Posts Tagged ‘librarians’
October 29, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- “My mind is so dumb when I write. Each story requires a different style of stupidity ... I don't know how the mind works, but isn't there a part of it that deals specifically with reason and sense? The brainy asshole of the mind? ... That asshole is my intellect. He's a really shitty writer, as you might imagine.” Lorin Stein interviews Ottessa Moshfegh.
- Librarians versus algorithms: Who recommends better books? The latest developments in a John Henry story.
- A new exhibition at Tate Britain shows paintings alongside William Hazlitt’s criticism about them, reminding us of what a vital, unusually perceptive critic he was. “One purrs at what he’d have made of the homogenized, commercialized art world of today—and how surgically he might have cut into it.”
- Sven Birkerts in (and on) convalescence: “How the feel of time changes when all the terms are altered. What on most days had moved with an almost hectic momentum, an ill-choreographed succession of one thing after another, one day just halted, causing the hours to then pool up behind it: the afternoon immobilized, with almost nothing to mark the change or confirm that this is not the world paralyzed into still life.”
- Grady Gordon makes monotype prints “by removing thick black ink from a plexiglass surface.” They’re ghoulish. They “bring about the characters that inhabit the invisible plane.” They make great gifts for your enemies.
September 23, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
From The Librarian at Play, a collection of essays by Edmund Lester Pearson, published in 1911. Pearson was a librarian who wrote humor and true-crime books.
I looked and beheld, and there were a vast number of girls standing in rows. Many of them wore pigtails, and most of them chewed gum.
“Who are they?” I asked my guide.
And he said: “They are the girls who wrote ‘Lovely’ or ‘Perfectly sweet’ or ‘Horrid old thing!’ on the fly-leaves of library books. Some of them used to put comments on the margins of the pages—such as ‘Served him right!’ or ‘There! you mean old cat!’”
“What will happen to them?” I inquired.
“They are to stand up to the neck in a lake of ice cream soda for ten years,” he answered.
“That will not be much of a punishment to them,” I suggested.
But he told me that I had never tried it, and I could not dispute him.
“The ones over there,” he remarked, pointing to a detachment of the girls who were chewing gum more vigorously than the others, “are sentenced for fifteen years in the ice cream soda lake, and moreover they will have hot molasses candy dropped on them at intervals. They are the ones who wrote:
If my name you wish to see
Look on page 93,
and then when you had turned to page 93, cursing yourself for a fool as you did it, you only found:
If my name you would discover
Look upon the inside cover,
and so on, and so on, until you were ready to drop from weariness and exasperation. Hang me!” he suddenly exploded, “if I had the say of it, I’d bury ‘em alive in cocoanut taffy—I told the Boss so, myself.”
I agreed with him that they were getting off easy.
“A lot of them are named ‘Gerty,’ too,” he added, as though that made matters worse. Read More »
February 3, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman.
- Who are Joyce’s modern heirs? Rivka Galchen and Pankaj Mishra discuss.
- No longer shall they toil in obscurity: Lemony Snicket has launched the Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.
- The Hardy Boys face what are undeniably their strangest mysteries yet.
- Is Eurostile Bold Extended the most popular typeface in science fiction? A look at the typography in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
January 9, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- Scientists have developed an algorithm for writing a hit novel. Go easy on the verbs and the clichés, and you, too, may see the best-seller list. (Consider calling your book “The Best-Seller Algorithm,” which has the bold ring of a blockbuster.)
- An endearingly earnest infographic defends librarians in the digital age. Look out for such phrases as “portal to archive” and “techy-savvy librarianship.”
- Strange things are afoot in New Mexico, where Cormac McCarthy’s ex-wife has been arrested for threatening someone with a gun after “a domestic dispute over space aliens.” Apologies for burying the lede, but: she produced the gun from her vagina.
- Earlier this week, an arsonist burned Tripoli’s Al Sa’eh Library, destroying an estimated fifty thousand books.
November 12, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
October 9, 2013 | by Sadie Stein