literature

The Fifty Shades Generator

Article: The Fifty Shades Generator

Are you a print or web designer in search of exciting placeholder text? Are you a fledgling author struggling with a sex scene? You’re in luck! The Fifty Shades Generator creates “world-class literature based on a pre-defined vocabulary” — a pre-defined vocabulary of clever, creative and totally offensive slang for genitalia and coitus culled from places like ARRSE (british ARmy Rumour SErvice) and @50shadesofshit. Below is an example Lorem Ipsum-type paragraph created by the generator, but the hilarious explanation text of the site itself is worth a read. Is there no limit to the sex-obsessed genius of the Internet?

Transplants: Rolex mentor and protégé Tracy K. Smith & Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Article: Transplants: Rolex mentor and protégé Tracy K. Smith & Hans Magnus Enzensberger

In many ways, they couldn’t be more different, a young California transplant writing poetry in Brooklyn and a titan of German thought. She is a professor at Princeton and he has made a public point of eschewing institutional life. But the year Tracy K. Smith spent with her Rolex Arts Initiative mentor Hans Magnus Enzensberger has transformed her literary life. The award-winning poet (author of collections including Life On Mars & The Body’s Question) has, under Enzensberger’s watchful eye, turned to prose and is writing a memoir.

A poem called "Promiscuous"

Article: A poem called "Promiscuous"

It’s not often that you wake up to NPR and hear Garrison Keillor saying “slut” over and over again, but today was a lucky day! His AM installment of The Writer’s Almanac, a five minute collection of poetry and literary history, concluded with the poem “Promiscuous” by William Matthews, from Search Party: Collected Poems, which is like Wheaties for feminist linguistic nerds who majored in English and keep deep-thought journals. Here’s the first half. Read the rest at Writer’s Almanac:

A digital, serialized, erotic novella for the month of August

Article: A digital, serialized, erotic novella for the month of August

On July 31st we got a press release about “29 Days of August,” a “digital novella of appetites” meant to be read throughout the month on “the social networks you already use.” Here’s the scoop:

Love letters to VS Naipaul

Article: Love letters to VS Naipaul

A few weeks ago we apprised you of the ridiculous and offensive comments made by Nobel laureate and jackass VS Naipaul — basically that all women writers are ‘sentimental’ and ‘unequal to me’. There have been some great reactions to that old-fashioned fart’s blatant sexism. The latest is writer Joanne Elizabeth Valin’s new blog, Love Letters to VS Naipaul: “On the occasion of his declaration that no woman writer is, has been, or ever could be his equal.” She’s currently collecting and curating “intelligent letters with intelligent content. Be they spiked with vitriol, awash with sentiment, amused to the point of disbelief, or simply bored with the same old argument, your love letters should both inform and entertain.” The first just went up by author Edie Meidav (whose new novel Lola, California we’ll be excerpting here in the next few weeks) and more will be added soon. We asked Valin to elaborate on the criteria for submissions that will make the cut:

Can you tell the sex of an author from a paragraph, like VS Naipaul?

Article: Can you tell the sex of an author from a paragraph, like VS Naipaul?

In an interview at the Royal Geographic Society last week, during which Nobel laureate and jackass VS Naipaul idiotically suggested that women writers are ‘sentimental’ and ‘unequal to me’, he also claimed that ‘I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not.’

100 best first lines

Article: 100 best first lines

No, I’m not referring to the best lines the Situation has used in this year’s Jersey Shore. I’m talking instead about the 100 best first lines from novels as selected by American Book Review. 1. Call me Ishmael. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) 2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession…

Slaughterhouse 90210

Article: Slaughterhouse 90210

The LA Times interviews Maris Kreizman, 31-year-old New Yorker and the brain behind the hilarious blog Slaughterhouse 90210 which marries high-brow literary quotes with pop culture television screen captures. Jacket Copy: Did you really start with just Vonnegut and “90210″? Maris Kreizman: I knew I wanted to start a blog that featured my favorite literary…

Books: Beowulf on the Beach (Part 2 of 2)

Article: Books: Beowulf on the Beach (Part 2 of 2)

Last week we did a Q&A with Jack Murnighan, author of Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature’s 50 Greatest Hits, about the sexiest stuff in classic literature. Today we’ve got the “What’s Sexy” section of his chapter on the New Testament…

Harlan Ellison: Who is He and Why Should We Care?

Article: Harlan Ellison: Who is He and Why Should We Care?

Harlan Ellison is easily agitated. You can’t really be sure of what will set him off on a tirade – but you can be sure that his reasoning will be sound.

So we will introduce him as a writer/author – and occasional hell raiser. Hopefully that cautious and broad intro will not incite a verbal attack from him. To the literati, Harlan Ellison is the author and/or editor of countless, much lauded short stories, novels, novellas and anthologies. To the couch-potato clickers of the world, Harlan Ellison matters to you because he served as creative consultant for the 1980′s version of The Twilight Zone, as conceptual consultant for Babylon 5 in the 1990′s and wrote one of the most popular episodes of Star Trek (The City on the Edge of Forever) among his vast body of television credits.

TV + literature = brilliance

Article: TV + literature = brilliance

If iconic television and solid literature got married, Slaughterhouse 90210 would be the resulting offspring.  This blog pairs up television images with memorable literary quotes.  Check out some examples below:

All Chicago's a Stage

Article: All Chicago's a Stage

If you were in Chicago last week and heard an inordinate amount of huzzah’s, to be or not to be’s, or do you bite your thumb at me’s, it’s because Mayor Daley declared last Thursday “Talk Like Shakespeare Day.” In honor of the bard’s 445th birthday, Daley invited “citizens to screw their courage to the…