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Kingsley Amis On Writing Humor

I keep going back to this Paris Review interview with Kingsley Amis, just because it has so many good nuggets of wisdom and insight. And, yes, I just used the word “nugget.” Be thankful I didn’t say “moist nugget.”

Anyway, here’s what Amis has to say about writing humor: Read more

What’s Your Bookshelf Strategy?

Do you have a bookshelf strategy?

Like, what goes in your bookcase? And do you organize it any certain way?

Do you opt for the showcase books? Maybe hard covers you’ve never read.

Does your bookcase only represent books you’ve read?

Is it hardcover only, or is it filled with a mix of hardcover and paperback? Read more

Literary Fun With Google Translate, Part 2

Let’s have a little fun with Google Translate again.

We tried this a few months ago with mild success, so I thought I’d give it another go.

Basically, I just take famous passages from literature, then kick them through a gauntlet of 5 to 10 languages and spit them back out in English. Then we see what we’ve got.

Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s weird. Sometimes it’s fairly similar to the original.

And off we go: Read more

The Best Description Of A Hangover In Literature

Take it away, Lucky Jim. 

Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth has been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by a secret police. He felt bad.

How brilliant is that?

The description of his mouth might be my favorite part. But I also love the close. “He felt bad.” Just a perfect, perfect description.

Lucky Jim is taking me longer than I’d like, but that doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the novel. I’m enjoying it. This season is a little busier so I’m just not getting as much reading done as I want to.

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.

I’ll Have The Rejected Manuscript, Bartender

I’m shopping a book idea around at the moment, so I’ll take a strong rejected manuscript, please, on the rocks.

tomgauldcartoon

 

I’ve featured Tom Gauld on the blog before. His cartoons are awesome.

Check them out. 

Kingsley Amis: My Sex Scenes Are Kinda Lame

Here’s another clip from a great interview The Paris Review conducted with Kingsley Amis.

Amis was asked about a professor who had called his work “pornographic.” Read more

What’s Your Favorite Sci-Fi Novel?

It’s Monday Question time!

Last week, the European Space Agency managed to land a space probe on a moving comet that’s 377 millions of miles away. The probe launched from Earth ten years ago and traveled billions of miles through space before finally landing on the comet last week.

That’s some serious sci-fit stuff right there. Is this a Robert Heinlein plot? Did Bruce Willis make the trip? Did Areosmith provide some background music for the probe as it flew through space? Read more

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