Wed, 26 June 2013
Poets House is a literary center and poetry archive - a collection and meeting place in New York that invites poets and the public to join the living tradition of poetry. Free and open to the public, Poets House’s 50,000-volume poetry library is among the most comprehensive, open-stacks collections of poetry in the United States. Hosting acclaimed poetry events and workshops, Poets House not only documents the wealth and diversity of modern poetry, it stimulates public dialogue on issues of poetry in culture.
I visited Poet's House recently to speak with Program Director Stephen Motika about why a literary tourist might want stop by here. Please listen to our conversation here:
Mon, 24 June 2013
The Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl has been leading tourists into bars rich in bookish history since 1998. Inside each bar, you take a drink and listen as your actor/tour guide tells of the history of the establishment and of the great authors who have hung out, gotten drunk and written there. You’ll get recitations from relevant texts and stops at "unique sites that are literary, historical, or alcoholic in nature." Tours start off every Saturday at 2pm, beginning at the White Horse Tavern, 567 Hudson Street and 11th Street, and last for three hours. (Take the 1 train to Christopher Street; Left on w. 10th to Hudson St.; Right/North on Hudson St. to West 11th Street). Tickets are $20, $15 for students/seniors. To make a reservation call (212) 613-5796.
I caught up with owner Eric Chase at the White Horse recently to learn more about the Crawl and why literary pilgrimage for many assumes such importance.
Direct download: Greenwich_Village_Literary_Pub_Crawl_130515_003.mp3
Category:Literary Destinations -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT
Fri, 21 June 2013
Richard Minsky twirling The Philosophy of Umbrellas by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Richard Minsky is a celebrated American book artist, bookbinder and scholar who at age 13 got his first printing press. In 1968, he graduated cum laude in economics from Brooklyn College, was then awarded a fellowship at Brown University, got his Master's degree in economics, and then pursued a Ph.D. at The New School for Social Research; two years later he chucked it all for bookbinding, art and music. He studied bookbinding under master bookbinder Daniel Gibson Knowlton
In 1974, Minsky founded the Center for Book Arts in New York, an organization dedicated to interpreting the book as an art object using traditional book arts practices. I met recently with Richard and his graphic novelist partner Barbara Slate at their house in the Hudson Valley for libation and conversation. My objective was to pry artists books apart from these traditional book arts moorings. Listen to how successful I was here:
Thu, 13 June 2013
Edward Rutherfurd looking Parisien
Edward Rutherfurd was born in England, in the cathedral city of Salisbury. Educated locally, and at the universities of Cambridge, and Stanford, California, he subsequently worked in political research, bookselling and publishing. Abandoning this career in the book trade in 1983, he returned to his childhood home to write SARUM, a historical novel with a ten-thousand year storyline, set in the area around the ancient monument of Stonehenge. It was an instant international bestseller remaining 23 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. Since then he has written six more bestsellers: RUSSKA, a novel of Russia; LONDON; THE FOREST, set in England's New Forest which lies close by Sarum, and two novels which cover the story of Ireland from the time just before Saint Patrick to the twentieth century. In 2009 NEW YORK was published, and in 2013, PARIS.
Rutherfurd is the quintessential Literary Tourist. He 'walks' the cities he writes about, researches them, imagines them, and arrives at a personal understanding of them. We talk here about this process, about the importance of learning about the ordinary lives of people from the past, of writing short stories about the places you visit, and about history as reconnaissance and "finding out what happened to the last army that went there".
Wed, 12 June 2013
Without question, Friedrich Nietzsche is the go-to guy for those who want to sound smart at a cocktail party. He's a philosophical superstar, ' the grandfather of postmodernism', an inspiration to thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Sarah Kofman, and Paul de Man. Nietzsche’s popularity lies, according to PhD candidate Karl Laderoute, in his rebelliousness and bombastic style. His aphoristic writing - with its lack of fully articulated argument - spurs students to think critically, says Laderoute, to develop their own views, interpret actively, recognize implicit biases and consider how science, poetry, history, and philosophy operate and intersect.
Nietzsche's famous epistemological ‘perspectivism’ suggests that 'knowing' is simply interpretion from a limited point of view. As very finite beings, humans can only engage in a limited number of cognitive processes at once. This limitation means that we can only consider phenomena, broadly construed as anything happening in the world, in small doses and in particular ways. In other words, says Laderoute, we always examine a phenomenon from some particular perspective, in which some set of interests is at play.
Listen as we discuss the implications of Nietzche's powerful world view: