Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘feuds

Tuesday!

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* C21’s book on Debt is finally almost out. My essay draws on the bits of the Polygraph introduction I wrote and is about ecological debt.

* Syllabus minute: I have W.H. Auden envy.

MOOC Completion Rates: The Data.

* How neoliberal universities build their football stadiums.

Some projections showed Athletics might not be able to make payments starting in the 2030s when the debt service balloons. The debt is structured so that for the next 20 years, Cal only needs to make interest payments on the debt. The principal kicks in in the early 2030s, resulting in payments between $24 million and $37 million per year.

Look, if it’s good enough for an idea man who settled out of court on securities fraud, it’s good enough for me.

* Kent State fires adjunct who built their journalism master’s.

* Ian Morris, psychohistorian.

* What If? on The Twitter Archive of Babel. The Twitter Archive of Babel contains the true story of your life, as well as all the stories of all the lives you didn’t lead….

Proud Species Commits Suicide Rather Than Be Driven To Extinction By Humans.

* A People’s History of “Twist and Shout.”

PPP: Russ Feingold Poised For Comeback, Could Top Scott Walker Next Year.

* Michael Chabon: Dreams are useless bodily effluvia. Nicholson Baker: Dreams are all we have.

* You and I are gonna live forever: 72 is the new 30.

* Settling nerd fights of the 1990s today:  Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?

* The Star Wars Heresies: Star Wars and William Blake. Tim Morton’s essay in Green Planets has a similar impulse with respect to Avatar.

* And in even more insane mashup news: WWE Keeps Pressure On Glenn Beck.

Monday Links

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* Legend of Zelda turns 25. More here.

* Trolling the troll-watchers: The Anonymous-Westboro Baptist feud (blogged here) could be a hoax.

* Wisconsin update: Josh Marshall thinks Scott Walker isn’t winning.

* Murdoch doesn’t like Mitt.

* Sam Lipsyte won’t play any version of Monopoly that won’t allow people to cheat.

* And Sarkozy has finally admitted the French language is a hoax.

Famous Literary Feuds

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The L.A. Times has your daily dose of famous literary feuds. More at the Jacket Copy blog. Below: Gabriel García Márquez cutting a promo against Mario Vargas Llosa at Wrestlemania III.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 26, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Houellebecq vs. Mother of Houellebecq

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“Yes, Houellebecq’s a stupid little bastard, whether he’s my son or not.” Michel Houellebecq’s mother, angry at her portrayal in the press and in one of her son’s recent books, comes out swinging with a memoir of her own.

Ceccaldi’s son is Michel Houellebecq, France’s most successful contemporary writer, an award-winning, ageing enfant terrible whose nihilistic, deliberately shocking novels have seen him hailed as a genius. Philip Larkin spoke for most writers when he said: “They fuck you up, your mum and dad.” But Houellebecq’s disgust for his “old slut of a mother” goes far beyond that. When Ceccaldi abandoned him to his grandparents as a baby so she could go travelling across Africa with her husband, the rejection shaped his whole oeuvre. In his international bestseller Les Particules élémentaires – translated as Atomised – he created one of modern French literature’s vilest mothers, a selfish, sex-obsessed hippy called “Ceccaldi” who leaves her young son in an attic in his own excrement then dumps him so she can enjoy free-love life in a bizarre cult. Elsewhere, he described the “fundamental psychic flaw” his mother caused in him. He hasn’t spoken to her for 17 years. He once told an interviewer she was dead.

But now Ceccaldi has emerged from her beach-hut on the French Indian ocean island of La Réunion and today publishes her own memoir answering back. She calls her son an “evil, stupid little bastard” adding that “this individual, who alas came from my womb, is a liar, an imposter, a parasite and above all – above all – a petit arriviste ready to do absolutely anything for money and fame.”

It is France’s literary slanging-match of the decade. But as Ceccaldi tours Paris slagging off her famous son, what initially enthralled the literary world is becoming more and more painful to watch. Raging at Atomised, Ceccaldi writes: “If he is unfortunate enough to use my name in something again, I’ll cane him round the face, that’ll knock his teeth out, that’s for sure. And [his publishers] won’t stop me.” She talks about how she flew to Paris in 1998 after reading the book and wanted to smash up his publishers and then smash his face in.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 7, 2008 at 3:35 pm