Posts Tagged: The Book Bench

Read It Again?

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“For Nabokov, another reading was always constructive. But for Spacks, rereading—though satisfying for pure literary analysis—can reveal unwelcome truths about our past selves, and cause disenchantment—in the most literal sense—with the books we used to love.”

The Book Bench reviews Patricia Meyer Spack’s On Rereading, describing it as a combination of “memoir, literary criticism, and scientific treatise,” and zeroing in on the  book’s central tension between Spack’s affinity for rereading and her doubts about the act.

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Frankenstein’s Conception

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“Shelley has long been doubted for her version of events that led to the writing of one of the most beloved Gothic tales in the English language: That she wrote it on a challenge one night in June 1816 during a “waking dream” as the moon shone through her window.”

Detractors of Mary Shelley’s account of her inspiration for Frankenstein can cease with their skepticism.

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Deaf Culture

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“Hearing people should not fool themselves into thinking they can understand the Deaf experience. What we need to understand, though, is that there is more to it than not being able to hear.”

In honor of Deaf Awareness Week this article offers a glimpse into the ins and outs of Deaf culture, which was officially recognized in the 1960s.

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Touré Interview

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“Post-racial suggests a world where race does not exist and racism does not exist, and it’s a completely ridiculous term…With post-Blackness, what I’m talking about is a conception of Blackness where the identity options are infinite. So, we’re not saying THIS is what it is to be Black.”

That is Touré conversing with Galleycat about his new book Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?

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On The Ecstatic

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“From the Greek ek-stasis, it means “standing outside of,” as in separation from the common, or, in the Hellenic religious understanding, a hiatus from cognition in celebration of the visceral and mystical.”

Interpreting Euripedes’ The Bacchae as “a masterful homage to the necessity of ecstasy,” William Giraldi dives into the evolving meaning of ecstasy, and its centrality in the realms of religions, music, dance, and literature.

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Soundtracks for Books

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Booktrack, a New York start-up, is weaving noises and music into e-books. According to their website, the idea behind synchronizing soundtracks to existing e-books, is to “dramatically boost the reader’s imagination and engagement.”

To hear a demo you can check out this piece, which wonders whether readers will find the format distracting, while pointing out that that the concept seems to be gaining ground in the wider e-book realm:

“E-books with added interactive features and soundtracks may be the format’s next step.

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Golden Gate Covers

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“Pick up a random copy of a novel set in San Francisco, and there’s a good chance the book’s cover will feature the bridge – even if it has as much to do with the story as a stale loaf of sourdough bread.”

The San Francisco Chronicle displays a collection of 27 novels that employ the Golden Gate Bridge in their cover artwork for their inaugural book cover design focused feature, “Cover to Cover.”

(Via Book Bench)

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Emergency Thinking

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“One of the things that has seduced people into giving up on their own actions is the claim of emergency—the government will often make the spurious claim that because certain things require very fast action, there is no time for ordinary processes of deliberation and thinking, and therefore we have to abridge our normal protocols.

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The Diaries Of Roland Barthes

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At The Book Bench, a moving exploration of Roland Barthes’ diaries, focusing especially on his unique handwriting:

“Reading someone’s handwriting can be incredibly intimate and revealing, perhaps especially in an age of e-mail and texting. The confines of font streamline and depersonalize emotionality, in contrast with the romance of thoughtful script or the tragic desperation of slanted scrawls.”

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The Rumpus Book Blog Roundup

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Greetings! Your humble guest-editor Michael is back in the saddle for another round of negotiating the highly-addictive world of the book blogs. I had an interesting week, where I had time to contemplate my imminent move to Bernal Heights and whether I should apply to those blasted MFA’s again and what it means that I can’t seem to stop watching post-apocalyptic movies and reading depressingly dystopian fiction.

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