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Posts Tagged ‘T.S. Eliot’

A Portrait of Barack Obama as a Literary Young Man

Vanity Fair has published a long excerpt from David Maraniss‘ upcoming biography, Barack Obama: The Story. The article features excerpts from letters Barack Obama wrote to an old girlfriend and passages from another girlfriend’s diary.

UPDATE: The essay caused a minor controversy this week as reporters debated character compression in Obama’s memoir. Former Kodansha America editorial executive Philip Turner cleared up all the controversy at Talking Points Memo.

In one letter from 1982, the future President shared a long analysis of T. S. Eliot‘s epic poem, “The Waste Land.” You can test your own analysis skills against the President by reading this free digital book copy of Eliot’s most famous poem. Check it out below…

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Faber & Faber Offers Online Writing Courses

Faber & Faber, the storied publisher that published T.S. EliotMarianne Moore, James Joyce, Tom Stoppard and Sylvia Plath, now offers online writing creative courses.

The publisher launched Faber Academy Online, a 28-week course that costs £2800 (about $4,400). The publisher first offered writing courses in 2008. What do you think–should publishers offer creative writing classes?

Here’s more from the release: “Chatrooms, topic forums and specially commissioned video content from Faber editors will be combined with one-to-one Skype feedback and podcasts to create a unique learning experience … The first offering to run on the new platform will be Writing A Novel, a 28-week programme based on the face-to-face course of the same name that has already brought huge success for the writers S. J. Watson and Rachel Joyce.”

Jack Kerouac Joins T.S. Eliot on Top Grossing App List

Over at eBookNewser, we have been tracking the Top Grossing iPad apps in the books category for the past two months.

So far, comic book apps and Bible apps tend to dominate the list, which isn’t a big surprise. Digital comic books benefit from the rich media afforded in an app format and the Bible is one of the top grossing books of all time in print, so why not in app form?

But over the past couple of weeks, classic literary works have also been popping up on the list. Penguin’s new app for Jack Kerouac‘s On The Road launched on Saturday and is already number 4 on the list. When T.S. Eliot‘s The Wasteland was released as an interactive app two weeks ago, the poem made Apple’s Top Grossing Apps list on its first day and has remained in the Top 10 ever since.

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T.S. Eliot Has Top Grossing App

T.S. Eliot‘s most challenging poem has topped the Apple App Store’s Top Grossing App list.

Here’s more from eBookNewser: “T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land was the top grossing iPad book app in the Apple App store this week. The app has been on the top grossing app list since its debut in iTunes last week. The classic poem knocks Marvel’s comic book app out of the No. 1 spot. The Marvel app has been dominating the list for the past few weeks.”

“These fragments I have shored against my ruins,” wrote Eliot in his famous poem–now reassembled with loads of multimedia extras. Explore the $13.99 app at this link.

Raghuram G. Rajan Wins Business Book of the Year Award

Raghuram G. Rajan won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award for his book, Fault Lines. A £30,000 prize (approximately $47,300) accompanied the award.

The ceremony and dinner took place at New York’s famous Pierre hotel. During his acceptance speech he praised his publisher, Princeton University Press. Rajan said his wife had advised him on making the book easy-to-read. He thanked his two children, joking that had it not been for them, the book would have been written much faster.

The president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Vartan Gregorian delivered the evening’s keynote address. He mentioned the Harry Potter series, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Mark Twain, and T.S. Eliot.

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Publishers Celebrate NaPoMo

npm-2005-black.jpgAs National Poetry Month enters its third week, publisher websites have held steady with the poetic content. Knopf-Doubleday’s revamped site has New York Times writer-at-large Charles McGrath reading a John Updike’s poem, “Half Moon, Small Cloud.”

The FSG poetry blog interviewed Don Selby, co-founder of Poetry Daily. The editor recalled an “unexpected onslaught of angry notes when we features Ron Padgett‘s ‘Nothing in That Drawer‘ (from his book with Godine, New & Selected Poems)—-a sonnet that repeats the title for 14 lines; offensively, it seems, to a great many devotee’s of the form.”

Finally, Norton interviewed their executive editor and poet, Jill Bialosky. Bialosky discussed her day job and her poetry-writing: “I found comfort in a few models–T. S. Eliot for one, who as you know was a publisher, and also Wallace Stevens, who worked in the insurance business and managed to write some of the most exquisite and internal poems in the language.”

School Magazine is Treasure Trove of Early Auden Poems

A collection of previously unknown poems, thought to be early examples of the work of W H Auden, have been unearthed in a school magazine, reports the Independent’s Ciar Byrne. The three poems from 1922 and 1923, which will form part of centenary celebrations for Wystan Hugh Auden at Gresham’s School next week, were discovered by John Smart, a former head of art, who chanced across them while researching the life of another literary old boy. Smart is writing a biography of John Hayward, a close friend of T S Eliot and an important critic of his work. In the course of his research, he read old copies of The Gresham, the magazine Hayward edited during his time at the school in Holt, Norfolk, where he was a pupil a couple of years before Auden.

Smart said: “None of the poems I’ve found I could claim was a great poem.” But, he added that the juxtaposition of “Evening and Night on Primrose Hill” and the more traditional “Dawn” in 1922, the year in which T S Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce‘s Ulysses were published, showed “the modern, put against the old way – two totally different styles”.

The Everyman’s Library Turns 100

everyman.gifThe Wall Street Journal’s Tom Nolan focuses attention on the centenary of the Everyman’s Library, founded in 1906 by bookbinder-turned-publisher Joseph Malaby Dent to preserve great works of literature. The books found a fan in Knopf editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta, who read them while growing up in post-colonial India. “They were cheap, they were accessible, one found them in bookstores,” said Mehta. “If you were given books as gifts, they tended to be Everyman’s…..A lot of my early reading with classics — though one didn’t even know they were classics, I mean whether it was Dumas or Jules Verne or anything else — that’s what they tended to be.”

Which is why, as competitors like the Library of America and Modern Library encroached the market and paperbacks made classics even cheaper, Everyman’s fell into the hands of UK publisher Tom Campbell in 1990 – who needed an American partner, which turned out to be Mehta. A revived line, with an initial 46 titles (Austen to Zola), was debuted by Random House UK and Knopf in the U.S. in 1991. Since then, the Everyman’s Library — with old and new incarnations celebrating a combined 100th anniversary in the year just completed — has done 500 titles and sold 12 million books.

One avowed fan is Joan Didion, whose seven volumes of non-fiction were recently collected in the Everyman’s edition WE TELL OURSELVES STORIES IN ORDER TO LIVE. “I don’t know if you remember what it was like,” the California-born writer asked recently by telephone from New York, “to first have a book in your hand, whenever it was that you first bought a book? A whole lot of [its appeal] had to do with the way it looked and felt. I remember very distinctly: Somebody gave me a merchandise award at a bookstore in Sacramento, and I bought a Modern Library of Emily Dickinson and the collected poems of T.S. Eliot. And the Eliot had a smooth yellow cover; and the Emily Dickinson had sort of a classic Modern Library cover…pink and gray and black. I mean, it was the physical appearance of these books that meant a whole lot to me, then.”