“Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that’s what makes it so boring.”—Edward Gorey (via teleportal)
M:I just told Mary that I'm going to be godmother to your children. She asked if I was going to arrange to be falsely accused of murder and imprisoned for twelve years. I told her I didn't want you to die. She said I was half-assing it.
In a 2006 interview with French magazine Madame Figaro, Colin Firth was asked “Quelles sont les femmes de votre vie?” (Who are the women of your life?). Firth replied: “Ma mère, ma femme et Jane Austen” (My mother, my wife and Jane Austen)
“The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.”—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
[LIBYA, 5:34 a.m. ET, 12:34 p.m. local] Security forces in Libya have cordoned off the Fashloom area of Tripoli and are shooting anyone who moves on the streets - including those who are trying to retrieve bodies, said Mohamed Abdallah, spokesman for the National Front for the Salvation of Libya…
“We are expecting people to die today, more people than before. If anything happens to us today, we are not going to leave this place. I’m not afraid to die, I’m afraid to lose the battle, that’s why I want the media to see what’s going on. At least if we die, so many people can witness, I can protest from everywhere. Long live a free Libya. We are determined to fight till the end for our country”—
Lawyer FATHI TERBIL, critic of Muammar Gaddafi whose arrest last week touched off anti-government protests in Libya, via a live TV broadcast near a public square in Benghazi, the country’s second-largest city.
In a conversation with my mom last night about how I wanted to write my honors thesis on YA literature, she made a comment about how it would be useful to study for the marketing aspect instead of literary analysis, since YA wasn’t brilliant literature.
Now, I can understand why she would think that; in an era where the Twilight and Clique series are bestsellers, it would seem that writing for teens exists for the sole purpose of being sold to reluctant readers. But the fact is, much of the reason I am so drawn to YA is the liminality of teenage years. Authors have to appeal to people who are trying to figure out the world around them and how they fit into it. This is a very powerful theme, I think one of the most compelling, and there are a number of authors who do it very, very well.
Phillip Pullman writes brilliant literature. Avi writes brilliant literature. Markus Zusak writes brilliant literature. M.T. Anderson writes brilliant literature. Even books that don’t necessarily have “important” themes can be considered brilliant: John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, KL Going, David Levithan, Jerry Spinelli, Scott Westerfeld, Joan Bauer. Books do not have to be complexly written to be brilliant; they simply have to get the readers thinking, and questioning how those stories relate to their world.
There are a lot of people (especially librarians) who get this idea of well-written, quality literature that isn’t considered “serious” because it’s written for people who aren’t considered “adults.” But really, this is a subject I am interested in enough to want to spend my life working with it. I wouldn’t have that interest if I didn’t believe that this genre can be unspeakably affecting and, yes, brilliant.
I found this post on my dashboard, and it made me think how useful it would be if we could measure the human soul.
I read Mary Roach’s wonderful book Spook a few years ago, and in it she described a “scientific” experiment where a dying person was placed on a weighing stretcher, so that their weight was measured just as the subject died; the change was supposed to be the weight of the soul, though the change was really made by the body’s process of shutting down.
But if this was turned into true science, the abortion debate could finally be firmly settled.
On the other hand, souls (as we imagine them) are beautiful and flawless because we know so little about them; would we want to analyze something like that? I don’t know.
I am newly returned from an a cappella concert performed by one of the all-male groups on campus, and their guest group, and all-male group from King’s College in London called All the King’s Men.
The two put on wonderful skits and whatnot of Brits vs. Americans; the best was absolutely when they faced off, the King’s Men yelled “TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION,” to which the Hangovers responded, “DUMP THE TEA” and threw teabags into the audience.
Also, to break a huddle, the King’s Men shouted “JOLLY GOOD!”
At least two people have been killed in clashes between Libyan security forces and demonstrators in the town of Bayda, east of Benghazi, the second largest city, as activists plan major anti-government protests throughout the country on Thursday.
…Wednesday’s deaths come as hundreds of protesters have reportedly torched police outposts in the eastern city of Beyida, while chanting: “People want the end of the regime.”
At least 38 people were also injured in the clashes, including ten security officials.
“All the people of Beyida are out on the streets,” said 25-year-old Rabie al-Messrati, who said he had been arrested after spreading a call for protests on Facebook.
Inspired by popular and successful uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protesters are seeking an end to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old rule, one of the longest and most repressive leaders in the world.
Online calls of dissent have been growing rapidly over the past few days, with Facebook groups calling for “Uprising on February 17” doubling in popularity.
In the southern city of Zentan, 120km south of the capital Tripoli, hundreds of people marched through the streets and set fire to security headquarters and a police station, then set up tents in the heart of the town, as a wave of unrest spread south and westwards across the country.
Chants including “No God but Allah, Muammar is the enemy of Allah,” can be heard on videos of demonstrations uploaded to YouTube. Independent confirmation was not possible as Gaddafi’s government keeps tight control over the movements of media personnel.
“Oh! it is only a novel!"…or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.”—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
So this is extremely exciting, and sounds like everything that the Egyptian people have been working towards in the past few weeks. I just hope that this control by the military and VP really is just a temporary measure…though with the passion and the fervor the Egypt people (including the military!) have shown for freedom, it’s hard to imagine they won’t get exactly what they deserve.
This makes me so sad. I have a whole bookshelf of his stories in my bedroom, I collected them all through my childhood. The Redwall series are some of those books that I will read to my kids: simple, funny, beautiful, and always inspiring.