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Video – ‘The End of Publishing’

March 24, 2010

View the video here.

I’m on a video binge right now. There are a lot of cool, appropriate videos out there for us literary inclined folks. Who’da thought?

This video is a little simplistic, but fairly interesting look into the modern world of the written word.I tend to agree with this video’s over all message; the younger generations are more interested in literature than they’re given credit for.

Hopefully interested above and beyond the likes of Twilight too.

God Save the Books, C. Harder



March 13, 2010

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Jack London Quotes

March 11, 2010

Jack London‘s To Build a Fire is one of my favorite short stories. It’s so bitter and even-handed. Of the Naturalist authors, Jack’s one of the best.

He’s got some interesting (and accurate) appraisals of life. I found some great quotes by him today, so check it out:

“I do not live for what the world thinks of me, but for what I think of myself.”

“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well”

“Life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do.”

I haven’t gotten quotes up here in a bit, so I’m happy about that. Hope everyone’s doing well. I’m trying to squeeze the last lazy juice out of my spring break melon.

God Save the Books,
C. Harder

Beats on Film – Pull my Daisy

March 10, 2010

If you haven’t heard of it, check out Pull My Daisy. In this 26:13 minute film, Kerouac and Ginsberg show a typified depiction of the Beat generation.

The film tells a story of a railway brakeman whose wife invites a bishop over for supper. However, the brakeman’s Beat-like friends crash the party, with comic results.

The movie’s form matches its content; it seems improvised and spontaneous, something that Beat literature is renowned for. Check it out, there is hardly any video footage of the famous Beats.

God Save the Books,

C. Harder

The House at Walden

March 9, 2010

Thoreau's house at Walden. Photo credit goes to Tom Brosnahan.

In my wide-eyed high school days, nothing got me going more than Throeau, Whitman and the transcendentalists. I still regard Whitman’s Leaves of Grass as a literary bible. I still certainly have an affinity for transcendentalists, so I couldn’t help but put this up.

It’s rare to see the places where writers actually worked. Especially ones predating the 20th century. Especially ones that the writer based their seminal works on. Anyway, I’m beating around the bush. Checkout Thoreau’s house at Walden.

For those of you who don’t know, Thoreau was one of the big three transcendentalist authors (Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau) who retired to a solitary pond (Walden) to reflect on the root certainties of life. His best-known work, named Walden after the pond, was set entirely in the solitude and grasp of Nature.

That’s why this house is so important. It’s the foundation for a great American classicist’s writings.

Hope everyone’s doing well. The summer weather is surely surely coming along slowly.

God Save the Books,
C. Harder

Poem of the Day – William Butler Yeats

March 9, 2010

Recently, the poems of the day have been longer. Therefore, it’s appropriate to post one that’s short and to the point. I stumbled across this wonderful short today, and had to post it.

It’s amazing what Yeats does with 6 lines. His speaker is assertive, whimsical, and disillusioned, and it results in a wonderful vignette. Also, don’t ignore the use of rhyme. It’s classy these days to dismiss rhyme as archaic, but used correctly, it’s very powerful.

A Drinking Song
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
-William Butler Yeats

God Save the Books,
C. Harder

Read this and become a Beat

March 7, 2010

The following titles are Ginsberg’s suggested reading for his class, “Literary History of the Beat Generation”. He taught this class at Naropa Institute in 1974, and strongly believed that these titles were the essential makeup of all that is Beat.

Today’s readers love to constantly speculate and project their ideas about the Beats; that’s why having a Beat writer’s legitimate record of the essentials is interesting. This list is a roadmap to all converging elements and influences of the Beat generation that no one can argue with.

No more of the “I feel Kerouac’s frustration with society’s myopia”, or that “Ginsberg’s Howl is both externally literal and figurative,” shit.

In Ginsberg’s own words the list has:
“suggestions for a quick check-out & taste of antient scriveners whose works were reflected in Beat literary style as well as specific beat pages to dig into.”

Here are links to the original photocopies:

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Here are select titles from the reading list:

William Blake
Songs of Innocence and Experience, Thel
Read more…