Posts tagged with ‘fiction’

The 101 Book Summer Reading List Flowchart
Teach.com created this very clever flowchart for high school students but there’s plenty in it for readers of all ages. Especially those of us who missed our assignments the first time around.
Image: Detail from Which Books Should You Read This Summer, via Teach.com.

The 101 Book Summer Reading List Flowchart

Teach.com created this very clever flowchart for high school students but there’s plenty in it for readers of all ages. Especially those of us who missed our assignments the first time around.

Image: Detail from Which Books Should You Read This Summer, via Teach.com.

In Memoriam: Facts, 360 BCE - 2012 CE →

We are saddened to learn about the passing of Facts:

To the shock of most sentient beings, Facts died Wednesday, April 18, after a long battle for relevancy with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and the Internet. Though few expected Facts to pull out of its years-long downward spiral, the official cause of death was from injuries suffered last week when Florida Republican Rep. Allen West steadfastly declared that as many as 81 of his fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives are communists.

Facts held on for several days after that assault — brought on without a scrap of evidence or reason — before expiring peacefully at its home in a high school physics book. Facts was 2,372.

"It’s very depressing," said Mary Poovey, a professor of English at New York University and author of "A History of the Modern Fact." "I think the thing Americans ought to miss most about facts is the lack of agreement that there are facts. This means we will never reach consensus about anything. Tax policies, presidential candidates. We’ll never agree on anything."

Facts was born in ancient Greece, the brainchild of famed philosopher Aristotle. Poovey said that in its youth, Facts was viewed as “universal principles that everybody agrees on” or “shared assumptions.”

Rex W. Huppke, Chicago Tribune. After years of health problems, Facts has finally died.

These sorts of gyrations and five-sense choreographies, with variations on Ed’s main themes, played out episodically between 10 p.m. and 10 a.m., when Diane said, “Let’s shower.”

In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap. After a while he shut his eyes, and Diane, wielding her fingernails now and staring at his face, helped him out with two practiced hands, one squeezing the family jewels, the other vigorous with the soap-and-warm-water treatment. It didn’t take long for the beautiful and perfect Ed King to ejaculate for the fifth time in twelve hours, while looking like Roman public-bath statuary. Then they rinsed, dried, dressed, and went to an expensive restaurant for lunch.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present you with the winning prose in Literary Review’s 2011 Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Or, as the journal also calls it, Britain’s Most Dreaded Literary Prize.

This years winner is David Guterson for the above passage in Ed King, a reimagining of the Oedipus myth in the latter half of the 20th century.

As Jonathan Beckman, a senior editor at Literary Review and bad sex judge, writes in the Financial Times:

Prudishness lies at the heart of poor sex writing. You can sense the urge to shy away from sex, to displace it with simile or hide it all together. It’s striking how frequently the view becomes cloudy or obscured. In previous years Carlos Fuentes got “lost in a leafiness like that of a forest of fleshy ferns”; Amos Oz was “like some piece of sonar equipment … anticipating and consciously avoiding every sandbank, steering clear of each underwater reef”; John Banville has “a passionate dalliance … on the edge of a precipice beyond which can be glimpsed a dark-green distance in a reeking mist and something shining out of them”.

For what it’s worth, when Guterson isn’t winning bad sex writing awards, he’s winning things like the PEN/Faulkner award for his 1995 Snow Falling on Cedars.

Somewhere there’s something hopeful in that.

H/T: Salon.