Literary Imagination
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Literary Imagination
A curatorial extravaganza of the centrality of literature in human thought, action, and creative life.
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8 Literary Figures Who Had Wild Animals For Pets

8 Literary Figures Who Had Wild Animals For Pets | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
We love images of famous writers with their pets: Edith Wharton with her lapdogs, Virginia Woolf with her spaniel, gloomy Ernest Hemingway cuddling one of his many cats.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Step into the urban bestiary of some of your most deeply beloved authors.  And don't forget to bring your cat!!

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Best-Selling Author Tom Clancy Has Died at Age 66

Best-Selling Author Tom Clancy Has Died at Age 66 | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Tom Clancy, whose high-tech, Cold War thrillers such as "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games" made him the most widely read and influential military novelist of his time, has died. He was 66.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Much too young for a great (and modest) story-teller to pass....

 

"In 1979, Clancy began "Patriot Games," in which he invented his hero, CIA agent Jack Ryan. In 1982, he put it aside and started "The Hunt For Red October," basing it on a real incident in November 1979, in which a Soviet missile frigate called the Storozhevoy attempted to defect.

 

In real life, the ship didn't make it, but in Clancy's book, the defection is a success.

 

By a stroke of luck, President Reagan got "Red October" as a Christmas gift and quipped at a dinner that he was losing sleep because he couldn't put the book down — a statement Clancy later said helped put him on the New York Times best-seller list."

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Reading Not Required When Choosing Nobel Prize for Literature Winner

Reading Not Required When Choosing Nobel Prize for Literature Winner | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
You would think that maybe the only thing that matters in deciding the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is the strength of their work. Think again. "For the most accurate Nobel oddsmaker La...
Judith Robertson's insight:

Not sure the blogger Kevin Pires is on the mark here, or even close to being correct.  Given that he offers no evidence for this rather sad pronouncement, let's hope he's just having a bad day.

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Fear, Pain and Loneliness Have Their Place in Children's Books

Fear, Pain and Loneliness Have Their Place in Children's Books | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Danger, whether real or metaphorical, will always appeal to children. As hard truths are expressed, the characters find resilience.
Judith Robertson's insight:

I am in total agreement with Diane Mehta in this beautifully articulated post.  The grizzlier the story, the better better loved by our babies.  Lovingly delivered in the safety of long arms, of course.  I like the author's point.  Stories of evil and heroic overcoming provide an imaginary space in which to situate oneself safely as a fledgling protagonist in one's own life.

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North Carolina county board of education bans ‘Invisible Man’ from school libraries

North Carolina county board of education bans ‘Invisible Man’ from school libraries | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
A central North Carolina school district voted to remove Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” from county school libraries this week.
Judith Robertson's insight:

A shameful move by a US school district to remove Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man' (a book about the raw politics of Black struggle in America in the 60s) from school libraries.

 

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.”
― Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

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Time to Write? Go Outside

Time to Write? Go Outside | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Nothing coaxes jumbled thoughts into coherent sentences like sitting under a shade tree on a pleasant day.
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Carol Kaufmann pens an enticing ode to nature's seductions for a writer.

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Lauren Cerand on Sabbatical: Embracing the luxury of time | Sparkle

Lauren Cerand on Sabbatical: Embracing the luxury of time | Sparkle | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Judith Robertson's insight:

This is a lovely meditative piece by Laruen Cerand on taking time out, slowing down, paring down, and re-setting one's compass.  I like it a lot.

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Smithsonian Books releases book of poetry and photographs about the Civil War

Smithsonian Books releases book of poetry and photographs about the Civil War | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Lines in Long Array: A Civil War Commemoration: Poems and Photographs, Past and Present, coming from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery
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Arena Illustration blog

Arena Illustration blog | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Arena illustration represents a diverse group of illustrators with an array of distinctive styles. Beautiful and eye-catching illustrations for book covers, children's books, magazines and newspapers, designs for packaging and advertising campaigns.
Judith Robertson's insight:

I've scooped a Bit o' the Bard here!  Can you read it (of course you can)?!

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Eva Gabrielsson on Stieg Larsson and More

Eva Gabrielsson on Stieg Larsson and More | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
She lived with “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” author for 30 years.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Stieg Larsson's partner and lover speaks about her struggle with despair after Larsson's death, as well as how the trilogy got launched in the author's mind.

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From the Best Seller List to Your Classroom Library | Creating Student Book Lists

From the Best Seller List to Your Classroom Library | Creating Student Book Lists | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
In this lesson, students use The New York Times Best Sellers lists as a model to create their own book lists, book summaries and “inside the list” short essays for their school or classroom libraries.
Judith Robertson's insight:

For the teacher readers among us, or home schoolers, this Scoop goes behind the scenes of NYT Best Seller lists to devise lesson plans that will help students comprehend the construction of a literary list as a cultural act that invovles power, subjectivity, genre, literary trends, and so on.  Questions for discussion are included.

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How to use your anecdotes well – and sparingly

How to use your anecdotes well – and sparingly | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Protagoras: How to argue: There's an art to telling stories to complement an argument without overdoing it – or making yourself the centre of attention
Judith Robertson's insight:

I am intrigued by the idea that annecdotal story telling can bolster the punch of an argument.  It makes sense if we consider the story a form of verification.  On the island of Newfoundland where I live, many of the locals are consummate story tellers, who can bring the house down on the 4th sentence of a well paced narrative.  Even so, it's not easy to do, in my experience.  As "Protagoras" (The Guardian) argues here, it's all to easy to hit a false note and to miss being in harmony with your overall point.  

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‘Bleeding Edge,’ a 9/11 Novel by Thomas Pynchon

‘Bleeding Edge,’ a 9/11 Novel by Thomas Pynchon | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
In “Bleeding Edge,” Thomas Pynchon returns to favorite themes: alternate realities, secret government doings and the abyss.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Pynchon is a writer who doesn't shirk away from apocalptic themes.  Michiko Kakutani (NYT) feels that Pynchon's new novel "Bleeding Edge" -- for all of its masterful touches -- falls short of the narrative coehesiveness that makes a novel great.

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When Writing Well Is Part of the Problem

When Writing Well Is Part of the Problem | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Our recent Lives author reflects on the most useful feedback she has received about writing fiction.
Judith Robertson's insight:

As a writer trying to make the shift out of academic writing into more creatively expressive milieux, I really like Elliott Holt's remembrance of a good pedagogical lesson from a seasoned writing teacher.  Her example is bang on (no pun intended).

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Charismatic Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan Gives Public Lecture (1972)

Charismatic Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan Gives Public Lecture (1972) | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
The footage above is from an extremely rare – and unexpectedly entertaining – video of the philosopher and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), giving a lecture at The Catholic University of Louvain in 1972.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Jacques Lacan displays his passion, humour, intellectual capacity, and original talent for teaching in this rare video footage of a public lecture delivered by the French psychoanalyst in 1972.

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David Gilmour on Building Strong Stomachs | Hazlitt | Random House of Canada

David Gilmour on Building Strong Stomachs | Hazlitt | Random House of Canada | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Judith Robertson's insight:

Canadian writer and University of Toronto literature professor's great passion is for Proust, Tolstoy and Chekhov.  Here he walks us through his university library, explaining why he "only teaches the guys he loves" in his modern literature course, and who these happen to be.  Surprise, Virginia Woolf is there, cross-dressed among them, the only woman to make the cut.  Giller's Extraordinary is short-listed for this year's Giller Prize.

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Defying stereotypes

Defying stereotypes | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Best-selling novelist Joanna Trollope talks to Nione Meakin about family, football and why the only critics that really matter are her readers
Judith Robertson's insight:

She's written 17 best selling historical novels.  In this interview from The Argus (by Nione Meakin), Trollope shares some confidences about what, at age 69, spurs her on to new goals and new heights:  her readers.

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Jonathan Franzen Assails the Internet (Again)

Jonathan Franzen Assails the Internet (Again) | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
In an essay in The Guardian, Mr. Franzen wrote about our “media-saturated, technology-crazed, apocalypse-haunted historical moment.”
Judith Robertson's insight:

Franzen is at it again.  In a 5600 word essay published in the Guardian on Friday, he expresses dismay about "literary lite" culture that tweets and blogs and posts on FB, but fails to engage in principled or sustained thinking and argumentation about this "media saturated, technology-crazed, apocalypse-haunted historical moment".  The link to Franzen's piece is incuded in this Scoop.  Interestingly, NYT journalist Jennifer Schessler gives Franzen's essay a really bad rap, positioning the writer as a grumpy old man.  But a NYT reader posts quite a different view when she writes, "Franzen's piece in the Guardian is very interesting and worth reading. It's a critique of what we are all now doing, and a cautionary tale of what we are not doing. Thinking is actually important, and twitter distraction is maybe not so important or helpful to any of us either personally or collectively. Long run and short run."

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Joseph Boyden, Lisa Moore longlisted for $50K Giller Prize

Joseph Boyden, Lisa Moore longlisted for $50K Giller Prize | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
A baker's dozen of familiar Canlit authors — including a strong contingent from Newfoundland — are in the running for the 2013 Giller Prize, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Thirteen finalists contend for the prestigious Canadian Giller Prize for Literature, 4 of them from Newfoundland!  Amazing line-up and title list.

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MaddAddam

MaddAddam | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Margaret Atwood's novel is the conclusion to her dystopic trilogy.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Yvonne Zipp from the Monitor gives a thumbs up to the final instalment in Atwood's dystopic trilogy.  Here's an excerpt from Zipp's review:

 

“People need such stories,” a character once told Toby about tales about the afterlife, “because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void.”

For a book with a death count in the billions, “MaddAddam” contains a hefty amount of scathing humor.

Take Zeb's past as an activist with Bearlift – an organization that airlifted food to polar bears after the polar ice caps melted. The corporate rulers of society had no problem with the activists' mission.

“It served a function for them, sounded a note of hope, distracted folks from the real action, which was bulldozing the planet flat and grabbing anything of value,” said Zeb, describing ads where the Bearlifters exhorted people to “please send more cash or you'll be guilty of bearicide.”

Then there was the buzzword adapt, which had been a popular mantra.

“I remember adapt,” Toby tells Zeb. “It was another way of saying tough luck. To people you weren't going to help out.”

The science of “MaddAddam” is particularly interesting: When Atwood began the trilogy more than a decade ago, many of the inventions she described sounded much farther-fetched than they do today. While we don't have Mo'Hairs, goats that can grow human hair, the genetic splicing doesn't sound overly outlandish.

All stories must come to an end, and eventually, the God's Gardeners have to venture out of their compound. To search for Adam One, they have to take on the Painballers and find themselves with allies straight out of George Orwell. In the end, Atwood sounds a hopeful note, offering a broader definition of humanity and its ability to continue to evolve."


 

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Isabelle Fougère raconte "Alma, une enfant de la violence"

Isabelle Fougère raconte "Alma, une enfant de la violence" | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Entretien avec la co-auteure du webdocumentaire « Alma, une enfant de la violence » qui vient de recevoir le Visa d'or au festival de photojournalisme Visa pour l'image pour ce reportage au coeur du gang le plus violent du Guatemala.

Via Agnès Poirier K
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Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Lands Book Deal

Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Lands Book Deal | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
“#GirlBoss: How to Write Your Own Rules While Turning Heads and Turning Profits” has been acquired by the Portfolio and Putnam imprints of Penguin Random House.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Sophia Amoruso is a one woman happening.  She's been brought on by Penguin Random House as an author of a book described as part memoir and part business advice .  She sums up her philosophy and experience in these words: "Always feeling like an outsider, she realized that by working hard, being legitimate, taking shortcuts and trial and error, she could find success. “I came in the back door to running a corporation and being a ceo,” she said. The book will contain chapters on the power of magical thinking, being open and looking out for cues, and different ways of manifesting great things in your life. “I have three pieces of advice I want you to remember: Don’t ever grow up. Don’t become a bore. Don’t let the Man get to you. OK? Cool. Then let’s do this,” she writes in the book.

“The book is how you can follow your nose and be open to different possibilities to your future. It’s the business book for the girl who didn’t go to an Ivy League school, and is somewhat of a life bible for every girl,” she said.

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My Brief History: a memoir by Stephen Hawking – review

My Brief History: a memoir by Stephen Hawking – review | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
The brevity of Stephen Hawking's memoir makes for a powerful profile of the cosmologist's life, writes Ian Sample
Judith Robertson's insight:

Here's one for my list.... what a man, what a mind.

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'The Hundred Greatest Books That I've Read' By Steve Martin

'The Hundred Greatest Books That I've Read' By Steve Martin | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
“ “ 1. The A-Bomb and Your School Desk
2. Little Lulu, No. 24, January, 1954
3. Weekly Reader humor column
4. Women Love It If You’re Funny. (ad)
5. Robert Orben’s Patter for Magicians
6. The book...
Judith Robertson's insight:

Clever because simultaneously ironic and culturally literate.

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After a Tour of Slavoj Žižek’s Pad, You’ll Never See Interior Design in the Same Way

After a Tour of Slavoj Žižek’s Pad, You’ll Never See Interior Design in the Same Way | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
How to react to celebrity academic Slavoj Žižek? You could see him as a wild-eyed visionary and grow infatuated with his powerful-sounding ideas about power, violence, cinema, psychoanalysis, and perversion.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Sometimes, not often: I question my allegiances as a former academic.  Either I am waning...or he is waning.  Or both. In any event, I find it difficult to understand what once attracted me to this man, this difficult, wild, incomprehensible thinker.

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