March 23, 2010

The News on Tues - Safran Foer an Awful Bore

  • Jonathan Safran Foer's 10 Rules for Writing is one of my favorite recent 2log posts.
  • Other 2log posts deal with the English language and members of the Knesset.
  • In the last two days I've read Federico García Lorca's  Blood Wedding and Robert Kirkman's Marvel Zombies - both didn't really do it for me. I had hoped Zombies would put a fresh spin on both the Marvel universe and the Zombie genre, but aside from the conceit, there was little else there. Blood Wedding turned out to be a bigger disappointment - the plot was pedestrian, the language overwrought (perhaps the translation was bad), and the overall sensation was of reading a cheap sentimentalist melodrama. Borges could have written the whole story in a single sentence.
In non-me-related news:

  • Surprisingly, works produced electronically are proving harder to archive than old fashioned ink and paper notes.
  • Andrew Tutt from The Millions discusses epigraphs, but confuses them with the very different device of fake "notes from the editor," and doesn't give too many notable examples. The epigraph for Nabokov's Pale Fire immediately comes to my mind as a particularly successful example (from Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson):
This reminds me of the ludicrous account he gave Mr. Langton, of the despicable state of a young gentleman of good family. “Sir, when I heard of him last, he was running about town shooting cats.” And then in a sort of kindly reverie, he bethought himself of his own favorite cat, and said, “But Hodge shan’t be shot: no, no, Hodge shall not be shot.”
  • The Guardian's Robert Collins argues in favor of short novels, while Darragh McManus bemoans the sorts of titles books are given these days.
  • Ilya Kaminsky and Adam Kirsch discuss the translation of poetry - is there such a thing as true translation possible? (short answer - no).
  • Charles Stross writes about how book lengths are determined in the US and the UK, with examples from his own experiences.

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