Archive for The Raven

The Book Booth: The Uprising Edition

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BookBoothWhiteRoseGermanyResistw292h204Image: White Rose Documents

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: Uprising Edition

It has been a stupefying two weeks and somehow we're still here. It has been encouraging in many ways that we've had protests on two consecutive weekends and resistance is growing. Keep up the good work folks!

George Orwell's 1984 remains on the best seller lists. In fact, the classic has now hit number one for paperback sales.
'1984' now at #1

And Michiko Kakutani argues at the New York Times why this should be. We live in the world now of "alternate facts" and where two plus two equals five.
Michiko Kakutani Tells Us Why

On the other hand, Josephine Livingstone at the New Republic argues differently. She suggest the text we actually should be looking at is Franz Kafka's The Trial.
Kafka for the Trump Era

If one needs some inspiration from the past, Dwyer Murphy has some suggestions at LitHub of memoirs from people as disparate as Huey Newton to Daniel Berrigan and take some heart that others have suffered and rebelled.
Memoirs from Others Who Have Suffered and Rebelled

I'm sure many of us have been fascinated with the BBC updating of Sherlock Holmes. I've also been enjoying the series Ripper Street, that excellent series dealing with crime in late 19th century London, specifically Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper once roamed. Oliver Harris at the Strand Magazine has some suggestions for other mysteries located there for your reading pleasure.
Crime Mysteries Set in London

If Westerns are more to your taste, Andrew Hilleman, author of the recently published novel, World, Chase Me Down, has chosen his top ten neglected titles in the genre. His suggestions include some work that does transcend genre and well worth reading.
Top 10 Westerns to Get to Know

This past Thursday marked the anniversary of both James Joyce's birthday and the publication of his magnum opus, Ulysses. Here Adam Thirwell reviews the new literary history The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyces' Ulysses for the New York Review of Books. He details why the book is still scandalous, and subversive.
Scandalous and Subversive Still: Ulysses

And speaking of anniversaries, on January 29th 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven first saw print. Alison Natasi at Flavorwire has assembled many of the dust jackets that have accompanied the book over many years.
The Raven Covers Through the Years

For those of us who like to see novelistic art transformed into a different medium, check out artist Nicholas Rougeux's poster art of words turned into constellations. Flavorwire has some examples here.
When You Wish Upon a Star: Words Turned Into Constellations

Are you a compulsive book buyer? You certainly wouldn't be alone in your obsession. The Guardian's Lorraine Berry examines the phenomenon here. There are worse things to be OCD about.
You're Walking Along a Street...You See a Book You Just Have to Buy...Why?

We do need to remember that resistance to evil regimes is a necessary historical constant. During World War II, there was a group of young German dissidents, the White Rose, which was ultimately ruthlessly wiped out, but offers us hope that we, too, can make our voices heard. Here is a link to some of their leaflets.
Resistance to Hitler: The White Rose

Keep in mind, reading can be a subversive act, an act of rebellion. So keep at it and let us know what books are inspiring you this weekend. And for a little background music, enjoy Muse's song Uprising. You'll be glad you did.

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New Poe Poem Found And Read Into Congressional Record

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Edgar Allen Poe

I am a bit old school in some areas, especially the arts. I enjoy all kinds of mediums, paint, charcoal, pastels, oils, water colors, stone. I'm especially fond of newer formats -- electronics and innovated creations like holograms and multi-dimensional light imagery. But there is one form of artistic expression where I can lose myself for hours, even days. It's plain old literature.

I read all kinds, from trashy dime story detective novels to considered works of art. I like science fiction as well as historical drama. Young adult fare to epic sweeping romances. Now I'll even let you in on a secret. I also appreciate poetry.

Yes, poetry. Whether an occasional revisit of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare or the more epic sweeps of Homer's The Iliad or The Odyssey. Narrative or rhyming, poetry means a lot to me.

Recently I heard rumor a long lost poem by Edgar Allan Poe was found and it would be read on the floor on the U.S. Congress. I had read The Raven, Annabelle Lee and others by the master of the macabre but this "new" work wasn't one of the famous -- It was called, Just The Way It Is.

I knew of Poe as such a visionary -- his horrifying, dark imagery. Leonore and The Conqueror Worm.  How excited I was when I heard that a newly discovered work by the master of macabre was going to be read aloud in the Capitol Building, I rushed to listen to it on C-Span1.

Imagine, a lost poem by Poe? Does it get much better that this? By the way, it's rumored to be his last work. Knowing that he died a mysterious death, some say madness, others poisoning, others, that he was killed to keep some secret from being revealed. He was a cryptographer. Maybe this poem would shed some light onto his final demise. Maybe you can find a clue among his last words.

It came on two pages,
It has withstood the ages.
The word "shall,'' is only 10 times mentioned,
But enough to get one's attention.
No taxes did this law raise,
To this day it continues to create much praise;
Two great religions does it claim,
The "Law of the Ten Commandments'' is its name.
A current writing, 1,990 pages long,
Has a socialist philosophy that is all wrong;
Difficult for the people to understand,
And troubling what big government doth demand.
Over 3,445 "shalls'' it does loudly shout,
New massive taxes does it proudly tout;
Written in secret by the bureaucrats,
For exclusive use of the taxacrats.
The Congressional bill called "Health Care Reform,"
Is illusionary, the authors are still ill-informed;
Government ought not take over America's health biz.
And that's just the way it is."

That's it? That piece of drivel is the missing work of one of the literary greats?

Wow. Okay, Pit and the Pendulum and The Telltale Heart it ain't. Actually it ain't even good. It's crap. But I could discount that because, well, Edgar was ill in his final years. Whatever illness he was suffering from, must have been really severe.

Wait a minute. Hold on. Oh no...

I hope you won't be too pissed off at me.

Ted Poe

This poem was written by Poe all right -- but the wrong Poe. This piece of drivel was written and delivered by House Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.).  No wonder it sucks. Rep. Poe is a Tea Party ally of Rafael Ted Cruz. I hear they're such tight BFF's that Senator Raffy Cruz took the nickname 'Ted' from him, his literary hero.

And this whole speech is about healthcare. The Affordable Care Act. Obamacare.

Okay. Now it all makes sense. Sorry if I confused you. When I heard a poem by Poe was going to be read into the official Congressional record, you could see how I could make that mistake.

Roseanne Roseannadanna

In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna, "Never mind."

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