Archive for Djuna Barnes

The Book Booth: More Fruition Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Fruition Edition

It seems to me to be a bit early, but our apple trees have many, many apples, all of them reddening. Our blueberries are ripening and although we don't have a bumper crop, after last year when we had so few, we have quite a few for our enjoyment, as does as our box turtle who is feasting.

So, like Pharrell Williams, we're happy. Which brings me to this story about the Happiest words in literature. The Atlantic Magazine has the 200 top happy words here for us and, of course, it includes rainbow. It also has the least happy words and currently Terrorist tops that list. I doubt that would have been the case 100 years ago.
Happy Words (And Some Not So Happy Ones)!

Many authors start their stories with working titles, that often are not the final choices for the published work. As you can tell from the following article from the Independent UK, those working titles aren't very good and the final ones much better. War and Peace published as All's Well That Ends Well wouldn't have worked for me.
Working Titles

From the literary history department we have this exploration by Yuval Taylor of the lives and friendship between Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, during the heyday of the Harlem Renaissance. Once very close to one another, the relationship ended in acrimony.
A Friendship Which Ended in Acrimony

And then there was Djuna Barnes, who seemed to have only complicated relationships until the time she became a recluse. In this article at the Awl, Timothy Beckwerth looks at what he thinks may be the first trans character in western literature, Dr. Matthew O'Connor, whose monologue is at the center of Barnes's best known work, Nightwood.
Djuna Barnes's Transexual Character

The king of complicated relationships may have been the painter Vincent Van Gogh. Perhaps when one possesses genius, nothing comes easily. Here at WorksinProgress, an excerpt from Bernadette Murphy's book Van Gogh's Ear, where she searches for the woman "Rachel" to whom Vincent's ear was given.
Where is Rachel?

From the gift department we have a couple of ideas. (You may just want these things for yourself.) During the election year it seems that every politician has to wear an American flag pin, or be considered unworthy. But for us book lovers, we can wear other pins that reflect our love of reading and BuzzFeed offers some examples.
Yes, You Need a Book Pin!

As it is still summer, most of us run around in our tee-shirts, soaking up the warmth of the sun's rays. Here Bustle offers us some nice literary tees that will make you look very smart and learned. I particularly like the Book Club shirt.
Literary Tee-Shirts

And here's hoping that your days are summery and pleasant, filled with fine books. By all means, let us know what those books are and have a great weekend.

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The Book Booth: Summer Breezes Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing.  It is written by @SeattleDan and SeattleTammy, operators of an on-line bookstore (which you can find here) , who have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: Summer Breezes Edition

When it does get hot here in our little town, it doesn't fool around. But we are close to the ocean shores and, man, those Pacific breezes feel so good. The forecast is for rain, which is not unusual for us in June. By the fourth of July, though, it will get plenty warm.

I was reminded of the breezes by this essay by Darryl Pinckney about his days as a young man, working around Manhattan as a handyman, including among his clients, the great and reclusive American writer, Djuna Barnes, author of Nightwood.
Sweet Evening Breeze

Meanwhile, Lit Hub has initiated something new in literary criticism with something called Book Marks, which grades novels, sort of like a Rotten Tomatoes for books. I don't know if these works are graded based on the curve or not. In any event, Alex Shepherd at the New Republic examines the new site and the state of the lit-crit biz these days here.
A New Site for Lit Crit

With sadness, we note the passing of Muhammad Ali from our midst. Though I am not a pugilism enthusiast, I admired the man and what he accomplished. How many of you know that he once fought Superman? It was a huge comic book event in the late 1970's and io9 has the story of its making.
Superman Fights Muhammad Ali!

The Greek poet Sappho remains a mystery to us 2500 years after her life. So it is interesting that astronomers have tried to date her Midnight Poem for her description of the night sky all those millenia ago.
Sappho's Midnight Poem - Where Were The Stars When She Wrote It?

The young adult novels from the Fairyland series by Catherynne Valente began as a crowd-funded web series in 2009. A much different world that Sappho wrote her work in, no doubt. Stephen Burt examines both the process and the books themselves for the New Yorker.
Crowd Funding Your Book - How It Worked for Catherynne Valente

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has this fascinating idea of pairing up a book with a film that is not an adaptation. They have author Lydia Millet's Sweet Lamb of Heaven paired with a showing of the Japanese horror film Ringu. Alison Nastasi at Flavorwire had some other suggestions for book/film pairings.
Book and Film Pairings

Game time! Can you guess the book title when all the vowels from the title have been removed? You've got four minutes to complete the quiz from Mental Floss.
Cn Y Gss Ths Bk Ttls? (Mental Floss Book Title Quiz - No Vwls!)

And it is time to start thinking about summer reading. Nothing like sitting outside, book in one hand, a cool libation in the other and indulge. Buzzfeed wonders what summer reading sins you engage in.
Summer Reading 'Sins'

Here's that you can start your reading outdoors this weekend while a cool breeze wafts by. And please do let us know what books you are enjoying!

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The Book Booth: An Odds and Ends Edition

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The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.

The Book Booth: An Odds and Ends Edition

It is certainly Autumn here in our little town. Storms moving in from the Pacific, as they will in November, with plenty of wind and rain to keep us entertained during the day. And excellent weather to sit down and enjoy some good books.

I can't say that I'm the biggest American Football fan around, but I follow it a little bit. So it was pleasant for me to learn that Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is not only a reader, he reads good books and recommends them to his teammates. It's like their locker room is an extended book club.
The Andrew Luck Book Club

November is Native American Heritage Month and the staff at the Indian Country Today Media Network discusses some worthwhile books here. H/T to Seattle Tammy for finding this interesting link.
Native American Heritage Month Reading

I've mentioned recently that Patti Smith has a new volume in her memoirs, M Train, published this Fall. But she is not the only rock 'n' roller to have written a memoir. Among other pop stars with books out are Chrissie Hynde, Grace Jones, John Fogerty and Elvis Costello. Here are some brief descriptions of those autobiographies and they all look intriguing.
Pop Star Autobiographies

In the realm of literature, Vladimir Nabokov's biographer, Brian Boyd, recently helped edit the recently published Letters to Vera, a collection of the letters Nabokov wrote to his wife over a fifty year period. Here Boyd ranks his top ten Nabokov novels and I pretty much agree with his list. I'm not sure Pale Fire is "better" than Ulysses, but it is certainly one the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
Nabokov: Letters to Vera

I don't think Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast quite ranks up there with Nabokov or Joyce, but I liked the novel immensely when I read it many years ago. Theroux is still writing, with his latest work Deep South having been recently published. The New York Times Book Review caught up with him recently and offers this interview with the author.
The New York Times Interviews Paul Theroux

Calling Bill O'Reilly a historian is an insult to anyone who has taken up history as a profession. So it is much fun for me to see his right-wing colleagues take him to task, as George Will recently did over O'Reilly's opus Killing Reagan.
George Will on Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan

Pretty much confirming what most of us have thought since the Pinochet coup in 1973, the Chilean government now says that the poet Pablo Neruda was probably murdered by the army there and did not die conveniently from cancer as had been reported.
Pablo Neruda's Death - by Cancer or Assassination Squad?

Yes! Authors do shop at their local independent bookstores. Mental Floss featured 21 writers who talked about their favorite places here. H/T to Lucian for finding the link.
Writers' Favorite Independent Bookstores

I'm really terrible at memorizing phone numbers. I still have to look up the last four digits of my landline. Of course, I rarely call myself. But home addresses? Really? Here's a quiz to see if you know some of these literary addresses. I actually knew a couple of them.
Do You Know These Literary Addresses?

I've never commuted to work by subway, but I have ridden the bus for many years to and from work. I always got a lot of reading done that way. One time in Seattle, while riding home, I overheard two young women discussing characters from Djuna Barnes' novel Nightwood and remember thinking to myself, only in Seattle. Bustle offers some advice here on how to judge our fellow commuters from what they are reading.
Wondering Who Your Fellow Travelers Are? Check Out What They Read.

Have a pleasant weekend with many books, and with warm drinks to keep you cozy. And please do share with us what books you are enjoying!

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