11 February 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

As I mentioned some time ago, I was invited to participate in this year’s Non-Fiction Conference sponsored and organized by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. This year’s focus was on “Quality Non-Fiction in the Digital Era,” so there were a number of presentations about new developments, the future of publishing and reading, etc.

Unlike some of the other digitally-focused conferences I’ve attended (such as TOC Frankfurt), this was less about “what’s possible” and more about “what this means.” Which was refreshing and very interesting.

The foundation did record all of the talks, and has made most (soon to be all?) available on YouTube. (I personally love all the stills . . . We all look a bit over-enthused with our hand gestures and what not.)

All of the speeches were great, and to make this even easier, here are links and quick summaries to the speeches that are available:

Sara Lloyd of Pan Macmillan gave a great overview of where we are in terms of ebooks and the digital market.

Peter Collinridge talked about Enhanced Editions and the need to connect with your audience.

Richard Nash’s speech isn’t online (yet), but he talked about the coming Age of Abundance and how economic theory provides a basis for arguing that this abundance will force prices to zero.

Jos de Mul talked about the impact of technology on human imagination from a philosophical perspective.

Harry Blom’s speech isn’t up yet either, but he talked about Springer and publishing edatabase versions of journals.

Marcus Chown discussed The Solar System his book/iPad app.

Henry Volans from Faber and Faber talked about this as well, but from a publisher’s perspective.

Ramy Habeeb gave the funniest, most entertaining speech (Ramy’s a born public speaker of the best variety) about publishing in Arabic and his company Kotoarabia.

Nicky Harman discussed the role of translators in this digital age.

Finally, I talked about reading and discovery in the Age of Screens. But I’ll talk more about that in a separate post . . . For now, I just want to encourage you to check out some of these videos. I think you’ll find them very interesting and enjoyable. (And we were all limited to 10 minutes, so they’re short.)

18 November 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Not sure how long this has been available online, but you can now download a lot of the presentations from the inaugural Tools of Change Frankfurt conference.

Lot of interesting ones, including:

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Morse, My Deaf Friend
Morse, My Deaf Friend by Miloš Djurdjević
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in _Morse, My Deaf Friend_— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .

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The Crimson Thread of Abandon
The Crimson Thread of Abandon by Terayama Shūji
Reviewed by Robert Anthony Siegel

The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .

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Life Embitters
Life Embitters by Josep Pla
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .

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The Physics of Sorrow
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Reviewed by Izidora Angel

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .

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Vano and Niko
Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .

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The Indian
The Indian by Jón Gnarr
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .

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Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories
Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women. . .

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