is Not For Real?
“... even though none of us existed 1,000 years ago, you don’t find many people worrying about their nonexistence during the Dark Ages. Our not-being in the past doesn’t worry us. So, why does our not-being in the future freak us out so much?”
Vox: This gorgeous tree shows early American history in a whole new way.
You know, I can waste hours in second-hand shops looking at out-of-date history books, encyclopedias. So much is edited out of modern texts, that add context to our understanding of past eras.
Paris Review: The Cult Appeal of Kyril Bonfiglioli‘s “Mortdecai” Novels.
“... I am a product of my time and a woman. And I found the book — with its caustic, rape-centric plot—ugly.” Bang-zoom. If we held all movies against the original books, I think we’d be devoid of entertainment. I still can’t forgive Peter Jackson for what he did to Gandalf. And how could anyone come up with a movie from Silver Linings Playbook? Yet someone did. Anyway. The trailers of Mortdecai make me think of Mr Bean with too much plot, for some strange reason. Little urge to see the movie.
New Republic: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World.
“There are certain connections we make that go beyond decoding words.” Amen. Yet we should look to ebooks and books as complements, not as one ‘killing off’ the other.
The Rumpus: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding.
NY Times: Why Are We Obsessed With the Great American Novel?
Codex99: Hemingway and the Cocktail.
Of interest. You folks misspelled ‘correspondent.’
Open Culture: Hear Hemingway Read Hemingway, and Faulkner Read Faulkner.
What’s interesting to me is how slowly Hemingway speaks, with precise pronunciation. You’d think Faulkner would read slower.
LA Times: Ray Bradbury’s house, sold for $1.76 million, being torn down.
Another reason to dislike “starchitects”. As if I needed more.
NY Review of Books: They’re Watching You Read.
“These statistics are certain to perplex writers who have so often been told by their publishers that a book’s popularity will not be affected in the least by costly newspaper or magazine advertising, but only by the more unpredictable, much desired — and free — publicity generated by ‘word of mouth.’ Are we now to assume that readers are telling their friends to read books that they themselves have failed to finish?”
Telegraph.UK: Bletchley - the women’s story.
Smithsonian: Did Civil War Soldiers Have PTSD?
Of course they did. “When over 5,000 Confederates fell in a failed assault at Malvern Hill in Virginia, a Union colonel wrote: ‘A third of them were dead or dying, but enough were alive to give the field a singularly crawling effect.’” The archetype of the mentally scarred warrior has existed for a very, very long time. Even The Iliad talks of battle disgust.
Paris Review: Notes on Becoming a Crank.
“While a crank’s crankiness may manifest in an adherence to social issues (and it often does), a true crank is equally committed to petty concerns, and, indeed, does not distinguish between the two.” And look at the kerning on that font they use ... oops ...
Archaeology News Network: Homer is a tradition, not a person, British historian says.
This is not news; it’s been theorized for decades.
Colossal: The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People.
Nice Marmot: December 2014.
Happy Fifteen. And a worthy read, as always. How many times I contemplate Zhuangzi’s writings, and wonder what the hell blogging has to do with anything important. Try “Knowledge Wandered North.” There isn’t a day goes by, I don’t think about this.
Amazon, book — Lyn St. James: An Incredible Journey.
This book should be in every high school. Lyn didn’t start racing the Indy 500 until she was 45. Never say never, people. The whole book is an inspiration, for all women. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with her at Santa Fe Concorso this year; she’s ‘good people’.
Boston Globe Book review: ‘Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography’.
A high school acquaintance wrote a fine review.
Beyond The Margins: The Joy of Writing (Redux)*.
PS Mag: Keep That E-Reader Out of Bed and You’ll Feel Better.
Or, you could just turn off the backlighting ...
Xmas Gift Suggestion, of the last-minute variety: Will Reichard’s ‘This Album Full of Angles’.
Will’s been a very good friend to this weblog. His foray into novel writing is a worthy effort, being compared to Neil Gaiman. Amazon has the ebook for $0.99, the POD for $10.79, and Smashwords has ebook versions for $0.99. A good holiday read. And you’ll be supporting another blogger.
Aeon: Why we still dream we can live on through fame.
“Alas, recognising the problem doesn’t seem to get us very far. Why would I be writing about the folly of fame, if not so that you remember my name?” Makes me think fondly of the early days of blogging.