2019-03-13 21:45 history books blog

A Brief History Of The White Horse Tavern, NYC's Legendary Literary Watering Hole: Gothamist

In the mid-20th century, literary luminaries including James Baldwin and Anaïs Nin frequented the watering hole, and Jack Kerouac was a particularly unruly patron. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation notes that Kerouac was ejected from the bar so many times that someone took it upon themselves to carve “JACK GO HOME!” on a bathroom stall. Legend has it that the idea for the Village Voice (RIP) was born over drinks at the bar, known colloquially as "The Horse." And most famously, the White Horse is where Welsh poet Dylan Thomas swilled his final drinks before his death; his portrait still hangs by his usual seat.

[read more]

2019-01-15 02:28 brood books benbrood

Against the stark white landscape the roaming, disgraced official looked like words drawn on a perfectly clean parchment.

2018-12-07 23:05 brood books benbrood

On the right side of the cover was a drawing of a bird, the beak painted in gold. On the left side was a well, a child’s hand visible just above the edge.

2018-11-15 17:05 books blog

You Can't Rely on Inspiration: Essential Writing Advice from J.G. Ballard | Literary Hub

[O]ne’s become used to these overlong novels in which everything is explained and tidied up. At the heart of every good short story lies a certain ambiguity, a sort of “Yes, but.” That’s very seldom found in novels. And yet this ambiguity is the very stuff of life.

[read more]

2018-11-11 20:02 books blog

The Great Work: Alchemy and the Power of Words – Emergence Magazine

But the novel I started writing soon transformed itself into something else. A book which I began to write in conventional English became a book written in my own version of Old English, the language which my Anglo-Saxon narrator would have spoken. But this, while it might be the most obviously unusual feature of the novel, was not the most significant surprise the book sprang on me.

[read more]

2018-11-11 19:15 books blog

Penguin – Science Fiction Covers: Part 1 - Visual Melt

Penguin Books have always had a strong ethos when it comes to their creative direction, whether utilising the classic minimalist coloured stripe or allegorical illustration, they always hit the mark.

Penguin Science Fiction covers deserve a closer look, in particular the talented creative directors, artists and illustrators that helped shape the way the future looked.

[read more]

2018-11-07 23:45 brood books benbrood

“At the stroke of midnight the objects in the house came alive. They murdered their owners, set up a Constituent Assembly and subsequently a Great Purge of the cupboard.”

2018-11-07 11:11 books blog

Talk with me | Aeon

In 1913 the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein fled the interruptions and distractions of Cambridge to live as a hermit in Norway. No one knew him there, and he could focus on his work on logic in isolation. It worked. He lodged for a while with the postmaster in Skjolden, a remote village 200 miles north of the city of Bergen, and later had a hut built overlooking the fjord. Alone, he wrestled with the ideas that would metamorphose into his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). Anyone who tried to pass the time of day with him got short shrift. ‘Go away! It’ll take me two weeks to get back to the point where I was before you interrupted me,’ he is supposed to have shouted at one local who made the mistake of greeting him as he stood pondering what could not be said.

[read more]

2018-09-06 22:50 brood books benbrood

It was about as big as the book underneath. The scales and claws were haphazard. There was a powerful emission, probably a common defense mechanism.

2018-08-24 22:43 brood books benbrood

There were stairs at the opposite end of The Library, leading to another, smaller library that was full of books made from large, moist green leaves.

2018-07-03 23:00 brood books benbrood

Bookcases covered every inch. Each volume was a detailed record of the subjects’ eating habits at the institute.

2018-06-28 17:53 books blog

Harlan Ellison dies at 84; acclaimed science fiction writer was known for combative style

“He’s one of the most dynamic speakers I’ve ever seen, and he tends to speak out of a sense of outrage,” said Latham. “He was always fighting for a cause. That was something that was clear from his writing and from his persona. He was a battler.”

Ellison even stood up to a belligerent Frank Sinatra in a verbal exchange over the boots Ellison was wearing in the pool room of the Daisy discotheque in Beverly Hills—an incident captured in Gay Talese’s famous 1966 Esquire magazine story “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.”

[read more]

2018-06-25 07:32 books blog

The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar - The New York Times

Already, the work is nearly twice as plump as Joyce’s “Ulysses.” Kidd was particularly excited to show me his key apparatus — the homemade thesaurus where he keeps a running crosscheck on the entirety of the English language. So far, it runs to some 3,000 pages.

“As much as humanly possible, the 19th-century dictionary of English is in here,” he told me. His translation is titled “Isaura Unbound,” and he wanted me to understand its ambition: When the book is finished, it will be a complete reordering of one entire English dictionary into a single work of art. Take that, void.

[read more]

2018-05-16 19:32 books blog

Bret Easton Ellis and the future of fiction – TheTLS

And it’s a terrible way to live as an artist. You see it affecting the arts on a vague, vague but vast scale – where is the taboo? Where is the Other? So what if it’s offensive? Good! Where is this bizarre idea of art created by committee, by a democracy, coming from? Art isn’t created by a democracy! And there seems to be this thing, especially on social media, of group-approved art, that’s chilling.

[read more]

2018-03-20 17:45 books blog

The Time I Drank with Borges in a Scottish Pub | Literary Hub

One of several scenes that hang in my dreams occurred in a pub along the coast, near the fishing village of Anstruther. Borges wanted to experience a Scottish pub “in its full glory,” he said. Drinking in Scotland is, indeed, something of a religion, but it’s strictly low church. We stopped at a sawdust-floored, concrete-walled pub in the middle of the village, and I recall leading Borges into a basement room, the walls sweating, the place so dark that even a blind man needed help to get around the large wooden tables.

Borges asked for beer, and I brought him a pint of Export, the flat, warm beer that everyone drank in those days. I can see him bending over the glass, both hands around it. He sniffed the foamy head of the brew, and approved, stirring it with one finger, which he then licked clean. He took a long slow drink and smiled. He wiped the foam from his lips on the sleeve of his jacket. The big blank eyes rolled in his head.

[read more]