Success?/RSSing a Book/Natl. Poetry Month/Freedom of Expression/Criticizing Criticism/Bleak House/Jane Duran

April 11, 2006

What Happened to the Bitch-Goddess Called Success?
“In an era when practically nothing is too sordid to be the stuff of serious fiction, the craving for success has become the love that dare not speak its name. Curious, no? Making a reputation, making money, rising in the world—is this so much more unseemly than, oh, sex with a piece of raw calf’s liver?” That’s the question Joseph Finder asks in his New York Times essay “
Where Have All the Strivers Gone?

New Way of Reading a Book
Names@Work is sending out Pulse by Robert Frenay and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux as an RSS feed or by email on a daily basis. The site also offers the hardcover at 30 percent off the cover price.

It’s National Poetry Month
With Spring being the beginning of poetry month, Houghton Mifflin launched a
new poetry site. It offers poetry links, some useful such as Poets.org and others not so such as bartleby.com, a great literary reference site though. It also has links to poetry events and a poet quiz, such as who wrote the following lines: When the train stopped I started and woke up./Was nowhere, as before, no change in that./Nothing new in trundling to a stop/where nothing seemed to call for one. The light/was winter afternoon, with’afternoon’/a term for darkness. In the cold and wet. (Answer: Glyn Maxwell.) Knopf’s Borzoi Reader is offering to email poem of the day for the entire month. The site also has audio downloads, poet’s forum, and related poetry links.

Turks at It Again
Turkish authorities are angry at another author—Perihan Magden for her support of imprisoned conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan in an article she wrote for Aktuel. You might remember that Turkish authorities attempted to try Orhan Pamuk for relating an fact about a less than proud moment in Turkish history.

Pecking at Fiction & Criticism
In an essay for the
Morning News, critic and novelist Dale Peck wrote: “I thought I was ready to read contemporary fiction. Last fall, after a couple of years of sticking to the Greeks, Romans, and nonfiction, I taught Mary Gaitskill’s Two Girls Fat and Thing; she graciously agreed to speak to my class, and I was as impressed by her intelligence and articulateness as I was by her first novel.” In an unrelated article for Slate by Ben Yagoda, Michiko Kakutani, a New York Times book critic for 25 years, comes under attack from Susan Sontag and Salman Rushdie.

Bleak House Bleaker
A fire recently damaged the home where Charles Dickens wrote some of his famous works. The house, called Bleak House, is in Broadstairs, Kent. Dickens wrote Bleak House and completed David Copperfield there. Read more in the
Guardian report by Peter Richards.

Thoughts of Poet Jane Duran
“I was interested in the lively interaction between conflicting feelings or perceptions in these poems, and the sense of discovery there is for the reader when the poet simply lives with them and doesn’t try to resolve them.” These are a few of the thoughts Jane Duran reveals in her
Guardian
essay.

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