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Posts Tagged ‘Walt Whitman’

Breaking Bad & Percy Bysshe Shelley

AMC released an unusual trailer for the final episodes of Breaking Bad, as star Bryan Cranston read “Ozymandias” by the great poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think? If you want to explore more Shelley poetry and essays before the final episodes begin this weekend, we’ve collected a long list of free books by the author. Open Culture has more about the poem:

It seems perfectly in character, then, that the show’s producers would tease the final season with the ominous and dusty clip above, with Cranston reading Percy Bysshe Shelley’s sonnet “Ozymandias,” a poem about the hubris of another desert tyrant—well-known for his megalomaniacal folly—Ramesses II (also known by a transliteration of his throne name, Ozymandias).

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Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now! 

John Green Delivers Commencement Address at Butler University

The Fault in Our Stars author John Green delivered the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for Butler University’s class of 2013. To read the entire speech, head to Green’s Tumblr page.

Watch the entire speech in the video embedded above (his talk begins at the 1:01:08 mark). Here’s an excerpt:

I would just note that the default assumption is that the point of human life is to be as successful as possible, to acquire lots of fame or glory or money as defined by quantifiable metrics: number of twitter followers, or facebook friends, or dollars in one’s 401k.

This is the hero’s journey, right? The hero starts out with no money and ends up with a lot of it, or starts out an ugly duckling and becomes a beautiful swan, or starts out an awkward girl and becomes a vampire mother, or grows up an orphan living under the staircase and then becomes the wizard who saves the world. We are taught that the hero’s journey is the journey from weakness to strength. But I am here today to tell you that those stories are wrong. The real hero’s journey is the journey from strength to weakness.

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Philip K. Dick Leads Backlist Bestsellers at Library of America

For the first time in two years, the Library of America has updated its list of “all-time best-selling titles.”

Once again, Thomas Jefferson, Mark TwainAbraham LincolnWalt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau led that list of major sellers prestigious publisher. The Library of America also released a list of the top backlist bestsellers in 2012, and we’ve included the top ten below–a look at the new classics. Check it out:

Of course, the methodology of the above list favors titles that have been out longer; the most “recent” title in the top 15 was published in 1995. Readers might be interested seeing which “backlist titles” (i.e., volumes published prior to 2011) sold the most copies last year, in 2012.

(Via Edward Champion & Michael Orthofer)

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Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath & Allen Ginsberg Portraits in New Art Show

The National Portrait Gallery is hosting a special exhibition called “Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets.” This art show will be on view until April 28th.

Historian David C. Ward curated this exhibits. You can find Walt Whitman, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, Marianne Moore and Allen Ginsberg in the show.

Here’s more about the exhibition: “‘Poetic Likeness’ will provide a documentary record of modernist poetry through compelling portraits—from the museum’s collection—and include extensive quotations from each poet. Additionally, audiovisual clips will show poets reading their own works.”

Breaking Bad & Walt Whitman

The novelistic television show Breaking Bad concluded the first half of its season this weekend with an episode called “Gliding Over It All”–a title drawn from a Walt Whitman poem, “Gliding O’er all.” Here is the Whitman poem:

Gliding o’er all, through all,
Through Nature, Time, and Space,
As a ship on the waters advancing,
The voyage of the soul—not life alone,
Death, many deaths I’ll sing.

As you can see by this recap of the episode, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass figured heavily in the plot of the show, both thematically and as a plot device. If you want to read the book behind the plot, follow this link to download a free eBook copy of Leaves of Grass.

Free eBook Flowchart

What’s your favorite kind of book? We’ve created a giant flowchart to help you browse the top 50 free eBooks at Project Gutenberg.

Click the image above to see a larger version of the book map. Your choices range from Charles Dickens to Jane Austen, from Sherlock Holmes to needlework. Below, we’ve linked to all 50 free eBooks so you can start downloading right now. The books are available in all major eBook formats.

Follow this link to see an online version of the flowchart, complete with links to the the individual books.

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Lewis Carroll Reads ‘Jabberwocky’

In honor of National Poetry Month, we dug up an animated video of children’s author Lewis Carroll reading his poem, “Jabberwocky.”

The poem originated in Carroll’s novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland.

The poetryreincarnations channel on YouTube features videos where great poets are “reincarnated” through animation to read some of the most celebrated poetry of all time. Check it out and you’ll find clips with Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson.

Blogger Signs Brooklyn Bookstore Lease

storefront.jpgLast year Written Nerd book blogger Jessica Stockton Bagnulo won the Brooklyn Public Library’s annual business plan competition, getting a $15,000 grant to open a bookstore in Brooklyn. Today she signed a lease on the new space–mere blocks from the home of one GalleyCat editor.

Greenlight Bookstore is now the official tenant of 686 Fulton Street, an address located squarely in the middle of Fort Greene, the Brooklyn neighborhood where Walt Whitman used to peddle newspapers. Above is a photo of the new space.

Here’s more from the post: “The space is about 2000 square feet — just right for stocking a wide variety of books in many categories, and for hosting great author readings and other events, while still feeling cozy. The funky layout has both wide open spaces and nooks and crannies, perfect for a quiet browse, for reading a picture book with a child, or for chatting with friends and neighbors … We’re also working with a local Brooklyn architect team, Jarrett Pelletier and Frederick Tang of deFT Projects, on a plan to make this a beautiful, welcoming space that incorporates the best traditions of bookstores and Brooklyn style.”