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A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.
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Poet, novelist, and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu recently delivered a lecture about art, the Internet, and his latest book, The Poetry Lesson (Princeton University Press, 2010), at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. In this clip he talks about how Google is killing creativity and what Facebook is "really" all about.
The "mortal work of art," as Shelley Jackson called her 2003 story "Skin," each word of which has been tatooed on the skin of over two thousand volunteers, has found new form in this clip. The author recently asked her original volunteers to record a video of their word tattoo. She then edited the word videos together to create a new story for the Berkeley Art Museum.
In this clip, produced by Open Road Media, novelist Pat Conroy talks about his early years as the eldest of seven children raised in a strict military household in Beaufort, South Carolina. "I was making up stories about my life at a very early age," says the author of The Prince of Tides and The Lords of Discipline. "I was writing fiction long before I knew I was writing fiction."
In this clip by Seth Weiner, a robot re-enacts the typing of a love letter from Franz Kafka to Felize Bauer, who Kafka met on August 13, 1912. In the letter, which can be found in Letters to Felice (Schocken, 1987), Kafka "makes reference to typing the letter on a typewriter and expresses the impact the new writing device has on his train of thought."
Each year the University of Oregon Libraries hosts an Edible Book Festival featuring examples of edible artwork that "must be made from consumable components and reflect the concept of 'the book' through the use of text, form, or literary inspiration." The next Edible Book Festival will be held on March 31. Check out similar events at Duke, Xavier, the University of Puget Sound, and other schools across the country.
This especially cinematic (and dramatic) book trailer for T. C. Boyle's thirteenth novel, When the Killing's Done, published last week by Viking, was directed by Jamieson Fry. Check out the first lines of this and eleven more new and noteworthy books in this issue's Page One.
As if a pantoum isn't hard enough to write, this poet decided to make a short film to go along with it. The poetic form is composed of a series of quatrains in which the first and third lines of each stanza are repeated as the second and fourth lines of the next. The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth lines of the penultimate stanza; the second and final lines of the last stanza are the third and first lines of the first stanza. Got that? Now watch this.
On the fifth day of protests at the Wisconsin state capital in Madison, poet Kai Carlson-Wee, a student in the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin, participated in the public filibuster opposing legislation introduced by the state's governor, Scott Walker, that could strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights. On Friday the state Assembly passed the controversial bill; it still has to pass the state Senate.