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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.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Banned! Six Cartoonists on Their Favorite Censored Books

Comics for Banned Books Week on the importance of Catcher in the Rye, Maus, Harry Potter, Howl, Go Ask Alice and Fun Home.



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Selling Books from William Faulkner's First Writing Room


Before William Faulkner moved to Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi to create Yoknapatawpha County, he rented a room in New Orleans’ French Quarter for six months, long enough to write his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay. He watched people on the street and dined with them—beggars and colonels, tourists and artists, drunks and longshoremen—and began writing about them, selling a series of “sketches” to The Times-Picayune and The Double Dealer to pay his rent. From experiences and characters he met here in 1925, Faulkner set his second novel, Mosquitoes, on Lake Pontchartrain, and returned to New Orleans as the setting for Pylon.

Faulkner’s experience in the little brick room at 624 Pirate’s Alley was formative.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Writers Who Took Book Dedications To Another Level

Bored Panda has collected some of the greatest book dedications ever written to prove that writers can tell a story even in a sentence or two.

Skulduggery Pleasant – Mortal Coil By Derek Landy

Joan Rivers’ Dedication Page Of Her Last Book, Diary Of A Mad Diva

Graduate Texts In Mathematics – An Introduction To Algebraic Topology
By Joseph J. Rotman
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Slouching towards Biloxi: Joan Didion on life in America's south

Illustration by Alice Tye.

In 1970 the writer spent a month in the south because it seemed to represent the future of America. And now that we are ‘living though the scariest of times’, she has decided to publish her notebooks.
John and I were living on Franklin Avenue in Los Angeles. I had wanted to revisit the South, so we flew there for a month in 1970. The idea was to start in New Orleans and from there we had no plan. We went wherever the day took us. I seem to remember that John drove. I had not been back since 1942–43, when my father was stationed in Durham, North Carolina, but it did not seem to have changed that much. At the time, I had thought it might be a piece.
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Friday, September 22, 2017

Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity



Award-winning New York illustrator Ellen Weinstein did gorgeous illustrations for new children's book Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity

More: Creative Boom

Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity is published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and will be available at MoMA stores and online at store.moma.org.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Child in Time, BBC One

Every parent's worst nightmare: Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald star in the BBC adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel about a missing child.



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The It factor: exploring Stephen King’s Maine


Read about some of the brooding locations in and around Stephen King's home town that inspired the ‘king of fright,’ from Bangor Maine to St Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, Canada.

Theaster Gates uses sculpture prize to fund literary venture

Sculptor Theaster Gates was a spoken-word poet before he found fame as a fine artist. He plans to invest the $100,000 he will receive from the 2018 Nasher Prize for Sculpture in a new literary project. Gates will use the prize money to buy an antique Heidelberg windmill printing press and will print his own poetry and books by other poets in this outmoded and unconventional fashion.



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Thanks Bruce!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Karl Ove Knausgaard on Holding Babies

Framed as a “letter to an unborn daughter,” Knausgaard begins on August 28th, telling his daughter “Now, as I write this, you know nothing about anything, about what awaits you, the kind of world you will be born into.”



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A Travancore Tale: The graphic story of Nangeli, the woman who cut off her breasts to protest a tax

Remembering Nangeli on Rohith Vemula’s Shahadat day: Artist Orijit Sen draws the tale of the 19th century Ezhava woman, in memory of Rohith Vemula.






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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Emily Bronte’s birthplace for sale


Where better to curl up with a cup of coffee and copy of Wuthering Heights than at the childhood home of British writer Emily Bronte – now for sale as a cafe.

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Henri Matisse Illustrates James Joyce's Ulysses (1935)


In 1935  Henri Matisse was commissioned to illustrate an edition of Ulysses for subscribers to the Limited Edition Club in America. Each of the 1,000 copies was signed by Matisse and 250 were also signed by James Joyce.



More:  Open Culture

Quotes from Great Authors for Banned Books Week

As Banned Books Week approaches, it’s important to remember what we do when we censor: we not only restrict the freedoms of the present, we commit violence against the freedoms of the past.
Below are quotes by authors reaching out from the past, in hopes of inspiring us to speak and read freely, confronting our own prejudices as well as others’.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973
“A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 4, 1977
“The important task of literature is to free man, not to censor him, and that is why Puritanism was the most destructive and evil force which ever oppressed people and their literature: It created hypocrisy, perversion, fears, sterility.”

Allen Ginsberg, Journals: Early Fifties, Early Sixties, 1977
“They censor words not the things they denote:
It would create less of a stir to drop a piece of shit on Grant’s tomb
than to write it out in white paint.
Because people recognize that’s what memorials are for – old bums and dogs to shit on.”

More quotes: Signature Reads

Ann Beattie Rearranges the House at Night


In Paris Review's  new series, Procrastination Confessional, writers share the strange things they do to avoid writing. Author Ann Beattie tells us that she rearranges the house at night.

Branwell Bronte: The mad, bad and dangerous brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne




The most famous painting of the Brontë sisters depicts Anne, Emily and  Charlotte arranged around a small table holding a book, the first two sisters separated from the third by a pillar. The artist was  the lone male sibling, Branwell, and over the almost two centuries since it was painted at the family home in Haworth, West Yorkshire, a pale ghost has gradually appeared beneath the pillar that separates the sisters.

It is Branwell. He literally painted himself out of his own portrait of the family.

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