Friday, April 11, 2014

#FridayReads: With My Dog Eyes by Hilda Hilst

Book list material:

A short, stunning book by a Brazilian master of the avant-garde.

Something has changed in Amos Keres, a university mathematics professor—his sentences trail off in class, he is disgusted by the sight of his wife and son, and he longs to flee the comfortable bourgeois life he finds himself a part of. Most difficult of all are his struggles to express what has happened to him, for a man more accustomed to numbers than words. He calls it "the clearcut unhoped-for," and it's a vision that will drive him to madness and, eventually, death. 

Written in a fragmented style that echoes the character's increasingly fragile hold on reality, With My Dog-Eyes is intensely vivid, summoning up Amos's childhood and young adulthood—when, like Richard Feynman, he used to bring his math books to brothels to study—and his life at the university, with its "meetings, asskissers, pointless rivalries, gratuitous resentments, jealous talk, meglomanias." 

Hilst, whose father was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has created a lacerating, and yet oddly hopeful, portrayal of a descent into hell--Amos never makes sense of the new way he sees things, but he does find an avenue of escape, retreating to his mother's house and, farther, towards the animal world. A deeply metaphysical, formally radical one-of-a-kind book from a great Brazilian writer.

HILDA HILST was born in 1930 in Jaú, Brazil. Hilst was a prolific author whose work spans many different genres, including poetry, fiction, drama and newspaper columns. Born the heiress to a coffee fortune, she abandoned Sao Paolo and promising law career in the 1960s, moved to the countryside, and built herself a house, Casa do Sol, where she lived until the end of her life with a rotating cast of friends, lovers, aspiring artists, bohemian poets, and dozens of dogs. She received many major literary prizes over the course of her career, including Brazil's highest honor, the Premio Jabuti. Her work has been translated into French, German, and Italian. She died in 2004, at the age of 73. 

ADAM MORRIS is a PhD candidate in Latin American literature at Stanford University.  An excerpt from his translation of With My Dog-Eyes won the 2012 Susan Sontag Foundation Prize for Literary Translation.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New Swoon Exhibit: Submerged Motherlands

I've been a fan of Swoon for a while and I'm delighted to share the news of her upcoming show at the Brooklyn Museum opening on Friday. Those of you not familiar will note, she is a Brooklyn-based artist, who celebrates everyday people and explores social and environmental issues with her signature paper portraits and figurative installations. She is best known for her large, intricately-cut prints wheat pasted to industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Show information


Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: aur2899)
Swoon - Boy
Swoon - Boy (Photo credit: drbooks)
Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: carnagenyc)
Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: carnagenyc)
Swoon twin death
Swoon twin death (Photo credit: mercurialn)
Swoon Detail
Swoon Detail (Photo credit: Trois Têtes (TT))
Swoon
Swoon (Photo credit: C-Monster)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Sugar is the cocaine of the food world

"People are overfed but they are also starving to death. You could be eating 10,000 calories a day but if you're not getting specific nutrients your body needs in a way it can digest and assimilate than you are starving on a nutritional basis. As long as you are starving on a nutritional basis, your body is going to stay hungry in order to get those specific nutrients. Manmade foods like bread and sugar trick your body into thinking you're getting specific nutrients so your body stays hungry for it, but your cells don't get nourished. As long as your cells don't get nourished you're starving on a cellular level."

Monday, April 07, 2014

La Cura

“I am, by calling, a dealer in words; and words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ― Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

TWOP Could've Been Flipped into a Reddit-Type Powerhouse

Last week, I learned that NBCUniversal-Owned DailyCandy and Television Without Pity Would Be Shut Down and was glad to see I wasn't the only one upset by the news.

A decade ago, I loved the Daily Candy emails. They were on point, current timely and made me feel like I was "in the know" but slowly and surely, they became ad-ridden and spammy and lost me. It was a long time coming for the newsletter I felt but Television Without Pity (TWOP) held another place in my heart.

You see, I've been a member of the forum since 2003 when an editor at Thomson Reuters where I worked at the time told me about it and I've loved it ever since discovering the in-depth, critical analyses that members would ardently post about their takes on TV Shows and other pop culture phenomena.

When I worked on the online publicity for Gwendolyn Zepeda's book, Houston, We Have a Problema, I experienced a geek swoon at the fact that she had been one of the founding writers of TWOP.

With the right sort of engagement and maintenance, I feel TWOP could've been turned into a user-generated, content and entertainment hub like Reddit and been a total win for NBCu and fans alike. What a wasted opportunity for engaging fans and measuring insights.


Friday, March 21, 2014

#FridayReads: The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo

English: Willie Perdomo, poet and publisher.
Willie Perdomo. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Papo's back - put this on your list - just take my word for it!

The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo

Through dream song and elegy, alternate takes and tempos, prizewinning poet Willie Perdomo’s third collection crackles with vitality and dynamism as it imagines the life of a percussionist, rebuilding the landscape of his apprenticeship, love, diaspora, and death. 

At the beginning of his infernal journey, Shorty Bon Bon recalls his live studio recording with a classic 1970s descarga band, sharing his recollection with an unidentified poet. This opening section is followed by a call-and-response with his greatest love, a singer named Rose, and a visit to Puerto Rico that inhabits a surreal nationalistic dreamscape, before a final jam session where Shorty recognizes his end and a trio of voices seek to converge on his elegy.

Willie Perdomo is the author of Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award, and Smoking Lovely, a winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award. His poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Bomb, and other publications. He is an Instructor of English at Phillips Exeter Academy.
 
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