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Archive for the ‘literature’ Category

Cristian Mihai

This week I’ll be writing a few posts about self-publishing. Of course, the trickiest part is actually selling the book.

But what really sells a book? What marketing tool? What recipe to follow? Is there a recipe?

Well, let’s analyze one of my favorite novels, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, and hope that I’ll be able to offer some insight as to how people decide to buy a book.

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“If it is accepted, as it is often said, that without Joan of Arc there would be no France, it is also true that without Yolande of Aragon, there would have been no Joan.”

This historical point was also stressed in the movie about Joan d’Arc, “The Messenger”.

Word by Word

Such a seductive title ‘The Maid and the Queen’ – The Secret History of Joan of Arc and it is indeed an intriguing story, wrapped in faith, hope, superstition, manipulation, cruelty and ultimately the exoneration and beatification of a heroine (Joan of Arc was canonised in 1920).

 Joan of Arc is testimony to the transcendence of the human spirit….She remains an inspiration, not only to the citizens of France, but to oppressed people everywhere.

Ironically, it is due to the inquisition of Joan of Arc that much of the history of the era was documented and preserved, her testimony and the numerous depositions from the many eyewitnesses who knew her and who were in some way involved in the events of the Hundred Years war, that period of conflict between the Kingdoms of England and France and various other alliances from 1337 to 1453, as each sought to claim…

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reblogged from David Halliday’s Work “No Mention of the Common Cold”

The preface is a quote from Hegel, a very important German philosopher. Who I based my master’s thesis on. He is a very difficult man to read. In English. I can’t imagine he is any easier in German.

Here is the preface:

“Consciousness knows and comprehends nothing but what falls within its experience; for what is found in experience is merely spiritual substance, and, moreover, object of its self.

Mind, however, becomes object, for it consists in the process of becoming an other to itself, ie. An object for its own self, and intranscending this otherness.

And experience is called this very process by which the element that is immediate, unexperienced, ie. Abstract – whether it be in the form of sense or of a bare thought – externalizes itself, and then comes back to itself from the state of estrangement, and by doing so is at length set forth in its concrete nature and real truth, and becomes too a possession of consciousness.”

G. W. F. Hegel

Preface to the Phenomenology of the Mind.

Fun reading, eh? I struggled through Hegel for 8 months. Learned some things. About human nature. Like pretentiousness. Which I was tainted with. I think I’m still a bit of a snob. (I like Starbuck’s coffee.)

The first poem is called Antemath. Its supposed to be some overriding opus on the condition of man. How his journey into consciousness was a mixture of madness and accident. No mention of the common cold.

continue reading…David Halliday’s Work “No Mention of the Common Cold”

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At the time, I had no knowledge of the rotten eggs, the nose-pinching, the strange places Icelanders take automobiles, nor many of the other quaint and, frankly, weird passions of the Icelandic people, and I just thought Einar was a bit odd. At the time, I didn’t realize eccentricity was a national characteristic. Nor that it was contagious.
I started wondering about the Icelandic temperament when Einar Gustavsson advised me to eat trout smoked in burning horse manure. As a tourism official whose job is to convince Americans to visit Iceland, he did not tell me about the rotten duck eggs, or “hard-fish.” But he couldn’t restrain himself on the subject of the smoked fish.

“This is so good, you wouldn’t believe how natural and wonderful it is,” he told me on the phone.
“Horse shit,” I said, to be sure.

“Some horse manure, some wood,” he said appeasingly. “Mostly wood.”

Such was my introduction to Iceland, a Pennsylvania-sized island formed by a giant attack of planetary dyspepsia, and inhabited by the boisterous-yet-bookish descendants of the Vikings.

Although videos are making inroads, Icelanders are reputed to read more books than anyone else on the planet. They have always been wordy folk. Even when their young democracy wobbled out of control, leading to horrible poverty that lasted from the 12th century through the 19th, Icelanders held the touchstone of their language. Through the winter nights, they huddled in damp, turf-and-stone huts, reading the sagas aloud. In the worst of times, brought by Danish exploitation and vomiting ash that smothered the grass and starved the livestock, they ate their beautifully illustrated calfskin books, and went back to telling the sagas from memory.

This linguistic tenacity has paid a peculiar dividend: The Icelandic language has hardly changed in a thousand years, meaning that Icelanders can still read their ancient literature. These days, to protect the historic tongue from the epidemic of Global Culture Fade, a panel of Icelanders is charged with inventing new terms as needed. The telephone, for example, is a simi, or “thread.” A fax is a simibref, or “phone letter.”

continue reading

Cultural Immersion & Heritage In Iceland & Iceland – Finding Your Inner Viking | Away.com.

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On Poetry | The Paris Review.

for future reference!

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by Frederick Seidel

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iPhoto

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The second woman shines my shoes.
The other takes my order, curtsies. Thank you, sir.
Others stand there in the rain so I can mount them when I choose.
It’s how protective I
Can be that keeps them going. Look at her:
She clicks her heels together, bowing slightly. Try
To put yourself in her shoes: boots, garter belt, and veil.
She’s amused
To be a piece of tail.
She’s smiling. Is she really so amused? I’ve recused
Myself from judging whether that means she’s abused.
So far I’ve refused
To let myself be called confused.
I hope these photos of St. Louis will be used.

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via Paris Review – Five Poems, Frederick Seidel.

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New term. Not as morbid as it sounds, and not to be confused with a “memento mori” an “exquisite corpse”or “cadavre exquis” is an activity in which several people contirbute portions of a final work of art. Similar to a game called Consequences, in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal the previous part, and then pass it on for a further contribution. Each participant, then is responsible for part of the “body” or “corpus.”

In a sense, the term exquisite corpse applies to any collaberative effort, even a musical jam session. But usually the composite result is a documented artifact, such as a picture, poem or story, or cartoon or video. (The technique is not the same as the non-linear cut-up style of Brion Gysin, in which pre-existing words and phrases are sliced up, edited and arranged, as used in Naked Lunch by William burroughs’ and by other Beat poets’–such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg at various times.)

The stage production Hedwig and the Angry Inch and its film adaptation heavily utilize the exquisite corpse format as a symbol. Near the end of the play/film, as the already bizarre story reaches its most surreal point, Hedwig begins reminiscing about all the relationships and events in her life that have made her feel “cut…up into parts”, with pieces going to various important people. The following song asserts that now, however, she has “sewn up” or reconstructed herself, recovered, and become whole, though as a patchwork of sorts (“tornado body and a hand grenade head, and the legs are two lovers entwined”).

In another example,

In the Montreal World Film Festival of 2006, from an original idea by Adrien Lorion, David Etienne and Michel Laroche, a group of ten film directors, scriptwriters and professional musicians took the concept to a new level with the fusion of the art of film-making and song-writing: Cadavre Exquis première édition.

Surrealists, such as Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert, Benjamin Peret, Pierre Reverdy, and André Breton, played a form of this game. And it can be adapted to any media, allowing each artist a portion of the whole, in his own styling. the methodology is open to adaptation. The original item may be modified by one person at a time, chronologically, passed hand to hand or even sent like a chain-mail. Or each artist may contribute individually to a designated block of the whole, like a quilt, grid or checkerboard, or a body-map. A bit like Frankenstein, actually.

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