Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Haruki Murakami

Thank God It’s Monday Links

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* I have a pair of appearances in the new Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction: one the transcript of the archival research panel at the last ICFA, and the other a writeup of the Octavia E. Butler papers at the Huntington. Boing Boing liked it, so should you!

Islam and Science Fiction: An Interview with Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad.

* Deadline extended: “In More’s Footsteps: Utopia and Science Fiction.”

* There’s only 37 stories, and we tell them over and over.

* The reason for the season: China Miéville: Marxism and Halloween – Socialism 2013.

* African American Review has a special issue devoted to Samuel R. Delany.

The layoffs and program reductions will save Rider close to $2 million annually once the changes take effect next school year, the university said. The university has a $216 million operating budget and faces a current deficit of $7.6 million, a school spokesman said.

In the Midst of Union Battle, Duquesne University Just Laid Off All but One of Its English Adjuncts.

* O Adjunct! My Adjunct!

The Philosophy of Adjuncting: A Syllabus.

“This is going to be like a combination of fantasy football and which body part can you live without.”

* There is no college bubble.

Study on online charter schools: ‘It is literally as if the kid did not go to school for an entire year.’

* A Florida college will force job applicants to bid salary.

* What I Learned From Cutting 300 Pages Out Of My Epic Trilogy.

* The Secret Lives of ‘Star Wars’ Extras.

School and prison, school as prison, yes. But the most troubling possibility, I think, is school or prison. By using this locution, I don’t intend to invoke the uplift narrative that posits education as a means of avoiding criminality or, really, criminalization—a narrative that the “school-to-prison pipeline” concept has already undone. The or of my “school or prison” marks not a choice between alternatives but an identity produced through the indifferent interchangeability of functions.

* Arbitration is terrible.

The more unequal your society is, the more your laws will favor the rich.

* Haruki Murakami’s Monopoly. And why not: Selections from H.P. Lovecraft’s Brief Tenure as a Whitman’s Sampler Copywriter.

How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Revived Modern Myth-Telling. The Catholic Fantasies of Chesterton and Tolkien.

“It Follows”: Contemporary Horror and the Feminization of Labor.

53 years after his firing, college professor gets apology.

Penny booksellers are exactly the sort of weedy company that springs up in the cracks of the waste that the Internet has laid to creative industries. They aren’t a cause; they’re a small, understandable result. Penny booksellers expose the deep downside to efficiency capitalism, which is that everything, even literal garbage and rare high art, is now as easy to find and roughly as personal as a spare iPhone charging cable.

The Winner of the Latest GOP Debate Was, Hands Down, Patton Oswalt.

We must resist the market forces destroying our universities.

George Romero digs up a lost scene from Night Of The Living Dead.

* Teach the controversy: “The destruction of Alderaan was completely justified.”

* And while we’re at it: Jar Jar Binks was a trained Force user, knowing Sith collaborator, and will play a central role in The Force Awakens.

This Chart Shows How The US Military Is Responsible For Almost All The Technology In Your iPhone.

* Chimera watch: A Man is His Son’s Uncle, Thanks to a Vanished Twin.

* Crisis in the ACC.

Google, Tesla, others wait for DMV’s self-driving rules.

Bikini islanders seek US refuge as sea levels threaten homes. But it’s not all bad news! No, Climate Change Won’t Make the Persian Gulf “Uninhabitable.”

* It really depends what the meaning of “interdisciplinary” is.

* I’ll allow it, but listen, you’re on very thin ice: Wes Anderson would like to make a horror movie.

Things My Newborn Has Done That Remind Me of the Existential Horror of the Human Experience.

After 40 Years, Dungeons & Dragons Still Brings Players To The Table.

* Really now, don’t say it unless you mean it.

* Huge if true: Milwaukee County Sheriff Predicts Black Lives Matter Will Soon Join Forces with ISIS.

* Ethics 102.

* And there’s nothing sweet in life.


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November 2, 2015 at 9:00 am

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I Don’t Read, I’m a Graduate Student

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David Foster Wallace and Stephen King save me from a scandalously poor showing on this year’s New York Times 100 Notable Books. (You’re next, Murakami!)

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November 22, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Links from the Week

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* As you may have seen on Twitter, the National Council of the American Studies Association endorsed Occupy Wall Street this weekend. Political Dissent in a Time of (Economic) Crisis.

* 147 Companies Control 40 Percent Of Global Transnational Corporate Wealth.

* Lenin’s Tomb challenges Occupy Wall Street on the subjects of consensus and demands.

In order for that clique to create full consensus on a decision, minority dissenters were often subtly urged or psychologically coerced to decline to vote on a troubling issue, inasmuch as their dissent would essentially amount to a one-person veto. This practice, called “standing aside” in American consensus processes, all too often involved intimidation of the dissenters, to the point that they completely withdrew from the decision-making process, rather than make an honorable and continuing expression of their dissent by voting, even as a minority, in accordance with their views. Having withdrawn, they ceased to be political beings — so that a “decision” could be made. More than one “decision” in the Clamshell Alliance was made by pressuring dissenters into silence and, through a chain of such intimidations, “consensus” was ultimately achieved only after dissenting members nullified themselves as participants in the process.

On a more theoretical level, consensus silenced that most vital aspect of all dialogue, dissensus. The ongoing dissent, the passionate dialogue that still persists even after a minority accedes temporarily to a majority decision, was replaced in the Clamshell by dull monologues — and the uncontroverted and deadening tone of consensus. In majority decision-making, the defeated minority can resolve to overturn a decision on which they have been defeated — they are free to openly and persistently articulate reasoned and potentially persuasive disagreements. Consensus, for its part, honors no minorities, but mutes them in favor of the metaphysical “one” of the “consensus” group.

* Still more critique of Occupy Baltimore and Occupy LA.

* Peak Oil and the Great Recession.

* How the Austerity Class Rules Washington.

* Exotic animal nightmare in Zanesville, OH.

* Two from Rolling Stone: The Keystone Pipeline Revolt: Why Mass Arrests are Just the Beginning and Climate Change and the End of Australia.

* Another climate skeptic bites the dust after finally bothering to look at the evidence.

* “Nearly 400 acres of land set aside to house veterans and thousands of veterans who need a place to call home” has been leased out to business instead since the 1970s.

“In fact, according to Rosenbaum the Justice Department attorney said, ‘We don’t believe that the VA has any authority or any responsibility to provide housing.”

* David Foster Wallace, “Attempted Fax Cover Sheet.”

* “Junot Diaz To Create The Dominican Superman.”

* The “Do cell phones cause cancer?” pendulum has swung back around again. This week they don’t.

* The Guardian reviews Murakami’s 1Q84.

* Steve Jobs reviews Barack Obama: Steve Jobs Told Obama He’d Be a One Term President.

* Jon Bon Jovi opens pay-what-you-can ‘soul kitchen.’

* And Boing Boing celebrates the expired patent for LEGO.

Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 27, 2011 at 10:37 am

Tuesday Miscellany

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Tuesday Miscellany.

* Sarah Palin’s controversial proposal to create a “Department of Law” with the power to block ethics claims against the president is turning a lot of heads this morning.

* I really want to read 1Q84.

* Swine flu: now more popular than Viagra.

* Steve Zissou: scientist.

* Another That Makes Me Think Of from Ze.

* We Are Wizards, a Harry Potter fandom documentary, with appearances from Brad Neely of Wizard People Dear Reader fame. (via @austinkleon)

Between a High, Solid Wall and an Egg That Breaks Against it, I Will Always Stand on the Side of the Egg

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Please do allow me to deliver one very personal message. It is something that I always keep in mind while I am writing fiction. I have never gone so far as to write it on a piece of paper and paste it to the wall: rather, it is carved into the wall of my mind, and it goes something like this:

“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide. If there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

Haruki Murakami accepts the Jerusalem Prize in Israel. Seconding Black Garterbelt: Give this man a Nobel already.

I have only one thing I hope to convey to you today. We are all human beings, individuals transcending nationality and race and religion, fragile eggs faced with a solid wall called the System. To all appearances, we have no hope of winning. The wall is too high, too strong — and too cold. If we have any hope of victory at all, it will have to come from our believing in the utter uniqueness and irreplaceability of our own and others’ souls and from the warmth we gain by joining souls together.

Take a moment to think about this. Each of us possesses a tangible, living soul. The System has no such thing. We must not allow the System to exploit us. We must not allow the System to take on a life of its own. The System did not make us: We made the System. That is all I have to say to you.

Random Links

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A few random links of the sort that’s been crowded out by Obamania.

* Kevin Kelly is looking for evidence of a global superorganism.

* Fire > language: Humans built fires 500 thousand years before they could speak.

* Haruki Murakami: “We are living in the future now, in a kind of science fiction – 9/11 itself was kind of unreal to me, those images of planes diving into the buildings. I felt like I stepped into the wrong world.” I’ve felt that way about nearly everything since the 2000 election, to be honest.

* The Apocalypse according to Dan Clowes.

* Cosmic apocalypses at Discover.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm

A Few More

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A few more.

* Acephalous explains what it is to write a dissertation.

* Is college a waste of time for most people? Ask Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve! Better yet, read Matt “Harvard” Yglesias on the subject, whose opinions have the advantage of furthering academia as a growth industry and therefore, by extension, my job prospects.

The real answer, of course, has to do with how you define “waste,” “time,” “most people,” and “college.” In the contemporary American context, a college degree by and large is the price of admission to the middle class, and “worth it” on that basis alone—but there are other possible cultural and economic contexts, with no guarantees that ours is either optimal or permanent. College is also, again by and large, a pretty enjoyable way to spend a few years figuring out what sort of person you’re going to want to be. The latter will remain true even if the former subsides, though it does seem to me unlikely that people will be willing to shell out quite so much money just for critical thinking skills and parties on the weekend.

* The works of Philip Roth, Chuck Palahniuk, and Haruki Marukami demonstrate in the New York Times how to tell a book by its cover.

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August 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm

Ask Haruki Murakami

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Ask Haruki Murakami anything. Via Bookslut.

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July 22, 2008 at 3:11 pm

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Writer, Genius, Marathoner

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Haruki Murakami: writer, genius, marathoner.

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February 21, 2008 at 9:41 pm

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Interview with Haruki Murakami

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A rare interview with one of my favorite living writers, Haruki Murakami, translated from GQ Korea. Via MeFi.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

L: Where is your final destination, as a writer?

M: My goal is to write a book like Brothers Karamazov.

L: What aspects of that novel are you talking about? Its complex and varied characters and structure?

M: Sure. But that’s not everything. There is an entire universe contained in Brothers Karamazov. So many different facts of life, life systems, world-view, stories… these are all in that novel. There is always something to learn, no matter how many times you read it.

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February 1, 2008 at 10:47 pm

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And we’re back. A number of people asked me if my bosses at TIP made me take the blog down for the month I was teaching, and the answer is no—it was my own call, based upon the near-certainty of my teenage students reading my blog and bad things happening as a result. (Discretion is the better part of valor, etc. etc.)

In any event, we’re back, and I have nearly a month’s worth of backed-up links to upload in a single hugely massive and largely incoherent posting. So here goes nothing:

* Jaimee’s teacher and friend (and former BCR contributor) Isaac Cates has a new blog, Satisfactory Comics, as do my good friends Eric the Red and Jason Haserodt, currently about a third of the way through their 3000-mile bike trip across America.

* While I was gone Tim had a thought-provoking post up about the 9/11 generation that I wanted to gesture towards as well.

* I don’t care what sort of reviews it gets, I’m going to see The Darjeeling Limited as soon as I possibly can. The first trailer’s out.

* On the subject of Harry Potter, I feel like I regrettably missed the moment to comment on it, so I’ll just point to a slightly spoilery sentence from the Salon review that basically says it all:

As for the ending, and the strange, widespread and literarily autistic obsession with who does and doesn’t die in it, suffice to say that some sympathetic characters are killed and that everything — the configuration of the horcruxes, the true colors of Severus Snape, the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort — turns out in the only way it possibly could if you thought about it for more than two seconds.

If you’re feeling especially literarily autistic, however, J.K. has even more unnecessary epilogue for you to chew on.

* There’s also something to Megan McArdle’s take on the economics of Harry Potter, in which she argues that it’s J.K. Rowling’s failure to ever really think through the world she’s created that keeps the franchise from ever reaching the heights achieved by J.R.R. Tolkien or even C.S. Lewis.

* The State is finally coming to DVD. Toothbrush! You came back to me! And you’ve started a family.

* Joyce Carol Oates reviews Austerlitz, among other things, in the New York Review of Books, while Geoffrey O’Brien takes on the conclusion to The Sopranos.

* Here’s the full text of Alan Moore’s awesome proposal for the ultimate D.C. Comics miniseries, Twilight of the Superheroes.

* Famous Poems Rewritten as Limericks.

* The American Canon of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, Vol. II.

* They solved checkers.

* Douglas Adams, “Is There An Artifical God?”

* The Murakami Dictionary.

* Post-mortem photography, the absolute creepiest thing the Victorians were up to.

* Awesome maps (as always) from Strange Maps: China’s alleged 1418 world map and Inverted World.

* A Brief History of the Lobotomy.

* Say a prayer for Bat Boy, wherever he is: The Weekly World News has shut down.

* Carl “Tinker” West: the most influential New Jerseyan you never heard of.

* Conventional wisdom has it that people who commit suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge travel from around the globe to end their lives in San Francisco Bay, but a new study of death leaps shows that the average jumper is a 41-year-old white man from the Bay Area.

* And, last but not least, some games to waste time by, especially now that you can’t play checkers anymore: The Four Color Problem and Gravity Pods.

If you’ve actually read this far, the only suitable reward is this photo of my Phantom Fiction class, the TIPiest bunch of TIPsters who ever TIPed. You’ll note the devil horns; I taught them that.


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Michael Dirda’s review of Haruki Murakami’s After Dark has a stellar opening:

Over the past 25 years, literary fiction has increasingly disdained the strict tenets of social realism. Our finest writers are now producing what is essentially science fiction (Cormac McCarthy’s The Road), alternate history (Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union) and absurdist fantasy (the short stories of George Saunders). A hot author such as Jonathan Lethem proudly introduces the work of Philip K. Dick for the Library of America. Neil Gaiman, creator of the Sandman series, has achieved rock-star status. We are living in an age when genre fiction — whether thrillers or graphic novels, children’s books or sf — seems far more exciting and relevant than well-wrought stories of adultery in Connecticut.

Yes they do.

“Jabberwocky” in translation. Bewahre doch vor Jammerwoch! Die Zähne knirschen, Krallen kratzen! (via MeFi)

A computer simulation has demonstrated that Monet’s late abstract paintings probably reflect diminishing eyesight rather than a bold new sense of artistic experimentation.

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May 19, 2007 at 12:40 pm

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