Tag Archives | Literature

Graham Greene And Other Great Authors Were British Spies

author-graham-greene-talking-with-actor-alec-guinness-on-location-for-our-man-in-havana-premium-19372174.jpegAmong the eyebrow-raising tidbits in the first authorized book on the history of the MI6 (Britain’s secret service) is the acknowledgment that the United Kingdom used some of its most celebrated authors as spies, among them Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham. The reason being that they could visit exotic places without suspicion, and write reports filled with pithy witticisms, the Guardian reports:

The authors Graham Greene, Arthur Ransome, Somerset Maugham, Compton Mackenzie and Malcolm Muggeridge, and the philosopher AJ “Freddie” Ayer, all worked for MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service admitted for the first time today . They are among the many exotic characters who agreed to spy for Britain, mainly during wartime, who appear in a the first authorized history of MI6.

Greene, Mackenzie, Muggeridge and others who have written about their secret work make it clear they were reluctant spies approached by MI6 because of their access and knowledge of exotic parts of the world.

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Interview With ‘The American Book of the Dead’ Author Henry Baum

Via Technoccult:
How much do you buy the fringe ideas that have influenced the The American Book of the Dead novels? For example, do you really think the world is in need of a mass die-off to curb over population? Baum: It's a disturbing concept and one I'm still exploring. I look at the recent mosque controversy and wonder, for instance, what would happen if there was UFO disclosure. If people think Obama's a socialist Hitler terrorist now, they might be turned into David Ickean conspiracy theorists at that point - he's a reptilian. There's just so much volatility that seems like it could end in violence. People are crazy - how do we introduce new radical ideas into the culture if a centrist like Obama is seen as a radical? I'm not advocating genocide...
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Kafka’s Last Trial

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

Elif Batuman relates a tale of eccentric heirs, Zionist claims and a court fight that Franz Kafka himself would have understood all too well, in the New York Times Magazine:

During his lifetime, Franz Kafka burned an estimated 90 percent of his work. After his death at age 41, in 1924, a letter was discovered in his desk in Prague, addressed to his friend Max Brod. “Dearest Max,” it began. “My last request: Everything I leave behind me . . . in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches and so on, to be burned unread.” Less than two months later, Brod, disregarding Kafka’s request, signed an agreement to prepare a posthumous edition of Kafka’s unpublished novels. “The Trial” came out in 1925, followed by “The Castle” (1926) and “Amerika” (1927). In 1939, carrying a suitcase stuffed with Kafka’s papers, Brod set out for Palestine on the last train to leave Prague, five minutes before the Nazis closed the Czech border.

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Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig Live Happily Ever After in New Zine

HenryGlennThe good people at Microcosm Publishing have sent me a few interesting packages lately and I’ve been sifting through the goodies picking out a few shiny treasures to share with you Disinfonauts.

The crown jewel  is an almost-too-good-to-be-true comic/zine starring buff icons Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig – as gay lovers.

When we first saw this book among Microcosm’s up-coming releases, we anticipated a kind of tongue-in-cheek fan-fiction romance in which the macho-rockers put their tongues in one another’s cheeks – oral or otherwise.

While Henry and Glenn’ wasn’t what we’d expected, we’ve fallen in love with this warm wonder of sweet insanity.

Henry and Glenn’ consists of a number of barely connected cartoons, comic strips and journal entries created by the Igloo Tornado art collective. Rollins is clearly “The Man” in their relationship and some of the book’s best bits find Danzig decked out in various accoutrements, inquiring whether a given get-up makes “my butt look fat?”.Read the rest

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Get Entangled With Graham Hancock

graham_fullface_500

Were our Stone Age ancestors stoned? Do we have alien DNA? Can a plant allow us to see dead people? These are questions Hancock addresses in his nonfiction books. From the author whose book was credited as the inspiration for the film 2012, Hancock’s first fiction novel, Entangled, continues to question the mysteries of our minds and our lost ancient past.

Graham Hancock is an international bestselling author, who has sold over five million copies of his books to readers across the world. Scottish born, Hancock graduated from Durham University in 1973, with First Class Honors in Sociology. His writing career began as a journalist for several English newspapers, including the Independent, Times, Guardian, as well as co-editor for the New Internationalist magazine.

His shift to books began in the early ’80s with travel-based books such as Journey Through Pakistan, Under Ethiopian Skies, Ethiopia: The Challenge of Hunger, and AIDS: The Deadly Epidemic.Read the rest

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So You Think You Write Like A Famous Author

I Write Like is a new site that analyzes your writing style to tell what famous author you write like most. The page contains a window where you can type or paste a paragraph from your personal writings and it will tell you if you write like James Joyce, or Chaucer, or Twain. The program contains numerous excerpts of famous writers’ work which it uses to analyze similarities in your own personal style. The site has had a few interesting results that prove it needs a bit more work. The Huffington Post, points out:

The funniest result so far must be what Margaret Atwood got when she tried out the tool. Atwood, whose name is one of the results that users can get, tweeted on July 13, “According to the I Write Like analysis, I write like… Ta da! Stephen King! Who knew?”

If you need a bit of inspiration, motivation, or just plain fun, I Write Like is worth checking out.… Read the rest

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J. D. Salinger – With Love and Squalor, For Esmé

1951 picture of Salinger, photographed by Maurey Garber 1953 and later donated to the University of New Hampshire. Copyright is held by Lotte Jacobi Collection, University of New Hampshire.

1951 picture of Salinger, photographed by Maurey Garber 1953 and later donated to the University of New Hampshire. Copyright is held by Lotte Jacobi Collection, University of New Hampshire.

This essay will explore the relationship of America’s most famous recluse to The CIA, George H.W. Bush and the MK-Ultra mind control program.

In his celebrated story For Esmé – With Love and Squalor, Salinger, trying to get a grip on life, most probably is talking about himself when he starts a correspondence with a thirteen-year-old British girl in 1948.  A Perfect Day for Bananafish is another story about his struggle with suicide.

“In Search of J. D. Salinger” by Ian Hamilton recounts Salinger’s experiences in the employ of United States Defense Intelligence, during and after World War II, serving with the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC).

His time was spent mainly in the interrogation of captured Nazis. However, toward the end of the war, he was involved in the denazification of Germany and the subsequent creation of the mind control program MK-Ultra.  Project Artichoke was developed under the influence of the former Nazis who worked with CIC to get the Jews to Palestine.… Read the rest

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James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ Censored Again — This Time By Apple

Definitely interesting, considering the publication history of this book (it was banned in the United States for over 10 years). Nick Spence writes on Macworld UK:

A comic book adaptation of James Joyce’s notoriously challenging epic Ulysses is now available on the App Store, but only after Apple demanded cuts.

Rob Berry and Josh Levitas launched the ambitious webcomic version of the classic novel, one of the most important works of Modernist literature, earlier this year under the title Ulysses Seen. The comic includes only cartoon nudity, which the pair had to remove before Apple would approve the app.

Ulysses Seen

“Apple has strict guidelines and a rating system to prevent ‘adult content.’ Their highest mature content rating is 17+, which doesn’t seem to be a problem since no one reads Ulysses at sixteen anyway. But their guidelines also mean no nudity whatsoever. Which is something we never planned for,” Berry told Robot 6.

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