Anna Karenina

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+ An A from Nabokov "It was officially called “European Literature of the Nineteenth Century,” but unofficially called “Dirty Lit” by the Cornell Daily Sun, since it dealt with adultery in Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary"

+ Books: 10 All-Time Greatest 1. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (1878)

Nabokov allows that “the thing cannot be done: Tolstoy is homogeneous, is one,” and the “truth which he was ponderously groping for or magically finding just around the corner, was always the same truth — the truth was he and this he was an art.”

+ Reading “Anna Karenina”
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our love is inexperienced

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A strong marriage bond connects Jack Gladney and his current wife Babette in Don DeLillo’s White Noise. Gladney muses: “Sometimes I think our love is inexperienced. The question of dying becomes a wise reminder. It cures us of our innocence of the future. Simple things are doomed, or is that a superstition?” He continues: “Babette and I tell each other everything… turned our lives for each other’s thoughtful regard, turned them in the moonlight in our pale hands, spoken deep into the night… In these night recitations we create a space between things as we felt them at the time and as we speak them now.” DeLillo’s handwritten notes for the novel are featured in the exhibition.
In the Galleries: “Love and Relationships”

 

One perk of living in Austin that I have not taken advantage of is going to The University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center to check out the Archive of Don DeLillo. Back when I was really interested in being a Novelist, I got really pissed off at his book "Underworld" because every other page had a paragraph so amazing that it made me give up writing. I can't think of the root cause of why I gave up writing. I think I had an ex that fucked all the talent out of me. She was the PJ Harvey to my Nick Cave. Except Nick at least got "The Boatman's Call" out of that relationship.


poetics & idiosyncratic coinages

Lolita by Marina Kozinaki

Hartman's analysis also applies on the level of Lolita's poetics, especially when the realities of death, aging, and ends creep into Humbert's narrative. Having just introduced his mother into the background of his childhood in the French Riviera, Humbert dismisses her summarily, recounting her sudden death with one abrupt gesture: "picnic, lightning" (10). She becomes the paradigm for the women in his life, all of whom enter the story in the shadow of their eventual deaths. Humbert's penchant for hapax logomena and idiosyncratic coinages parallel in language the foreshortened life of Lolita: despite their ostensible vibrancy, they are dying phrases, obsolete just after their initial utterance. A master of so many poetic devices, Humbert riddles the narrative with instances of tmesis, the figure Hartman identifies as the epitome of poetry's elided middles and over specified ends (344). From his evocation of "the Old and rotting World" (85) he left behind, to his self-characterization as "an enchanted and very tight hunter" (268), Humbert repeatedly pries apart common phrases to insert the world outside his solipsism. But unlike the classical model where necessity is parted for the sake of art, the order is reversed in Humbert's fantasy world: tmesis allows ends to rush back in. Images that traditionally evoke nostalgia become symptomatic of inevitable decay.
Lolita's Loose Ends: Nabokov and the Boundless Novel - Vladimir Nabokov by James Tweedie

 lolita by Marina Kozinaki via fuckyeahnymphets 

a certain modern cartoonist

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The Art of Daniel Clowes: Modern Cartoonist

My Great Art Book Acquisitions of 2012 continues with the arrival of this book. If you're a fan of Scarlett Johansson1 or Thora Birch2 you may have seen Ghost World (2001). If you don't know, it is based on a comic by the Brilliant [DANEIL CLOWES].

1 I wonder how many Posts with Scarlett Johanson I have. I wish I had created a category for her way back when.

2 Seriously, What In The Actual Fuck happened to this girl's career? 


both inevitably-overrated and impossible to overrate

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Watchmen is a staggering piece of work; every time I pull it off the shelf--usually when I’m trying to fact-check some detail while writing an iconoclastic take-down of its legacy--I end up getting sucked back in, twelve years old and mindblown again. It belongs in the pantheon based on Dave Gibbons’ artwork alone. It’s the Easy Rider of superhero comics, the Rites of Spring of superhero comics, the "Birth of the Cool" of superhero comics. It manages to be both inevitably-overrated and impossible to overrate, like the Beatles or Citizen Kane. But it’s not exactly a barrel of laughs. It’s kind of a barrel of tears and razors and Rubik’s Cubes. It’s Citizen Kane, but it’s also Xanadu, all shadows and puzzles and bad vibes. It’s Easy Rider in the sense that it demonstrated that a youthsploitation medium could produce art that punched its weight alongside anything else, but it’s also Easy Rider in the sense that it has a super-buzzkill ending and is kind of nailed to its historical moment (which is why Snyder’s insistence on keeping all the Nixon/Reagan stuff felt so nonsensical in 2007.) And it’s fun, in spite of all that, but a lot of the fun is complicated fun, rarefied fun, specialist fun. Academic fun, too—all those symbols, symmetries, callbacks, ironic juxtapositions, and citations from Nietzsche/Blake/Shelley/Jung gave geeks accustomed to subjecting far less ambitious works to scholarly close-reading a chance to use that intellectual toolbox on something actually designed to reward it.


+ Great Moments in Nerd Trolling: The Watchmen Prequels

+ Alan Moore Is Wrong About 'Before Watchmen'

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book.The Annotated Sandman

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+ Checking out The Annotated Sandman, volume 1
+ 'The Annotated Sandman' gives new insight into Gaiman series

I have all the Absolute Sandman books (that is, until DC got greedy and came out with one more I'm not going to get). Anyways, I really like the shape of this book, bigger than i imagined. I love annotations. The Anottated Lolita is brilliant. Speaking of Nabokov, there's a new Poetry book from him coming out this year, looking forwards to it. 


book.Almodóvar Archives

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+ taschen: The Pedro Almodóvar Archives

My great book acquisitions of 2012 continue with the arrival of this book. I have the Kubrick Archives from a few years ago but it's the smaller re-print. This one is the actual huge 16.2 x 11.8 inches Hardback. Being that "All About My Mother/ Todo Sobre My Made" is one of my favorite films, and he's one of my favorite Directors, I HAD to get it. I fucking love Taschen books. Now, if only Woody Allen would do one.

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Punk and Cheap and Phony

 

“Happy,” I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is one of those words like Love, that I never quite understood. Most people who deal in words don’t have much faith in them and I am no exception—especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they’re scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest of a fool to use them with any confidence.

HST, The Rum Diaries


"I chose the impossible. I chose....Rapture"

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Bioshock prose novel now scheduled for March 2011 release

"I am Andrew Ryan and I’m here to ask you a question: Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow? No, says the man in Washington. It belongs to the poor. No, says the man in the Vatican. It belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow. It belongs to everyone. I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose....Rapture. A city where the artist would not fear the censor. Where the scientist would not be bound by Petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small. And with the sweat of your brown, Rapture can become your city as well."
Macmillan Page


Mr. Nabokov and Mr. Joyce

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Saw the above on Facebook and was amused.

My first real contact with Ulysses, after a leering glimpse in the early twenties, was in the thirties at a time when I was definitely formed as a writer and immune to any literary influence. I studied Ulysses seriously only much later, m the fifties, when preparing my Cornell courses. That was the best part of the education I received at Cornell. Ulysses towers over the rest of Joyce's writings, and in comparison to its noble originality and unique lucidity of thought and style the unfortunate Finnegans Wake is nothing but a formless and dull mass of phony folklore, a cold pudding of a book, a persistent snore in the next room, most aggravating to the insomniac! I am. Moreover, I always detested regional literature full of quaint old-timers and imitated pronunciation. Finnegans Wake's facade disguises a very conventional and drab tenement house, and only the infrequent snatches of heavenly intonations redeem it from utter insipidity. I know I am going to be excommunicated for this pronouncement.
Nabokov's interview. (06)  Wisconsin Studies [1967] 



"Look! Up On The Booksheld"

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Blu-Ray movies were my vice/obsession last year. This year it is art books. Meaning that I went nuts when I went to Taschen Soho and could possibly have gone broke there.

One book they were advertising that I had to order was " 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking ", one of the many DC Comics related books on my list of book acquisitions for the fall.

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I just got this book and I LOVE it:

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+ BOOK REVIEW – DC Comics: The 75th Anniversary Poster Book

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raw, infuriating, completely personal sense



 "It's about why we don't explode, why we don't just wake up one day and go sobbing and crying down the street, kicking everything to pieces out of the raw, infuriating, completely personal sense of our lives never having been what they could have been."
- The Guardian


I Love the piano score in this trailer so much.

The Haunted Life of J.D. Salinger

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"The silence of a writer is not quite the same as the silence of God, but there's something analogous: an awe-inspiring creator, someone who we believe has some answers of some kind, refusing to respond to us, hiding his face, withholding his creation"
Ron Rosenbaum, "The Man In The Glass House", Esquire - June `97.