I’m still going to need a few days to process this year’s ALTA conference before I write something more substantial, but I just wanted to say that the conference went even better than expected. The panels were brilliant, David Bellos was incredible, the parties were drunken, and the conversations were stimulating. And nothing went terribly wrong!
(Well, our tattoo plans had to be delayed till this week due to unfortunate timing, but that’s not too tragic . . . We’re still getting the hyphellipses tattoos and will post pics when it happens.)
Anyway, over the next month or so, we’ll be posting videos from the conference. We taped a TON of events and panels for those who couldn’t make it, or are just curious about what goes on at ALTA. It’s going to take a little while to make this happen though, but we will get them up eventually.
In the meantime, if you attended, would you please fill out this survey about the conference? I’m very curious as to what people thought, and I’m sure the Dallas office and next year’s organizers would appreciate some feedback as well.
Over at Literary License, Gwen Dawson has started an interesting survey to look at the influence of lit blogs on book purchasing. She’s going to post the results on February 13th, so you have plenty of time to a) take the survey and b) spread the word.
I’m really interested in seeing how this turns out . . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .