Archive for the 'literature' Category

Am I the Only One Who Finds it Ironic that a Guy From a Show Called "Growing Pains" is Railing Against the Theory of Evolution?

Nearly a century and a half after the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’, the debate over evolution goes on with no end in sight.

Now former Growing Pains star turned ubber evangelical Christian Kirk Cameron is promoting an effort to give away free copies of the book, but with a 50 page introduction that lays out the creationist theory, as well as allegations that Hitler liked Darwin, Darwin was racist, and hated women. Now the video of one Romanian woman is making the rounds as she rebuts Cameron’s claims that American is under assault by atheists.

H/T: Suburban Guerrilla



This Day in History- George Orwell

On this date in 1903 Eric Blair (who would become better known throughout the world as essayist and novelist George Orwell) was born. Above is a clip from “George Orwell: A Life in pictures” in which they act out parts of his life based on his writings. Above relates to his time as a fighter in the Spanish Civil War, as well as how to prepare the ideal cup of tea.


"1984" sixty years later

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe celebrates the George Orwell’s 1949 classic 1984 . This cautionary tale of unchecked power and a totalitarian government that demands complete subordination and submission turns 60 this month.

Whether or not poor Winston understood, the totalitarians (and would-be totalitarians) of 1949 certainly did. Stalin’s Pravda blasted “Nineteen Eighty-Four’’ for its supposed “contempt for the people,’’ while the American Communist journal Masses and Mainstream, in a review titled “Maggot-of-the-Month,’’ trashed it as a “diatribe against the human race’’ and “cynical rot.’’ But in most of the free world it was acclaimed as an instant classic. “No other work of this generation,’’ declared The New York Times in its review, “has made us desire freedom more earnestly or loathe tyranny with such fullness.’’

Even now, it is hard to think of any novel that can match “Nineteen Eighty-Four’’ in its insight into the totalitarian mindset. Orwell captured so much of it: The insatiable lust for power. The lies incessantly broadcast as truth. The assault on free thought as both sickness and crime. The corruption of language. The brazen rewriting of history. The use of technology to make privacy impossible. The repression of sexuality. Above all, the zealous crushing of individual identity and liberty. “If you want a picture of the future,’’ O’Brien tells Winston during his interrogation and torture, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.’’


Mein Kampf a Secret to Success in India????

In India it seems that Mein Kampf written of course by former Nazi Dictator Adolf Hitler has recently become a best seller according to recent reports in the London Daily Telegraph. Business students seem to be big into it and see it as somewhat of a Horatio Alger type meets Donald Trump story, but of course unlike either of them Hitler oversaw the murder of six million Jews not to mention other groups of people both German and non-German as well as the enslavement of much of the globe.

Booksellers told The Daily Telegraph that while it is regarded in most countries as a ‘Nazi Bible’, in India it is considered a management guide in the mould of Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese”.

Sales of the book over the last six months topped 10,000 in New Delhi alone, according to leading stores, who said it appeared to be becoming more popular with every year.

Several said the surge in sales was due to demand from students who see it as a self-improvement and management strategy guide for aspiring business leaders, and who were happy to cite it as an inspiration.

“Students are increasingly coming in asking for it and we’re happy to sell it to them,” said Sohin Lakhani, owner of Mumbai-based Embassy books who reprints Mein Kampf every quarter and shrugs off any moral issues in publishing the book.

“They see it as a kind of success story where one man can have a vision, work out a plan on how to implement it and then successfully complete it”

Do I still believe in not banning books? Yes, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t disturbing in at least six million different ways.


Banned Books

Before I go away for the weekend, here is a list of the top ten most requested books that were requested to be pulled from the shelves. According to the American Library Association (ALA) there were 513 such requests in 2008.

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: anti-ethnic, anti-family, homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
2. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, violence
3. TTYL; TTFN; L8R, G8R (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
4. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: occult/satanism, religious viewpoint, violence
5. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
Reasons: occult/satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, violence
6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group
7. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
8. Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, by Sarah S. Brannen
Reasons: homosexuality, unsuited to age group
9. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
10.Flashcards of My Life, by Charise Mericle Harper
Reasons: sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.

One question aside from why do we still ban books? Why is nudity considered criteria for banning a book?


The Old Man and the Archieves

Various writings and materials of the American Literary Giant that were stored in the basement for decade’s of the late writer’s Cuban home, were made available to some scholars and are in the process of being digitized. Never been a big Hemingway enthusiast, this did catch my attention though.


This is Different

(H/T: Andrew Sullivan), a blog on the different daily rituals of artists (particularly those of the literary arts) and other well known figures. Check it out.