Tag Archives | Literature

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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Get A Master’s Degree In Vampire Literature?

TrueBloodLucy Tobin writes in the Guardian:

Robert Pattinson has a lot to answer for. Ever since his lanky frame immortalised Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight character Edward Cullen with an American twang, all the vampires of the world seem to have lost their British passports. Those populating Bon Temps, the fictional town in Louisiana that is the setting for TV drama True Blood, have a southern American drawl. Meanwhile Mystic Falls, Virginia, where The Vampire Diaries is set, is a long way from the London and Whitby homes of the most famous vampire of all: Count Dracula.

But watch out, bloodsuckers: the Brits want to bring you home. Academics at the University of Hertfordshire are organising a conference that will serve ketchup-smothered food (it’s tastier than blood) from coffins, all in the name of putting British vampire fiction back on the map. It’s the brainchild of Dr Sam George, a lecturer in English literature at Hertfordshire who is fascinated by vampires and keen to use them to make literature exciting.

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Letters of Note: Jack Kerouac ‘Burroughs Has Gone Insane’

William S. BurroughsOn the always fascinating site Letters of Note:
Early 1957, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg travelled to Tangier to join William Burroughs; their mission to assemble and edit Burroughs' many fragments of work to form a 'readable' Naked Lunch manuscript. Kerouac arrived early and, during a break from socialising with Burroughs, the 'old familiar lunatic', wrote to Lucien Carr and his wife Francesca in order to update them on the project's progress. That handwritten letter — essentially a fascinating account of Burroughs' behaviour in his prime — can be seen [here]. For related material — including other correspondence, manuscript pages and photographs — I very highly recommend visiting Columbia University's online exhibition, "Naked Lunch": The First Fifty Years.
Transcript here: Dear Lucien & Cessa — Writing to you by candlelight from the mysterious Casbah — have a magnificent room overlooking the beach & the bay & the sea & can see Gibraltar — patio to sun on, room maid, $20 a month — feel great but Burroughs has gone insane as, — he keeps saying he's going to erupt into some unspeakable atrocity such as waving his dingdong at an Embassy part & such or slaughtering an Arab boy to see what his beautiful insides look like ...
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‘Catcher in the Rye’ Author J.D. Salinger Dies at 91

The Catcher In The Rye“People always think something’s all true.”
— J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 2

Hillel Italie writes on the AP Via Yahoo News:

J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose The Catcher in the Rye shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.

Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author’s son said in a statement from Salinger’s literary representative. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in the small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.

The Catcher in the Rye, with its immortal teenage protagonist, the twisted, rebellious Holden Caulfield, came out in 1951, a time of anxious, Cold War conformity and the dawn of modern adolescence. The Book-of-the-Month Club, which made Catcher a featured selection, advised that for “anyone who has ever brought up a son” the novel will be “a source of wonder and delight — and concern.”

Enraged by all the “phonies” who make “me so depressed I go crazy,” Holden soon became American literature’s most famous anti-hero since Huckleberry Finn.

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Nevermore? No Mystery Visitor to Poe’s Grave for First Time in 60 Years

You can get a more detailed description of the mystery on Wikipedia. Here's the report from the Baltimore Sun:
Poe Mystery VisitorA longtime tribute to Edgar Allan Poe may have come to an end with the absence of the "Poe Toaster," who for more than half a century has marked the poet's birthday by laying roses and a bottle of cognac at his original grave site. This is the first time since Jan. 19, 1949 that the person, whose identity is unknown, failed to arrive, said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House. "I was very annoyed," he said. "I've been doing this since 1977, and there was no indication he wasn't going to show up," Jerome said. The curator said the toaster usually arrives between midnight and 5:30 a.m. He said he arrived at Westminster Hall at 10:30 p.m., because one year the toaster left his offerings at 11:30 p.m. He sometimes kneels at the tombstone or puts his hands on it, Jerome said. "There's no elaborate ceremony — it's very short and touching," he said.
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The Red Laugh

red_laughForgive me, I realize that literature isn’t often posted on this site… However, anyone intrepid enough to actually finish reading this short story will surely agree that The Red Laugh is supremely relevant to today’s world… From Amagamatedspooks.com:

LEONID ANDREYEV (1871-1919) became the foremost literary figure in Russia between the revolution of 1905 and the communist revolution of 1917. Originally studying and training as a lawyer, he abandoned that career soon after its beginning and dedicated himself wholly to his writing. His first story,“In the Fog,” was published in 1902 and won him immediate critical recognition. His new career, that of an author, had begun.

A pessimistic, moody man (who had already tried to end his life by shooting in 1894), he soon turned this dark sentiment over to an analysis of the predicament of the existentialistic situation of mankind in a series of socially aware works that included To the Stars, Savva, King-Hunger, and Anathema.

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Books You Can Live Without

Now here’s an end of the year/decade literary debate that’s actually quite interesting, versus the morass of “best of lists”, courtesy of the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt from author David Matthews:

Things I will never, ever read:

The authors who get to stay did something the others did not — they saved me.

The biography of Willem de Kooning. Ditto the 600 pages devoted to Wittgenstein’s life and thought. Malraux’s “The Voices of Silence” will remain mute, its spine un-cracked, the book’s presence meant to imply to anyone perusing my “library” that I’m a man of serious ideas and scholarship.

Sadly, I’m too far along to absorb whatever Bertrand Russell’s history of philosophy has to teach me, so out it goes. For that matter, what with the urgency of global warming and recession and deadly flus, I might as well live in the moment, so anything with the words, “The History of…” in the title is, well, history.

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