flooding the zone
pgwp: rendit: Still, something must be noted. And so: A woman is missing, and her husband has been named a person of interest. A celebrity has turned out to be less perfect than advertised. Someone you follow on Twitter has a long delay in the Atlanta airport. A politician said something hypocritical; the politician’s hypocrisy was detected by a blogger; another blogger has accused the first...
robin sloan, annabel scheme
“GIVE UP. Why make music when there’s already more than anyone could ever listen to in their entire life? IT WASN’T ALWAYS THIS WAY. We used to have some time to ourselves. You could do your own thing and compete with people your own age. THAT WAS HARD ENOUGH. But then RECORDING and DIGITIZATION. Now you don’t have any time to yourself. Now you have to compete with ALL OF HISTORY.” ...
“I had come upon a treasure in Robinson Crusoe… . I spoke the words out loud, and one seemed to follow another in the utmost harmony; each one seemed complimentary to the next, and all joined in the great music of meaning.” Again the Monster, briefly convinced of his innate goodness, and again Ackroyd’s very nice combination of (incidentally, English, in a tale that...
“Even the rats fly from my approach. The fear I inspire in these creatures was the first evidence of my existence when I left this place, on the cold and howling night of my birth. I will tell you the story, sir. You should know what you yourself have made.” There has to be a name, preferably in German, for this particular postmodern device of taking a well-known classic story and...
peter ackroyd, the casebook of victor frankenstein
“I was struck by the acting and the spectacle rather than the plot. I had never before seen so large a stage or so lavish a production, and I had scarcely become habituated to the particular brightness of gas lamps. The effect of the intense shadows, the richness of the colours, and the symmetry of the composition upon the stage, combined to form an image more real than reality...
"A servant must not be chosen by the author as the... →
S.S. Van Dine’s “Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories,” from 1928.
“What was most unsettling, it dawned on Kurt, were the incidental details that Gavin included in each account, the details no one could know: the thoughts of the glue sniffers as they fell from the roof, the last words spoken by the woman to her friend, the off-the-cuff present the wife would never receive, the way the boy felt when the girl walked away, the waitress’s true feelings...
“Green Oaks is more than bricks and mortar; I’ve always known that. The voices merge and give the place its own sound. No one notices it, but they all hear it; it’s what brings them here — the low-level static hiss. If you could tune to the right frequency, the individual voices would break through and then you’d hear them all. You’d hear what they were hoping...
“It was also perhaps a self-perpetuating situation, in that the fewer customers Mr. Watkin had, the less meat he stocked; and the less meat he had, the less he looked like a butcher and the more he looked like a crazy old man who collected and displayed bits of flesh in his front window. The previous week when Kate passed by the window had contained only a single rabbit (and Kate was sure...
catherine o'flynn, what was lost
“Lisa was keenly aware of the hidden security presence in the center. Every morning she felt those tired eyes upon her and was hyperconscious of her every movement. The constant weight of surveillance made her feel suspicious, and over time this sense of guilt had developed into a little game she liked to play. She imagined that inside her bag, instead of an aged satsuma and seventeen empty...
I feel like the character of the private... →
— Michael Shannon, interviewed.
alison larkin, the english american
“There’s a natural law with secrets. It’s the same law that applies to kettles. If you block the ventilation hole, there will, eventually, be an explosion.” Larkin’s adopted Pippa finds her American birth mother, and the discovery explains to her in part why she’s so different from her reserved English family. But the nature versus nurture (or more properly...
tove jansson, the true deceiver
“A cautious, almost timid friendship began to grow between Anna and Mats. They talked only about their books. In tales where the same heroes returned in book after book, they could refer familiarly to Jack or Tom or Jane who had recently done this or that, as if gossiping in a friendly way about acquaintances. They criticized and praised and were horrified, and they discussed in detail the...
They say that money smells, it’s not true. Money is as pure as numbers....– Tove Jansson, The True Deceiver | New York Review Books 12.08.09
the ten best books of 2009 →
paperbackgirl: via the new york times book review: 1. both ways is the only way i want it, by maile meloy 2. chronic city, by jonathan lethem 3. a gate at the stairs, by lorrie moore 4. half broke horses: a true-life novel, by jeannette walls 5. a short history of women, by kate walbert 6. the age of wonder: how the romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science, by...
‘I see how you would look like a lawyer. Not like a murderer, no. But if...– Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall | Henry Holt 10.13.09
“Under his clothes, it is well known, More wears a jerkin of horsehair. He beats himself with a small scourge, of the type used by some religious orders. What lodges in his mind, Thomas Cromwell’s, is that somebody makes these instruments of daily torture. Someone combs the horsehair into coarse tufts, knots them and chops the blunt ends, knowing that their purpose is to snap off under...
hilary mantel, wolf hall
“He can’t imagine himself reading to his household; he’s not, like Thomas More, some sort of failed priest, a frustrated preacher. He never sees More — a star in another firmament, who acknowledges him with a grim nod — without wanting to ask him, what’s wrong with you? Or what’s wrong with me? Why does everything you know, everything you’ve learned,...
Inevitable versus optional →
bobulate: Haruki Murakami on the difference between inevitable versus optional: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important part of marathon running. I often...
“Perry rocked back on his heels. He was suddenly furious, even if somewhere in his heart of hearts he knew that she was right and he was mostly angry at being shown up in front of Hilda. ‘I’ve been hearing that all my life, Suzanne. I don’t buy it. Look, it just keeps getting cheaper and easier to make something like what we’ve built. To get a printer, to get goop, to...