Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Links for January 21st, 2008

In Too lazy to assign a category on January 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm

The Books of “The Pillow Book”
These are the inscriptions written in the bodies of Peter Greenaway’s “The Pillow Book”.
(tags: movies literature mlf)

The Tale of Genji
This site aims to promote a wider understanding and appreciation of The Tale of Genji – the 11th Century Japanese classic written by a Heian court lady known as Murasaki Shikibu.
(tags: japan literature travel mlf)

This is What A Police State Looks Like
(tags: activism democracy society politics culture mlf)


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Book meme

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 24, 2007 at 8:47 pm

I got tagged by thedharmablues.

Total number of books owned:

Frankly, I've got no idea. A whole lot. I've never counted them, there's no catalogue either. I tried Library Thing, and I tried Shelfari, but those don't work for me. Most of my books aren't in English. Now Library Thing has a feature that let's you import books from Vox, but frankly, it sucks. I tried it, and I don't know whose books they imported but they sure as hell weren't mine. I might not have good taste, but I certainly have better taste than the person that seemed to love 'romantic' crap, and occult / vampire / science fiction litter.

So I can't give you a number. Best I can do is show you part of a bookshelf:

Last book bought:

I actually bought several books at once.  The first one was 'Daughter of Agadir', by Ouarda Saillo.

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I bought this book in Dutch. I'll translate the first paragraph:

My mother died September 19th, 1979, at 10 in the morning. My father killed her on the roof of our house in Agadir. He punded a knife in her belly, dragged her up the stairs, tied her to a ladder, stuffed her mouth with sand, poored fuel on her and set her on fire. My moter was 29 years old and 7 months pregnant when she died. I was 5.

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Stout (naughty) is a book about 'flirting, success, power, lingerie and erotica'.

This book by Ann-Marie MacDonald is available in English, titled Fall On Your Knees.

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A book to read on the tram, in English: To Speak For The Dead.

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A book on Mind Mapping by Peter Weiler.

Last book read:

Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

Le Petit Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

House of Leaves: The Remastered Full-Color Edition
Mark Z. Danielewski

The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley

Poèmes et Chansons
Georges Brassens

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Kurt Vonnegut Library

In Too lazy to assign a category on May 14, 2007 at 10:22 am

This website contains all of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels in .pdf form, hosted by the amazing Scribd.

When you click on a link to a book from the “Archives” page, you will be directed to a page that contains the book in Scribd’s Adobe Flashplayer based .pdf viewer. The .pdf player allows you to view the book through TKVL’s website, or to download it in several different formats that include .doc and .pdf. Enjoy!

 The Kurt Vonnegut Library

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Links for March 13th, 2007

In Too lazy to assign a category on March 13, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Simone de Beauvoir

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 25, 2007 at 11:58 am

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Bridge Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir (January 9, 1908 – April 14, 1986) was a French author and philosopher. She wrote novels, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues, essays, biographies, and an autobiography. She is now best known for her metaphysical novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, and for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.

Beauvoir is buried next to Sartre at the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris. Since her death, her reputation has grown, not only because she is seen as the mother of post-1968 feminism, especially in academia, but also because of a growing awareness of her as a major French thinker, existentialist philosopher and otherwise.

There is much contemporary discussion about the influences of Beauvoir and Sartre on one another. She is seen as having influenced Sartre's masterpiece, Being and Nothingness, while also having written much on philosophy that is independent of Sartrean existentialism. Some scholars have explored the influences of her earlier philosophical essays and treatises upon Sartre's later thought. She is studied by many respected academics both within and outside of philosophy circles, including Margaret A. Simmons and Sally Scholtz. Beauvoir's life has also inspired numerous biographies.

The architect Dietmar Feichtinger designed a sophisticated footbridge, which was named after Beauvoir. The bridge features feminine curves and leads to the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which Beauvoir frequented throughout her life.

Wikipedia: Simone de Beauvoir

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Maryse Condé

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 10, 2007 at 6:42 am

Maryse CondéMaryse CondéMaryse CondéMaryse Condé

Guadeloupean author of epic fiction, best-known for her historical novel Ségou (1984-85). Condé’s novels question stereotypical images of literary characters, colonialism, sex and gender. She has also published children’s books, a booklet about Guadeloupe, book-length essays about francophone women writers and oral literatures in Martinique and Guadeloupe, critical booklets about Aimé Césaire’s Cahier d’un retour au pays natal, Antillean fiction, and numerous articles mainly about Caribbean literature and cultural studies.

Maryse Condé (née Boucolon) was born, 11 February 1937, in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe. She studied at the université de Paris III, Sorbonne, graduating docteur en lettres in comparative literature in 1976. Her research was on Black stereotypes in West Indian literature (”Stéréotypes du noir dans la littérature antillaise“). Early in her literary career, Condé tried her hand at dramatic writing. (She continued to write for the theater, her latest play, An tan revolisyon , appearing in 1989.) She took to the novel in the mid-seventies, producing Hérémakhonon (1976), followed a few years later by une Saison à Rihata (1981). It was not until her third and major novel, Ségou: Les Murailles de terre (1984), that Condé established her position among notable contemporary writers. Ségou: La Terre en miettes, part II of this great African saga, was published the following year.

More recent novels by Condé have earned her literary prizes: Moi, Tituba, sorcière noire de Salem (1986) was awarded the grand prix de la Femme 1986; la Vie scélérate (1987) received the highly coveted prix de l’Académie française 1988 (bronze medal).

Beside creative writing and erudition, Condé is a woman of wide reading and considerable insight into contemporary social issues which permeate her activities as critic, public lecturer, and teacher. Her criticism, includes monographic studies, anthologies, and articles in West African and Caribbean literatures.

Her public speaking mirrors the social and political consciousness which she expresses with admirable art in her novels. And there were numerous cultural or teaching engagements: at Lycée Charles de Gaulle in Saint Louis, Sénégal; at Radio France internationale and at the BBC, where she was program producer; at various divisions of the université de Paris–Jussieu, Nanterre, and Sorbonne, where she was chargé de cours (1980-1985); at California Institute of Technology; at the University of Virginia; and at the University of California, Berkeley, where she became tenured professor in January 1990. Not surprisingly, Condé has been the recipient of several scholarly fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship at Occidental College, Los Angeles; Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Writer-in-Residence; and J. S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.

Selection of her works

Hérémakhonon: a story of a young black West Indian woman, Veronica, who is educated in Paris and searches her roots in Africa. In Paris she had a white lover, and in Africa she becomes the mistress of the Minister of Defence, who turns out to be thoroughly corrupt.

Une Saison à Rihata: in Rihata, a small sleepy backwater town in a fictitious African state, a couple and their family struggle to come to terms with each other against a background of political maneuvering and upheaval. Marie-Helene, far from her native home in Guadeloupe, lives unhappily with her African husband, Zek. Their uneasy existence is further disturbed by the arrival of Zek’s brother Madou, now Minister for Rural Development, on an official visit to Rihata. Murky events from the past resurface and send ripples through their lives. This portrait of an African community torn between progress and tradition and subject to the whims of a dictatorship unfolds through a subtle web of personal relationships.

Segu: set in an 18h-century African kingdom, Conde’s novel examines the cultural transformations brought about by the rise of Islam and the slave trade. It is 1797 in the African kingdom of Bambara, and the forces from the East that will drastically alter African civilization–slavery and Islam–are beginning to make themselves felt. The four sons of the noble Traore family demonstrate the various responses to these new elements: one embraces Islam, another makes a fortune as a trader, the third is forced into bondage, and the fourth becomes a Christian.

I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem: at the age of seven, Tituba watched as her mother was hanged for daring to wound a plantation owner who tried to rape her. She was raised from then on by Mama Yaya, a gifted woman who shared with her the secrets of healing and magic. But it was Tituba’s love of the slave John Indian that led her from safety into slavery, and the bitter, vengeful religion practiced by the good citizens of Salem, Massachusetts. Though protected by the spirits, Tituba could not escape the lies and accusations of that hysterical time.

Crossing the Mangrove: this novel-in-translation captures the lush landscape of the Caribbean. An outsider to the island, Francis Sancher, is found dead. His character is pieced together through a rich montage of voices as the villagers each contribute their knowledge of the secretive and mysterious man at his wake.

The Last of the African Kings : when he opposes French colonialism in his native Africa, regal Behanzin is exiled to the far-off island of Martinique. Maryse Condé tells the story of Behanzin’s scattered offspring and their lives in the Caribbean and the United States. She skillfully intertwines themes of exile, lost origins, and hope–with Africa hovering in the background.

Desirada: this novel takes place on the island of Guadeloupe, where Reynalda gives birth to a baby, Marie-Noelle, and then abandons the child. Ten years later, she summons her to France, where she is living with her new husband. Marie-Noelle, however, is permanently scarred by her mother’s lack of interest in her, and spends her life fantasizing about her true father, whose identity she doesn’t know.

The Last of the African Kings Desirada I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem Segu Crossing the Mangrove

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Anaïs Nin

In Too lazy to assign a category on February 8, 2007 at 8:46 pm

Anain NinAnain NinAnain NinAnain Nin

Anaïs was born in Neuilly, just outside Paris. She spent her childhood in various parts of Europe until, when she was eleven, her father, Spanish composer Joaquin Nin, abandoned his family. In the same year, her French-Danish mother, Rosa Culmell, took Anaïs and her two sons to New York. On the boat that brought Anaïs away from Europe and from her father she began to write her journals. In 1923 she married Hugo Guiler, who had studied literature and economics and had acquired a good position in an international bank, allowing them to live comfortably.

The couple moved to Paris in 1924. There they lived in various appartments, among them a beautiful house in Louveciennes, but Anaïs also often had a studio for herself and lived in a houseboat on the Seine for a while. In Paris she and Hugo supported various avant-garde artists, among them Henry Miller with whom Anaïs started an affair and exchanged hundreds of letters. The book A literary passion includes a great number of the letters these two artists exchanged over the years and provide an interesting documentary of their struggle for recognition as writers as well as their relationship.

Anaïs moved back to New York just before the outbreak of World War II. After a turbulent time in New York she divided her life between New York and Los Angeles, between Hugo and Rupert, a much younger lover and friend. From being a cult figure of the early feminist movement, Anaïs later rose to international prominence with her writing. She is best known for her diaries but also produced a number of novels and a prose poem in surrealistic style as well as wonderful erotic short stories, published posthumously. Characterized by the use of powerful and, at times, disquieting imagery, her work reveals great sensitivity and perception.

In 1973 she received an honorary doctorate from Philadelphia College of Art. She was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1974.

Her works (selection)


Cities of the Interior, Chicago: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ Press 1974
Ladders to Fire, Swallow Press 1995
Children of the Albatross, Denver : Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1959
The Four-Chambered Heart, Chicago: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1959
Seduction of the Minotaur, Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1961
House of Incest, Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1958
A Spy in the House of Love, Pocket Books 1994, Mass Market Paperback
Winter of Artifice, Chicago: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1961
Collages, Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1964
Delta of Venus, Pocket Books 1990, Mass Market Paperback
Little Birds, New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich 1979
Under a Glass Bell, Ohio Univ Pr (Trd) 1995
Waste of Timelessness, And Other Early Stories, Chicago: Swallow Press 1994


The Diary of Anais Nin, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World
Volume 1: 1931-1934 (1966)
Volume 2: 1934-1939 (1967)
Volume 3: 1939-1944 (1969)
Volume 4: 1944-1947 (1971)
Volume 5: 1947-1955 (1974)
Volume 6: 1955-1966 (1976)
Volume 7: 1966-1974 (1980)
The Early Diary of Anais Nin, New York: Harcourt Brace
Volume 1: 1914-1920 (1978)
Volume 2: 1920-1923 (1982)
Volume 3: 1923-1927 Journal of a Wife (1984)
Volume 4: 1927-1931 (1985)
Henry and June, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, Harcourt Brace 1990
Incest, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, (1932-1934), Texas Bookman 1992
Fire, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary, (1934-1937), Harcourt Brace 1995
Nearer The Moon, from a Journal of Love : The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin, (1937-1939), New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company 1996

Henry and June (Penguin Modern Classics) Anais Nin: A Biography The Four Chambered Heart (Peter Owen Modern Classic) A Spy in the House of Love (Penguin Modern Classics) Delta of Venus (Penguin Modern Classics)

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