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Friday, June 25, 2010

Vacation

I'm going to the sunny state of Florida for a week, so I will leave you with some information about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, which I will be visiting, like the nerd that I am.

Here's the official site.

Here's a fan website (yes there is a fan website for a theme park).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Updike-O-Rama

With the release of new materials in the Updike archives at Harvard, the New York Times has a flurry of stuff about the reclusive writer.

Money quote partially atken from Updike's own letters home:

"These rejections steeled Updike in his growing belief that American writers had grown infatuated with European modernists and should instead pay closer attention to their own time and place.

"'We do not need men like Proust and Joyce; men like this are a luxury, an added fillip that an abundant culture can produce only after the more basic literary need has been filled,' Updike wrote to his parents in 1951, when he was 19. 'This age needs rather men like Shakespeare, or Milton, or Pope; men who are filled with the strength of their cultures and do not transcend the limits of their age, but, working within the times, bring what is peculiar to the moment to glory. We need great artists who are willing to accept restrictions, and who love their environments with such vitality that they can produce an epic out of the Protestant ethic' — a prescient formulation of what he would later achieve in the Rabbit novels and his Pennsylvania short stories. 'Whatever the many failings of my work,' he concluded, 'let it stand as a manifesto of my love for the time in which I was born.'

You can check the articles out here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Publication!

My flash piece "MemScape, 3rd Generation" just went live over at Shine Journal. I'm so glad this story's gotten such a good reception.

You can check it out here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stephen Fry talks about art, amongst other things

British actor and comedian Stephen Fry gave a speech at the Royal Academy in London last week about art, which covers a million subjects, not least of all the role art plays in human expression, a role that language can not supplant. Here's a taste:

"While I could not be more delighted that we live in a verbal world, I do understand the pleasure in occasionally laying language aside and letting some other non-verbal part of our brains take over. For you cannot explain a work of art in words. A painter makes a painting out of paint – paint is its language. If you can define it, nail it, comprehend it in words then something is rather wrong. A work of art is precisely that which remains when you have run out of words to describe it. The works that move us most are those that have the most life and power in them when the talking stops. If an artist could have said it in words, well then they would have done. Instead they have said it in paint, or stone, or bronze, or glass or whatever medium they may have chosen. "

You can read the rest of the speech here.