‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

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Reading an introduction to The Surrealist Manifesto written by Andre Breton in 1924 I was struck by a phrase that Rainey, the editor to my Modern Literature Anthology attributes to a young Breton growing up, “his omnivorous reading habits.”

I like the idea of certain books being meat oriented (Carnivorous) and some being vegetable based (Herbivorous). It makes me reflect on which category certain authors would find themselves being placed in. Someone like William Shakespeare would be considered a carnivorous read, full of meaty content and sustenance. A writer like Albert Camus though would in my mind be herbivorous by nature. Camus is indeed filling but gently and lightly, not as weighed down by all of the meat, scraps, and offal that Shakespeare brings with his epic folio.

Maybe this is crazy, something to consider though.

Written by thebeliever07

August 30, 2009 at 2:06 pm

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I have not blogged recently because I’ve been a bit busy with work. The past few weekends have seen us selling out a fair bit, which is good for the hotel, but it also means some extremely grueling days that are quite long and exhausting. I do not mind the work but I find that when I get home most of my day is gone and I find myself sleeping. This summer has gone by fairly quickly and I’m not so sure that I’m ready for school again. Will blog shortly about something more interesting than my boredom and lack of blogging. Cheers.

Written by thebeliever07

August 18, 2009 at 3:36 pm

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I have a large collection of books and my library is constantly overflowing: onto the floor and off of the shelves. I have a pretty good memory when it comes to the books that I own and the memories associated with those books. I know that certain books are gifts from certain people and this is a pleasant thing. There are some books that go beyond a simple association with a friend or relative and this then is one of the pleasures of owning so many books and collecting them in a personal library. I’ve had people ask me why I insist on owning books and there is a very simple answer. I collect books because they are very much like family to me.

It’s amazing how I can look at my library and see certain periods of my life: that was when I was obsessed with fantasy, that was my science fiction age, that was only a few years ago when I was all about biographies, etc.

I thought I’d share one book in particular that is bound up in memory.

Dune by Frank Herbert

Sadly I do not own the actual book that is associated with this memory, as I most likely gave it away, something I tend to do as a result of my need to share passion of literature with all I meet. I must have been about 11 or 12 when my Aunt, my Massi (mah- seee) and her family took me on a trip to Yellowstone National Park. At some point on our way from Dallas to Utah we ended up at a small airport waiting for a transfer onto a smaller plane and I did not have anything to read, so my cousin said that she would let me pick any book in the airport book store. I think the cover of Dune is what caused me to pick it up.


Let’s be honest, that is an intriguing book cover and if you saw that on a rack you would pick it up and at least consider it.

I am so very glad that I picked this book up as it was my first introduction to the power of science fiction. Dune still resonates with society today (extremist faith and ideology, economic dependency on a single product, war, revolution, justice, etc.). I was unable to get my face out of the book for the rest of the trip. Anytime I see Dune in a bookstore this memory jumps right into my head and makes me smile.

Written by thebeliever07

June 21, 2009 at 8:58 am

“The strangest thing I’ve signed is a woman’s artificial leg,”

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To Marty, This bespells doom! A recent reading in Manhattan at the Strand bookstore by David Sedaris, whose most recent book is “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” may have offered a glimpse of the future. A man named Marty who had waited in the book-signing line presented his Kindle, on the back of which Mr. Sedaris, in mock horror, wrote, “This bespells doom.” (The signed Kindle was photographed, but its owner’s full name is unknown.)  CLICK FOR MORE:

To Marty, This bespells doom! A recent reading in Manhattan at the Strand bookstore by David Sedaris, whose most recent book is “When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” may have offered a glimpse of the future. A man named Marty who had waited in the book-signing line presented his Kindle, on the back of which Mr. Sedaris, in mock horror, wrote, “This bespells doom.” (The signed Kindle was photographed, but its owner’s full name is unknown.) CLICK FOR MORE

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June 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Reading Reflections

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Just started The Road by Cormac McCarthy and my first thoughts; I’m truly blown away by the style of writing (sparse and fragmented) and how McCarthy is able to place the reader alongside the two traveler protagonists. Glad I settled on this after Sag Harbor, needed something dark to get away from the happy go light summer read that was Whitehead.

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June 13, 2009 at 11:51 am


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I just updated some of the “Sites I Frequent” located on the lower right of this page and I thought I’d push a site/blog that I’ve been reading recently that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit. 

DoubleX – a spin-off site from the Double X Factor, a blog on slate.com that focuses: conversation among women—about politics, sex, and culture—that both men and women listen in on. Double X takes the Slate and XX Factor sensibility and applies it to sexual politics, fashion, parenting, health, science, sex, friendship, work-life balance, and anything else you might talk about with your friends over coffee. We tackle subjects high and low with an approach that’s unabashedly intellectual but not dry or condescending. The blog is at the heart of the site, but we also publish essays, reporting, and other features.feminism

The site is amazing in that it actively engages in intelligent conversation about culture, politics, and art and examines the ways that these issues impact people (men and women of all sexes and orientation). My only complaint is not with the site but an effect of the articles presented on the site, more often than not I find myself outraged at the idiocy of society. 

As long as you’re prepared to be shocked and dismayed at the civil injustices and trampling of rights that occurs so frequently on women and men of all sexes and orientations, it’s something worth reading and exploring. 

Recent Articles of Interest:

Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?

Sotomayor, Latino KKK?

Playboy.com Microscandal

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June 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm

With Apologies to Mr. Salinger

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J.D. Salinger sues author over ‘sequel’. 

I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Salinger’s claim: The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and says the right to create a sequel to the Catcher in the Rye or use the character Holden Caulfield belongs only to Salinger.”

I think it is pretty obvious that this is a work inspired by his that has taken a character from his literary world and transplanted it into another. The Guardian writes: In 60 Years Later – scheduled to be published in Britain this summer and in the US in the autumn – a character very much like Caulfield is a 76-year-old escapee from a retirement home identified as “Mr C”.

The novel is dedicated to Salinger, who is a character in it wondering whether to continue Caulfield’s story. 

If every artist started to protect their work in such a manner, so much of the wonderful art that we have in our world would be lost. Everyone steals and adapts and moves forward. As if Mr. Salinger was not influenced by other writers and characters from his own time. 

I have great respect for his works and for he need of privacy but this seems a bit much.


Hay Festival Blues

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One of the many reasons I wish I lived in England is because here in Canada we lack the Hay Festival.

ziaie07For those unawares:

The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts is an annual literature festival held in Hay-on-WyeWales for ten days from May to June. Devised by Peter Florence in 1988, the festival was described by Bill Clinton in 2001 as “The Woodstock of the mind”. Since its inception, the festival was held at a variety of venues around Hay until 2005 when it moved to a central location just outside of the town. The Guardianhas been the main sponsor of the festival since 2002, succeeding The Sunday Times.

The festival has expanded in recent years and now includes musical performances and film previews. A children’s festival, “Hay Fever”, runs alongside the main festival. It has also expanded internationally and sister festivals take place in Cartagena and Segovia.

The 2008 festival included: Gore VidalSalman RushdieJohn IrvingWill SelfJulian BarnesJimmy CarterJhumpa LahiriNassim Nicholas TalebIan McEwanNaomi KleinChristopher HitchensStephen FryBoris SpasskyGary KasparovHanif KureishiJames Ivoryand John Bolton.

The Hay Festival is one of 11 Welsh winners of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for 2009.  [ Courtesy of Wikipedia ]

It would be nice to have an arts festival that celebrated literature in such a way, but sadly we do not. For those who have interest though, there is non-stop coverage over at the Guardian Book Page and here at the Hay Festival Homepage

From the implications of climate change, food supply, eco-footprint, all the way to interviews with authors and their most recent works, the Hay Festival is a hodge-podge of arts, entertainment, and culture of the highest order open and available for people to explore and consume. It’s a wonderful idea to invite top thinkers, writers, artists, musicians, and allow them to interact with society. 

This is me jealous of my lack of access to such a beautiful collection of minds.

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May 27, 2009 at 7:04 pm

200 & etc…

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Reading Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon instead of Ecrites. I should probably start soon. 


200. This is my 200th posting on this blog. I have a fairly decent web following and one hopes that all of you continue to be entertained by my random musings on all things literary and some things not. Happy 200 Blog!

Written by thebeliever07

May 22, 2009 at 8:59 am

Racist Situations:

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apu_l__jackson_by_eladversario1. Two Weeks before I leave Dallas, TX. Our family is privately selling our home and I am mowing the front lawn when an old lady pulls up in a Cadillac gets out of the car and says, “Excuse me but is your boss home I’d like to inquire about the home?”

2. Pulling up to Kari’s new home after work and being asked by two people who have just exited her building, “You with Speedy’s?” [ Speedy’s Delivery, a restaurant that provides take out and underground taxi service, apparently if you’re Indian you must be a taxi driver. ]

3. Checking in lady at the hotel and making conversation. “I was just up the street and some of the motels aren’t too clean, but I guess you must be related to him eh. (guest laughs and chuckles at me).”

4. Jamaican couple walking into the front desk. Old man 55 or 60 or so looks at me and greets me by saying “Hey Salaam!” Upon leaving the hotel an hour later, “Thanks Omar!”

There are so many more but these are some of the more stand out situations that I somehow find myself in. Something about me draws the bigots and ignorant out, *sigh.

Written by thebeliever07

May 18, 2009 at 6:18 pm