Posts by: P.E. Garcia
“I was looking at books… Gary and I had seen each other. We didn’t know one another. And he walked over to me in this particular bookstore and handed me a book by Teran and said, ‘You’ve gotta read this book, it’s really good.'”
NPR shares the love story of Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp, retiring owners of Once Upon a Crime, a mystery bookstore in Minneapolis....more
Finally, the 2016 Oddest Book Title of the Year nominees have been announced, and they include captivating titles like Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space: A Consideration of Cult Film and Behind the Binoculars: Interviews with Acclaimed Birdwatchers. The Independent has already placed its bets:
Jonathan Allan’s Reading From Behind: A Cultural History of the Anus is surely the favourite, alongside Alan Stafford’s musical hall troupe biography, Too Naked for the Nazis.
The memorial in Chelsea Old Church tactfully describes him as “a resident of this parish who renounced a cherished citizenship to give his allegiance to England in the first year of the Great War”—the “cherished” insisting from the grave that James had been a good American.
A tour through Rumphius’ work is a masterclass in the poetry of the concrete noun. His shells bear names like Little Dream Horn, the Prince’s Funeral, Peasant Music and the Double Venus Harp.
Atlas Obscura tells the story of Georg Everhard Rumphius (no relation), the blind botanist who applied poetry to science....more
Fears of mistaken identity and unconscious slips were crystallized in the literature of detection but emerged from a broad range of hermeneutic practices across the era, at a time in which those in power considered the borders of empire and boundaries of racial identity to be insecure.
He loves Argentinian empanadas and dulce de leche. In 2015, he said that if he had only one wish, it would be to travel unrecognized to a pizzeria and have a slice—or two or three. In other words, he may be protected by the world’s smallest army and be responsible for the spiritual governance of 1.2 billion people, but when it comes to eating, Pope Francis loves comfort food as much as the next person.
…like Franzen’s novels, the Berenstain Bear books might meander, reveling in details alternately informative and irrelevant, but ultimately they’re straightforward tales about family. (Also, as a friend pointed out to me recently, JFran sort of looks like a Berenstain Bear. This can’t be coincidental.)
Having goaded the formerly pre-eminent Michelangelo by winning papal favour and sneaking into his as-yet unfinished Sistine Chapel, Raphael further insulted his Florentine rival in the Laocoön competition.
The Public Domain Review tells the story of how the restoration of Laocoön and His Sons only further deepened the rivalry between Renaissance artists Michelangelo and Raphael....more
“I keep trying to imagine a universe in which too many public figures declaring themselves feminists would be a bad thing,” Roxane Gay, the novelist and the author of an essay collection entitled “Bad Feminist,” wrote, before concluding, “Of all the words that should be spoken more, ‘feminist’ should be at the top of the list.”
In an effort to combat the gender byline gap in media, Autostraddle compiled a list of the 215 best longreads from 2015, all written by women. Included on the list is “Out of the Swollen Sea” by Tammy Delatorre, selected by Cheryl Strayed as the winner of the first annual Payton James Freeman Prize....more
The New York Times Magazine profiles editor Chris Jackson and how he’s building a literary movement for writers of color:
‘‘The great tradition of black art, generally,’’ he started again, ‘‘is the ability—unlike American art in general—to tell the truth. Because it was formed around the great American poison, the thing that poisoned American consciousness and behavior: racism.
“‘We have to leave the country,’ I informed my wife as I went over the final proofs. ‘We won’t be able to stay here after this book is published.'”
NPR looks at the satirical novel/memoir Native by Sayed Kashua and explores how Kashua transverses the two different worlds that make up Jerusalem....more
The Amazon reviews, and the threads leading from them, are now the length of a book, and while the contest might seem overblown—more evidence of too much boring talk about food—Kennedy is far more than just a writer of cook books.
The Berlin-based author Yoko Tawada recently remarked that one of the difficulties she faced when translating Kafka’s short story “Metamorphosis” into Japanese was that the associations Japanese people had with insects—even presumably giant beetles—were different to those of Europeans.
In the Japan Times, Damian Flanagan traces the difficulties of translating “insect literature.”...more
The Public Domain Review examines the work of Elizabethan writer Robert Greene, the original Bohemian, and the first known reviewer of William Shakespeare:
Greene’s chief target was “an upstart Crow,” who “supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you”…He has a “tiger’s heart, wrapped in a player’s hyde”, unable to fully escape the stigma of first playing on the stage before he would write for it.
Art shouldn’t be mere normalizing sublimation or queer desublimation, which amounts to the same thing. Should actually make your problems worse. Only then can the fantasy of endless role-playing and analysis be traversed. Art is, in this way, less delusional than psychoanalysis.
It was also a costly endeavor, especially if a photographer wished to create multiple copies of a book. According to Kathrin Schönegg, a GRI fellow working on the project, most books had between just 20 to a few hundred editions — making some copies incredibly rare.
If you’re disappointed you didn’t win the Powerball jackpot, head over to NPR to read Charles Dickens’s account of the lottery in Naples, an event he seemed to find both amusing and horrifying:
Dickens heard of a man being thrown fatally from his horse, only to be pounced on by a punter—a person who places a wager—who begged him, “If you have one gasp of breath left, mention your age for Heaven’s sake, that I may play that number in the lottery.”