Of Dublin and Other Fictions

Originally posted on The Hooch: News & Events:

Contributor Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s new, lovingly-crafted chapbook of flash fictions is a must-read! Of Dublin and Other Fictions includes “Jesus of Dublin” first published in our Irish issue, Volume 33.2-3 , which received a special mention from The Best American Series.

“Nuala Ní Chonchúir does sacred and  profane, male and female, love, sex and war, body and mind, the Irish, the human and the non-human, better than almost any other writer I know. Her language is part poetry, part bawdyhouse; her short short stories will leave you gasping and reeling. She surely is an adjective by now: NíChonchúiresque, an original, unique.” Tania Hershman, author of My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent, 2012)

Introduce yourself to this important Irish writer today with Of Dublin and Other Fictions!

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2014 Lamar York Prize Winners and Finalists in Fiction and Nonfiction

Originally posted on The Hooch: News & Events:

Thank you to all entrants in the Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction for sending us your best work. This year the competition was the toughest yet! On the task of selecting favorites (always subjective, of course), we were honored to consider so many fine submissions and to hand our judges such a gratifying challenge. We encourage all of our entrants to keep writing and to keep reading literary journals like ours. All entrants receive a subscription, and we hope they are encouraged by their fellow writers. Congratulations to our winners and finalists, and special thanks to all of the writers who submitted!

2014 Lamar York Prize Winners and Finalists

Winner in Fiction
“The Cartographers,” Alexander Weinstein

Alexander Weinstein Photo

Winner in Nonfiction
“Basic Composition,” Jeremy Collins

Jeremy Collins

 

Finalists in Fiction
“Beautiful Men Die This Way,” Ryan Habermeyer
“Biggest Snake in the Woods,” John Blair
“Bristol, Boy,” Scott Winokur
“A Burial, Again,”…

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Readers’ Corner: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Originally posted on Chris Barsanti:

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote: "Folks have thought they had me pegged, because of the way I am, the way I talk. And they're always wrong."

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote: “Folks have thought they had me pegged, because of the way I am, the way I talk. And they’re always wrong.”

One more note on the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Back in 2004, he was interviewed by The Believer and the talk sprawled over beyond life and acting into things literary.

yates__paradeHoffman has played a few great figures from both sides of the literary page (Willy Loman, Truman Capote), but that’s not what gave him the credentials for this interview, it’s that he was clearly a passionate reader. Not a lot people out there these days who will stand up and shout for the dark glories of somebody like Richard Yates:

If you do any great art you’re somehow exposing a part of you. Like Richard Yates, Jesus Christ, that book, you almost don’t want to meet him. I kept feeling for the…

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Spike Jonze’s “Her” and Other Human-Computer Stories

Originally posted on Monster Maven:

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Robot:
mechanical or virtual agent, usually an electro-mechanical machine that is guided by a computer program or electronic circuitry

Cyborg: (short for cybernetic organism) being with both organic and mechanical parts

Android: robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human, especially one with a body having a flesh-like resemblance
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2013′s “Her” is a softly-spoken, gently filmed look at artificial intelligence set in a post-Macbook-empire LA. The operating system Samantha (referred to colloquially in the film as an “OS”) is voiced with great care by Scarlett Johansson. This is one of Johansson’s most engrossing performances, rivaled by her turn in 2013′s “Don Jon,” as a fake-fingernailed Jersey princess. Both Samantha and Barbara, Jonhanssen’s character in “Don Jon” are female love interests for their soul-searching, confused male counterparts. The only difference is, Samantha is a computer program designed to facilitate and enhance a human life.

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Book #24. Night

Originally posted on happylifelog:

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This is the second book on the Holocaust I taught to the advanced fiction class this semester. I was somewhat reluctant to begin Elie Wiesel’s gruesome Night right after finishing the Boy in the Striped Pajamas that shares the same background. But the memoir turned out to be a right choice after all. I guess the book more touched my heart than theirs, as far as God is concerned.

Before I let myself being genuinely impressed by the events depicted in this book, I sensed a fundamental doubt on the ‘authenticity’ of Wiesel’s narrative and also of the entire genre itself. You relive your own memory in order to produce and publish a memoir, and on what basis could I, a reader, assess the accuracy of that memories which must be as old as several decades? There are many episodes that I felt too dramatic to be true (the part about violin-playing Juliek was a good one, and…

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Historical Slang We Love from the ‘Oxford English Dictionary’

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

All hail the silver fox of dictionaries. The Oxford English Dictionary turns 130 today. The first published installment of the definitive dictionary was printed back in 1884. The OED took more than 40 years to reach completion — all 400,000 plus words and phrases in 10 volumes. One thing that makes the OED special is its inclusion of historical (and modern) slang. Endangered, archaic words need love too, so we’ve picked a few of our favorites from the OED and its family of dictionaries. Feel free to share the old-timey words you can’t live without, below.

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On Waiting

Amber Nicole Brooks:

Great story. What a wonderful request by your contest winner. I love King’s On Writing, too. I often assign sections of it to my comp classes.

Originally posted on hazyshadesofme:

Some time back I held an “appreciation”for the growing audience my blog was accumulating. I had hit 400 followers and in my euphoria I offered Stephen King’s book “On Writing” to the first person to like and comment on that particular post.

A man named Jim over at “Life Choice” won, but when I contacted him for an address, he, very generously, asked if I could please donate the book to someone who may not be able to buy it for themselves. He also asked that I name him and myself, and include the story of how the book found its home.

I was thrilled. And then…

I waited.

Why? I don’t know. Procrastination, had a headache, needed coffee, had to go buy gum.

It took me way too long a while, but with the help of a friend, I decided to gift it to our local…

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Things Librarians Look At.

Originally posted on Eleventh Stack:

Gorgeous-Librarians-2-via-Roadsidepictures-photostream-450x322

When I started as a clerk at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- East Liberty, I had no idea that being a librarian was a thing. I just needed a job. I didn’t even care about libraries!

It is totally a thing. We do things like this. And there are lists like this. Even Legos!

Here are some funny yet  informative things librarians look at (during lunch breaks of course.)

Awful Library Books

Sometimes books need to be thrown away. Sometimes a librarian can’t do it. These are the (often unintentional) hilarious results.

Pretty awful, yes?

Pretty awful, yes?

Book Porn

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Sexy pictures of all things book-related. Unlike regular porn, this will lead to DIY projects.

Book Riot

Book review websites can be so pretentious. As a voracious reader who will read anything, I love that Book Riot covers everyone from J.K. Rowling to…

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Money Expressions in James Joyce’s Ulysses

Originally posted on Biblioklept:

Ulysses_Money

From Miles L. Hanley’s Word Index to James Joyce’s Ulysses.

 

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Review: The Fight, by Norman Mailer, 1975, 234pp.

In The Fight, Normal Mailer chronicles the first Muhammad Ali – George Foreman fight, which took place in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1974. The narrative reads as a novel, Mailer speaking of himself in the third person; he cleverly and charmingly justifies this choice of perspective early in the story. Mailer spends much time exploring the new Zaire in addition to having access, at times exclusive, to Muhammad Ali at his training camp, in the dressing room, after the fight. But the book is not just about the fight or Ali and Foreman, as Mailer takes readers through months leading up to the big event.

Besides the actual bout, a great portion of the narrative chronicles the complexity of the newly named Zaire and its leader Mobutu, who has wished to bring the fight to his people for purposes of publicity and politics. The complexity of the society in the Congo, the layers of languages and tribal affiliations, the baffling gestures of posturing by the dictator, provide a provocative and fascinating backdrop to the normal players: the boxers, the trainers, the entourages. Everyone, sportswriters included, are trapped in a way, sometimes literally, in this foreign place.

Vivid scenes include cameos of George Plimpton, Don King early in his career as a boxing promoter, a discontent Hunter Thompson, among others. Mailer’s keen observations create sharp depictions. His analysis provides more questions than answers about the cultural flux of the United States as well as Africa in the early 1970s—in terms of race, race relations, and identity. Mailer does well examining his own assumptions. Especially following Ali, a spokesman at this point in his career, it is impossible for Mailer to not consider all these different versions of “blackness” he encounters. The Fight is as much about culture as it is about boxing.

Mailer’s own internal struggles with the ideas of luck and courage—his seemingly random yet inescapable necessity to will himself to swing from his hotel balcony to another, risking a deadly fall—weave other threads through the story. Courage and luck are universal concepts, but they are also hot pulses of, inextricable from, boxing.

All that really needs to be said here is that I read this book in one sitting, minus getting up for snacks. I can’t recall the last time I flew through a book like that. The Fight is a compelling account of history that illustrates why Norman Mailer is considered one of the best writers of the twentieth century. Of all the boxing-related books I have read so far, and there have been many, this is the most enjoyable, the one I would recommend first.

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