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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen King’

Austenites Resplendent, and Other News

September 17, 2014 | by

Jane Austen festival 2014 - Regency costume world record

Photo: Jane Austen Festival

  • “Madame Bovary, c’est moi” is all well and good as a witty rejoinder—but in all honesty, which of the women in Flaubert’s life was the real Madame Bovary?
  • At a Jane Austen festival in Bath, 550 people claimed the world record for “the largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costume.”
  • On “reading insecurity,” the newest existential disease: “the subjective experience of thinking that you’re not getting as much from reading as you used to. It is setting aside an hour for that new book … and spending it instead on Facebook.”
  • Among Stephen King’s “most hated expressions”: many people, some people say, and YOLO. (I agree with the first two, but I’ll go to the mat for YOLO any day of the week.)
  • What’s it like to translate a compendium of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s sadistic fantasies? Haunting, but, you know, in a good way: “As translator, I am a filter for material: it travels through me. As such, there’s a residue, but it is difficult to qualify. At best, you might compare the book’s effect on me to its effect on any reader: certain images—many, in fact—remain in you, and surge forth unbidden, superimposing themselves in your mind’s eye on perfectly anodyne and serene scenes of everyday life.”

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Tragic Beauty

July 16, 2014 | by

Axes from The Shining

Axes from The Shining at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: Eric Chan, via Flickr

The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle. ―Stephen King

The rain is pouring up here in Maine: King country. The weather is regenerative and generous, but awfully forbidding, too. Someone hearty told me that this weather is, in fact, the best time to take walks up here—certain vivid mosses have been known to appear. But this is the sort of individual who enjoys icy five A.M. swims, and I did not want to admit that my study of bryology never really extended beyond carpeting bowers for the occasional fairy, and that said experiments generally resulted in pulling up large hunks of moss, moving them, and then being surprised when they died. In short, I am still indoors. And for good measure, we watched The Shining. I remembered it having been much scarier.

Wikipedia:

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term, first recorded in 1918, for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in a small space, with nothing to do for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.

A person may experience cabin fever in a situation such as being in a simple country vacation cottage. When experiencing cabin fever, a person may tend to sleep, have distrust of anyone they are with, and an urge to go outside even in the rain, snow, dark or hail. The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone.

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Stephen King Freaks Out Twitter, and Other News

December 10, 2013 | by

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  • Tattered Covers Books is opening an additional three outlets in Denver.
  • The Pitchfork Review, the new print branch of the venerable music review site, drops (as they might say) this weekend.
  • Stephen King joins Twitter; doesn’t say much; people freak out.
  • Titles popular with Scottish inmates include those by Lee Child, James Patterson, and George R. R Martin, and, uh, Hitler.
  • “I have no idea who else is reading me. The New Yorker certainly isn’t. I’ve sent to them for fifty years. I’ve been sending since 1963. That’s fifty years of rejections.” The Rumpus sits down with Stephen Dixon.

     

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    Come Play with Us, and Other News

    October 3, 2013 | by

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  • “It’s not like Klingon or anything. It is reasonable to believe it once existed. But nobody every wrote it down so we don’t know exactly what ‘it’ really was. Instead, what we know is that there are hundreds of languages that share similarities in syntax and vocabulary, suggesting that they all evolved from a common ancestor.” Here is a story in Proto-Indo-European, a speculative attempt by linguists to re-create the ancient root language.
  • The Stanley Hotel of Estes Park, Colorado—aka, the inspiration for The Shining—is digging up its pet cemetery to make way for a “wedding and corporate retreat pavilion.” Which, we must say, sounds more lucrative, even if a psychic declares it a bad idea.
  • Tom Clancy has died, at the age of sixty-six.
  • Dave Eggers says he’s never heard of the book he allegedly plagiarized.
  • A new edition of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book is being officially rereleased in China.
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    Confessions of an Accidental Book-Burner

    August 14, 2013 | by

    Fahrenheit-Book-Burning

    My name is Michele Filgate, and I am a book burner.

    The first thing you need to understand: I love books. I’m the kind of girl who volunteered at the local independent bookstore when I was in middle school, just so I could get the staff discount. I come by this honestly; my grandmother was fired from her first job because she was caught reading behind the clothing racks. While some girls spent hours playing house and naming their dolls, I whiled away entire play dates alphabetizing my personal library with my best friend. Nowadays, I’m a fan of marginalia—but I cringe at the idea of even dog-earing a page.

    In 2007, I was young and naive and penniless. My first job out of college was one of those typical sixty-to-seventy-hour-a-week gigs that so many new-to-New York dreamers end up in. Specifically, I was a production secretary, and later a broadcast associate, at the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. 

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    A Battle for Souls, and Other News

    July 30, 2013 | by

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  • “But ultimately, I decided that the committees overseeing these sorts of things (editorial, sales, marketing) would never approve this. ‘The title is hard to read,’ they would complain. ‘The book is hard to read,’ I would silently retort. ‘That’s one of its principle merits.’” A glimpse into the process of cover design.
  • Stephen King on opening lines.
  • The London Fire Brigade blames a 10 percent increase of handcuff-related calls on Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • Speaking of London: “In one corner sit the tut-tutting ‘serious’ readers. In the other, flirtatious undergraduates with their iPhones and social lives. At the heart is the battle for the soul—and control—of the British Library.”
  • Libraries team up with airports in a campaign called, appropriately enough, Books on the Fly. Here’s how it works: “Scanning a QR code, available on cards throughout the airport, sends users to a site where they can access the Kansas State Library’s eLending service. Visitors without a library card are directed to Project Gutenberg’s mobile-optimized site, where they can download titles in the public domain.”
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