literature

AL-gorithm

My fave project in the ITP Spring Show last night was definitely AL-gorithm by Alex Kaufmann (seemingly unlinkable). Wanting to experience language the way a computer does—as meaningless packets of information—Alex printed up 22 copies of his favorite passage of All the King’s Men and cut out all but every instance of a single letter […]

book jewelry

We interrupt your usually scheduled long, new-job-induced blog silence to bring you this breaking news: Betty Pepper’s gorgeous jewelry made from books [via Craftzine] is hella cool! More like art than jewelry, really, but what a great idea. Especially when the book is used for material (as above in her Where necklace) rather than just […]

meta-words

Wordsmith.org‘s A.Word.A.Day e-newsletter has had some awesome themes lately. First, there was words from the Irish in honor of Bloomsday, and this week they sent out five meta-words — words describing words and language — along with this great quote from John Locke: So difficult it is to show the various meanings and imperfections of […]

some words from the Irish

In honor of Bloomsday (which is today, if you haven’t been at an all-day reading of Ulysses like some people), one of the two daily definition/etymology e-newsletters I subscribe to, wordsmith.org‘s A.Word.A.Day, sent out five words from the Irish last week. They were: shebeen (shuh-BEEN): An unlicensed drinking establishment. A.Word.A.Day’s brief etymology: From Irish sibin, […]

selling books with beer

Remember how irked I was when slate called kenspeckle a pretentious $10 word? Well, I’m pleased to announce that kenspeckle’s found a splendid second opinion from Stuart Kelly of Telegraph: “‘Kenspeckle’ is a lovely Scottish word, meaning conspicuous, prominent and familiar…” Damn straight. Somehow my new pal Stuart segues this opening into a writeup of […]

Mary McCarthy’s NYC

Last week I received [via Sean] the joyous news that, thanks to embeddable Google Maps, no one ever need much around in javascript and the Maps API again to create their own personalized and awesome maps viewable in the comfort of their own website. To celebrate this time-saving innovation, I immediate spent somewhere in the […]

OuMyPo

If you thought my OuLiPo love was a little kooky, just wait ’till you check out OuMyPo [thanks, Sean!]. That’s short for “Ouvroir de MySpace Potentielle,” which means exactly what you think it means: Workshop of Potential MySpace. OuMyPo “seeks to uncover new MySpace structures, patterns and behaviors,” such as: the “F+7” method: Replace every […]

lolOULIPO and some OULIPO linkage

Yes, I might be the biggest nerd alive. (And, yes, I know, I’m late and the LOL backlash has begun.) But after stumbling across those loltheorists, I couldn’t help but think, don’t the non-theoretical writers who provided the material that inspired all that literary theory to begin with deserve as much LOL love as their […]

LibraryThing doesn’t want someone like me as a member

After swearing (with horrible punctuation, no less) that I was far too cool and/or busy actually reading my books to have any use for bookish social networks, I realized last weekend that the one thing missing from my blog—and thus, my life!—was a “currently reading” widget, and perhaps even a list of five or so […]

constraints as a path to freedom

This fascinating lecture on the paradox of choice [via video sift] by Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz (who also has a book on the matter) is filled with hilarious insights into the intense neuroses and perfectionism sprouting from the explosion of choices in our culture, like: “With 100 different kinds of jeans on display, there is […]