Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sunday, June 21, 2009

July's Books

Yes, you read that right: books. You only have to read one or the other, but super-members will be awarded bonus points for reading both.

First, we're reading Ursula K. Le Guin's Lavinia. In the words of the publisher:
[Lavinia is a] retelling of Virgil's The Aeneid, told from a perspective that very often got lost in even the most compelling Greek myths: the female's.
Second, if you haven't read The Aeneid, what better time to hunker down with an epic poem than the summer?

Call out which one you'll be reading in the comments, so that we can ensure that we have enough people reading each.

Date to come, but we'll again be taking advantage of the weather and meeting up in Prospect Park.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pnin: Follow-up

As a follow-up to yesterday's reading of Pnin, I wanted to share novelist David Lodge's analysis of the book, extracted from the Everyman's Library edition. Lot's of insight on Nabokov's intentions, why the book feels like a collection of vignettes (it was originally serialized in the New Yorker), as well as thought-provoking ideas re: the importance of language as a means of assimilation. Fun!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

7x20x21 Is The Best Panel At BEA

UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of The New Yorker, I am happy to add a new tagline to this panel--"7x20x21 is the only panel at BEA with an open bar."

If you'll be at BEA, I hope you can stop by the panel I'm curating with my co-worker Ryan Chapman. Here's the deal:

*7 speakers * Each with 7 minutes to talk about anything they like * Accompanied by 20 PowerPoint slides * That move forward automatically every 21 seconds *

Here's the (star-studded) lineup:
Here's the details:
Friday, May 29
@BEA's Downtown Author Stage

Here's the video of our inspiration for this event, LBF's Canon Tales:

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Further proof that we are way, way ahead of the game

Well, well, well. Guess what top tier radio show heard about our book club and decided to review Collodi's Pinnocchio?

Yep, Fresh Air. Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Visions of Pinocchio

Pinocchio was written in 1880 in a serial format but in the style of a folk tale. I imagine that Carlo Coloddi would have been happy to see his creation adapted in the free way the myths and folk tales are.

As I read Pinocchio (which was always my favorite Disney movie growing up), I specifically tried to avoid imagining this:

Of course, those of you who are reading the book know that the tone is drastically different than that of the Disney movie. I avoided this film because of the reviews, but I would now be curious if any of you have seen it:

Another American retelling of Pinocchio (I think we all can agree that Spielberg and Kubrick are good flavors that don't mix, much like cotton candy and steak tartare):

Here is a more representative Italian drawing:

Mickey Rooney, anyone?

Five things to think about before book club:
1. Whether the best works of art inspire faithful or unfaithful adaptations
2. The fact that 'children's literature' was not a genre when Coloddi wrote this, and how he both tries to instruct and undercuts that instruction at the same time
3. The role of the Blue Fairy, and the feminine in general, in this boys' story
4. How the Gepetto/Pinocchio relationship is an allegory for artist/art
5. I hate to say it, but all that psychoanalytic stuff (born as wood, shaped into a puppet, only fully human by controlling impulses, and of course the nose.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grace Paley Book Club: the Duringmath

I would just like to share a picture of the food from last month's book club, or what was pretty much left after the attendees had had their fill (and had stopped yelling at me for leading the discussion poorly...just kidding! That pretty much didn't stop. My whoops.).

Here we have wine, cocktails, some of the borscht-that-ended-up-being-tasty-but-not-especially-borschty, the remains of the bagel platter (lox, whitefish salad, an assortment of cream cheeses, onion and tomato slices), and in the foreground: kugel.

Over the following week I ate ten pounds of kugel. That is all. See you in March!