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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Tricked: Paul Verhoeven's crowdsourced script

Tricked: Paul Verhoeven's crowdsourced script | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Paul Verhoeven's latest film features a script written collectively by its audience. The experience taught him the value of professionals, he tells Emma Jones.
Judith Robertson's insight:

I love what Verhoeven says about his experience in using public (lay) writers to submit scripts for his latest film.  He argues that the major weakness of most of the submitted stories had to do with lack of narrative punch.  There were great plot lines but they failed to go anywhere...to produce an ending. “What it’s taught me is that you can’t have a lot of scriptwriters. You need someone in charge, someone who really knows what they are doing in terms of telling a story. It’s like these talent shows where everyone seems to think that because they can sing a bit, they deserve success. Movies are still for the professionals.”

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The Yellow Nib

The Yellow Nib | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it

Yellow Nib Issue 8


Available in No Alibis, Botanic Avenue Belfast, through Blackstaff Press or online here.


Poems by Fleur Adcock, Gerard Beirne,Rachael Boast, Stephanie Conn, Oliver Comins, Piotr Florczyk, Miriam Gamble,Mark Granier, Rita Ann Higgins, Caoilinn Hughes, Matt Kirkham, Gary Matthews,Sinéad Morrissey, Tric O'Heare, Christopher Reid, Carol Rumens, Fiona Sampson andJack Underwood.


Via Gerard Beirne
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15 Wonderful Quotes About Life From Children's Books

15 Wonderful Quotes About Life From Children's Books | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Sometimes the perfect inspiration comes from our childhood.
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The Slavoj Žižek v Noam Chomsky spat is worth a ringside seat

The Slavoj Žižek v Noam Chomsky spat is worth a ringside seat | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Peter Thompson: It's barely caused a ripple outside leftist discourse, but their debate on theory, ideology and reality touches on important stuff
Judith Robertson's insight:

When Zizek takes on Chomsky, all I can do is sit back and read.

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Literary pseudonyms - quiz

Literary pseudonyms - quiz | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
As JK Rowling is revealed to have written under a 'liberating' pen name, test your knowledge of other pseudonyms down the years
Judith Robertson's insight:

Here's a great little literary quiz for readers who have an eye for spotting the author behind the name!

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Deadlines

Deadlines | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Slowly progressive diseases have led writers to document their long, medicalized ends.
Judith Robertson's insight:

This unlikely subject (writing about death while dying) is sensitively explored here by poet and critic Meghan O'Rourke, with more links to dying writers than one could possibly ever hope for.

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Why Does Reading Matter?

Why Does Reading Matter? | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
In Shyam Selvadurai’s most recent novel, The Hungry Ghosts, the main character Shivan is a teenager newly arrived in 1980s Toronto. He’s settling into the new city with his mother and sister, havin...
Judith Robertson's insight:

From Perspectives on Humanities Education, this short essay is a lucid reminder that for most of us, reading can liberate us into worlds of potential hope, sociality, and possibility.

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12 Perfect Books for Everyone on Your List

12 Perfect Books for Everyone on Your List | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
I love getting books as presents. The neatly wrapped stack of books under the Christmas tree every year is my version of a Lexus with a giant bow on top.
Judith Robertson's insight:

I love book lists.  If all of these suggestions are as fine as To The River by Olivia Laing, #9 of the recommendations, then my summer reading is off to a very fine start!

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Virginia Woolf: Cottage Loaf

Virginia Woolf: Cottage Loaf | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Every time I get discouraged by writing, I engage in a bit of schadenfreude, and soothe myself with the frustrations of others. "I write two pages of arrant nonsense after straining ... Then I trus...
Judith Robertson's insight:

"My bread bakes well" was Virginia Woolf's mantra and her default form of resistance against the writer's block that plagues even the finest of authors.  Here is a delightful recipe for one of her favourites....cottage bread.

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Judith Butler - Diane Arbus: Surface Tensions

Judith Butler - Diane Arbus: Surface Tensions | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it

Judith Butler on Diane Arbus: Surface Tensions.  In Artforum International, 2004, 42 (6).

Judith Robertson's insight:

I like the way Butler opens up the politics of aesthetics in Diane Arbus.  She argues that Arbus resisted the bourgeois norms that have to do with ensuring that only certain surfaces show.  It is not so much that Arbus makes spectacles of human bodies as a provocation to see what one should not see... Butler views the work as a solicitation into a realm in which the human figure is happy before the camera, no matter what.

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10 Fascinating Interviews with Maurice Sendak

10 Fascinating Interviews with Maurice Sendak | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Maurice Sendak, literature's deeply passionate curmudgeon, whose grumpiness was matched by a warm and tender spirit, left a "wild" legacy of best-selling books, beautiful illustrations, and words t...
Judith Robertson's insight:

Early in my teaching career I was a Grade One teacher.  I adored being with six year olds, and my time with them was made even more magical via the literary genius of writers like Maurice Sendak.  I remember every Friday we would have an "author's day".  It was the height of the week!  The kids and I would read, study, and then try seriously and in good faith to replicate the voices and images of great authors, like Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnston, J. M. Barrie, Frank Baum, and (best of all) Maurice Sendak. This foray into literary theory and aesthetics was a special time for my students and me, a privileged and blessed time of inspiration and creativity.  I loved telling my students the story of how Sendak started his writing and illustrating career as a six-year-old by experimenting with words and images by drawing on his parents' dining room table...and they didn't murder him...although surely a great rumpus was begun.

 

Miss you, Maurice Sendak.  I cherish the memories of teaching with you!

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TS Eliot's widow's art collection to be auctioned for charity

TS Eliot's widow's art collection to be auctioned for charity | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Royalties from Cats enabled Valerie Eliot to buy art estimated to be worth £5m by Constable, Freud and Bacon among others
Judith Robertson's insight:

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, created by T. S. Eliot during his hours of tedium working as a bank clerk, will live on, thanks to the generous bequeathment of his second wife and widow.  The late Valerie Elio's art collection is to be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Old Possum's Practical Trust...

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In Essays, Nurses Highlight Job’s Tedious Duties and Profound Implications

In Essays, Nurses Highlight Job’s Tedious Duties and Profound Implications | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
In a new anthology of essays, 21 nurses describe the often quiet work of keeping patients alive.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Like teachers, nurses tend to be a taken-for-granted lot, a mostly unexamined group of professionals who go about their work quietly, efficiently, without a lot of bravura, and whose bedside interactions can make all the difference when you are really ill.  I look forward to reading this book, including its essay by writer Thomas Schwarz, who says, “Everyone I’ve ever known, loved, kissed, sat next to on a bus, watched on TV or hated in the third grade is going to die,” Mr. Schwarz wrote. “Everyone. And I am the midwife to the next life for some.”

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Why do writers drink?

Why do writers drink? | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Does it help writers to drink? Certainly Jack Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald thought so. But, wonders Blake Morrison, are the words on the page there despite and not because of alcohol?
Judith Robertson's insight:

"Why do writers drink? Why does anyone drink? From boredom, loneliness, habit, hedonism, lack of self-confidence; as stress relief or a short-cut to euphoria; to bury the past, obliterate the present or escape the future. If Olivia Laing's entertaining book fails to come up with a simple answer, that's because there isn't one. To the literary biographer, binges and benders are a godsend – a chance to recount lurid anecdotes under the guise of earnest psychoanalytic enquiry. But for the rest of us, the words on the page are what matter. And most of them get there despite the drinking, not because of it. "Drank like a fish, wrote like an angel," would make a pleasing epitaph. "Drank like a fish, wrote like a fish" is more likely."

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A Live Conversation About 'Just Kids' by Patti Smith

A Live Conversation About 'Just Kids' by Patti Smith | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Ginia Bellafante will host a live discussion of Patti Smith’s award-winning memoir “Just Kids.” Join the conversation in the comments section on City Room.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Ginia Bellafante delivers a robust thumbs-up to Patti Smith's decidedly unnostaligc rear view glance of her life in gritty New York in the 60s with fellow artist, Mapplethorpe.  I love what Bellafante has to say about "Just Kids" (Smith's award winning memoir of friendship and artistic aspiration), and as of now, the book has just made its appearance on my "must read" list.

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The Divine Comedy by Dante, translated by Clive James – review

The Divine Comedy by Dante, translated by Clive James – review | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Clive James's translation of Dante is an impressive feat, writes Nicholas Lezard
Judith Robertson's insight:

Clive James has been decades at work in translating Dante's Inferno.  His labours receive full marks from Nicholas Lezard (The Guardian), not the least because of James' capacity to make the poem flow in English whilst keeping true to Dante's intentions.  For example, as Lezard writes,  "A greater liberty is taken when he attributes to Dante a foreknowledge of the Einsteinian concept of the space-time continuum ("just like a wheel/That spins so evenly it measures time/By space..."), but then that's forgivable as a secular translation of divine omnipotency. HHe can, on the other hand, return us to a sense of the original: when St Peter lets rip at the church in Canto 27 of Paradiso, he keeps the triple repetition of "il luogo mio" – "my place" – renders "puzza" as "muck" (could have been stronger?), and "'l perverso" as "the twisted one" (ie Satan), which I have seen elsewhere rather less forcefully translated as "the apostate".

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Rowling Book Skyrockets to Instant Hit

Rowling Book Skyrockets to Instant Hit | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Booksellers who struggled to sell a book by Robert Galbraith are now struggling to get hold of the same book, whose author was revealed to be J. K. Rowling.
Judith Robertson's insight:

If you haven't already ordered your copy, be prepared to exercise patience.  Apparently, once it became known this last weekend that JKR was the true imprimatur of The Cuckoo's Calling, demand sky-rocketed.

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‘The Examined Life,’ by Stephen Grosz

‘The Examined Life,’ by Stephen Grosz | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
“The Examined Life,” by Stephen Grosz, describes the process of psychoanalysis and how the ways people connect the past, present and future reflect their capacity to change.
Judith Robertson's insight:

This new book by psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz offers an enticing window into the humane possibilities and dialogics of psychoanalysis.  It stands as an important avenue of resistance against the numerous naysayers who misunderstand and diminish the profound insights of Freud's methods and writings.

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Alice Munro Retires

Alice Munro Retires | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
The acclaimed short-story writer says she’s putting down her pen.
Judith Robertson's insight:

I love Alice Munro, who represents to me someone who has reached the pinnacle of short story (and other) writing.  Her talent is prodigious, her style razor sharp deceptive, and her characters unforgettable.  What a world of plenty she has afforded her readers, and I can wish her only well on this new--and hopefully more placid--adventure.

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Literary Tourist | » Blog Archive » Literary Tourism is about…Friendship

Literary Tourist | » Blog Archive » Literary Tourism is about…Friendship | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Judith Robertson's insight:

Sweet musings on literature, travel and friendship.

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Leonard and Virginia Woolf (WoolfLibrary) | LibraryThing

Leonard and Virginia Woolf (WoolfLibrary) | LibraryThing | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
LibraryThing catalogs your books online, easily, quickly and for free.
Judith Robertson's insight:

At long last, Virginia and Leonard's personal library is catalogued, along with annotations about the books (first editions, signed copies, marked, and so on).  I was surprised to learn that the total count of books is nearly 6000 volumes.  I would have guessed more, especially VW she inherited her father's library (Sir Leslie Stephen).  Another surprise is that the famous authors read in so many languages: Russian, Greek, Spanish, and French, among others.

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Alice Munro Says She Is Retiring

Alice Munro Says She Is Retiring | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Alice Munro, the short story writer, is retiring from the writing life.
Judith Robertson's insight:

She is the most perfect of all short story writers.  Even so, I love what she has to say to objectors of her retirement:  Go read the old ones, she says. It's all there. Happy Days, Alice Munro!

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The Sweet Spot: The Books of Summer

The Sweet Spot: The Books of Summer | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
In this week’s video, A. O. Scott, David Carr and others talk about what they will be reading this summer.
Judith Robertson's insight:

This is a sweet and funny video clip of a group of NYT journalists and book editors talking about what they hope to read this summer.  Make sure to take notes because the conversation made me want to jump in my car and head out to the closest bookstore!

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9 Weird Habits Of Famous Writers

9 Weird Habits Of Famous Writers | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it
Most of the writers I know have adopted a few quirks over time. Famous writers have their own unusual habits.
Judith Robertson's insight:

Thank you, Celia Blue, for this loveliest of odd literary visitations!

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Judith Robertson's Photos | Facebook

Judith Robertson's Photos | Facebook | Literary Imagination | Scoop.it

Painting through traveling spaces

Judith Robertson's insight:

Craig Halham, Greaveburn:

“But there was nothing. No village or town as far as her eyes could strain. Nowhere for her saviours to come from and take her to; just fields and trees and the weeping arc of the river Greave all the way to the horizon. Just like in the books, Greaveburn was all there was; building and building until streets were foundations, roofs were floors, constantly climbing away from itself. now that Abrasia saw it, her dream of escape crumbled completely like an ancient map in her fingers. The horizon was the world's edge and there was nothing beyond it but mist and falling."

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