A call for papers for a panel at the upcoming ACLA conference in Utrecht, July 2017


This sounds interesting. Tom Chadwick has been in touch about something he is organizing for next year’s ACLA conference at Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands. He and co-organizer Pieter Vermeulen are putting together a panel exploring the relationship between contemporary literature and the archive, and they want to hear from you! (more…)

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“It had also been my belief since I started writing fiction that science fiction is never really about the future. When science fiction is old, you can only read it as being pretty much about the moment in which it was written. But it seemed to me that the toolkit that science fiction had given me when I started working had become the toolkit of a kind of literary naturalism that could be applied to an inherently incredible present. So those three books were experimental for me in that sense.”

More at Business Insider.

Running 16 September to 2 October 2016
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Philip Seymour Hoffman

From Time Out: It’s hard to believe that Philip Seymour Hoffman is two years gone—he’s still at work in my mind. When I run across Boogie Nights or Synecdoche, New York, there’s no way I can think of him as anything but alive. Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image will be celebrating Hoffman’s sizable legacy with a selective series, “The Master,” running September 16 through October 2. Per the museum’s website, screenings will be accompanied by “guest appearances, to be announced, and clips from his other films, to showcase his astonishing versatility.” A complete list of titles has yet to be announced, but so far the picks are strong: Jack Goes Boating, The Master, The Savages, Boogie Nights, Almost Famous, Capote, Doubt, Happiness, Synecdoche, New York, Owning Mahowny, Magnolia, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, 25th Hour, The Talented Mr. Ripley, A Most Wanted Man. Those are pretty much the ones we’d choose—don’t miss Owning Mahowny, a terrific portrayal of gambling addiction and, unwittingly, the most heartbreaking performance of Hoffman’s career. [Read More]

From an interview with Men’s Journal
Is there one book that’s affected you tremendously or changed your life?

Let me suggest a book called Here Is Where We Meet. It’s by a writer called John Berger. It was pretty life-changing for me. It’s a collection of short stories; it has eight and a half short stories. They’re all based on life, but they’re all fiction. It’s the way that he handles that fictionality that really affected my writing.John Berger is quite an old man; he’s in his eighties. What he does in these stories is, he’ll write a story about someone he once knew who is now dead. He tells true stories about how he knows them or what they mean to him, but the stories are about encounters he has with them after they’ve died. Things like meeting his long-dead mother in Lisbon and going for a walk with her. It feels very diaristic and very real. The porousness of that border between what we can prove, what’s easily accessible, and what takes more face and openness — it was really interesting to me, how he handled that. He doesn’t take it from a religious point of view at all. [Read More]

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Seamus Heaney

Christopher Carroll (The Wall Street Journal) traces Seamus Heaney’s connection to Book VI of the “Aeneid”, in light of his father’s death:

“[…] Heaney’s own translation of Book VI of the “Aeneid,” which he completed in July 2013, one month before he died. It is his last published poem, a poignant rendition of Aeneas’ arrival in Italy and journey into the underworld to see his dead father. And though it is beautiful in its own right, this portion of the “Aeneid” had a special significance for Heaney—one that began in his school days in the 1950s and lasted his entire life.”

More at The Poetry Foundation.

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“Bobby Hutcherson, a vibraphonist whose improvising and composition helped to define modernity for jazz as a whole, has died. He had long struggled with emphysema. He was 75.”

More at NPR.

Beginning on 14 August 2016

blog_images_1336518756-arvopartIn August 2016, the Arvo Pärt Centre will host its sixth series of Film Nights, showing films that feature Arvo Pärt’s music. For the first time, the makers of as many as two of the films to be shown, David Trueba and Piero Messina, will be in Tallinn to talk about the background to their films and their reasons for their choice of film music.

The film evenings will open with the Soldiers of Salamina, a film from 2003 by the versatile Spanish filmmaker David Trueba, which takes the audience to the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War as seen through the eyes of a contemporary writer. The film repeatedly uses and intertwines three often-used compositions: Fratres, Spiegel im Spiegel and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten. [Read More]


This morning, I was surprised to read that Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore has been cancelled.

The Larry Wilmore Show, which had come about under Michele Ganeless’ time as Comedy Central president, and which she had described as ‘a panel of diverse voices, a panel of underrepresented voices’ that was something that wasn’t ‘being done right now,’ has just been canceled under new network president Kent Alterman. He said in a statement that it ‘hasn’t connected with [their] audiences in the way that [they] need it to.’

The timing of the cancellation is somewhat bizarre, considering the show’s excellent coverage of the ungoing American presidential election. Larry Wilmore has become a staple commentator of social justice issues and civil rights activism since The Nightly Show began, using playful monologues and group discussion to bring urgent and neglected issues to light. (more…)