More Bite Than Bark Since 2005
Monthly archive December, 2005

Paris Review’s DNA of Literature Reveals All

I’m a fan of the Paris Review. Who wouldn’t be? All those great interviews. Pretty heady stuff. Recently I noticed a newish feature, this DNA of Literature. Remarkably the Paris Review has offered up many of its early interviews with writers such as Truman Capote and William Carlos Williams online! Amazing. However, the DNA also...

People are talking about Etgar Keret

A good short story can be like a bomb going off in the middle of one’s life. It can also be, as Walter Mosley has said, like a small gem, perfectly cut to expose every facet of an idea, which is in turn illuminated by ten thousand tiny shafts of light. Either way, good fiction...

Best of

We’re being inundated with Best Books, Best Movies, Best Theatre…bla, bla, bla. I’m beginning to feel like a curmudgeon here, but perhaps I’m taking these things too seriously. For instance, I assume that if someone puts a headline like Best Books of 2005, they have actually read all of the books available in that year,...

Bloody Mutherfucking Asshole

Is anyone more cool than Martha Wainwright? Check out her single here, and oh, check out her website too. Can I just say wow. She, Fiona Apple and Kate Bush are the ladies of the moment. But Kate, please, those videos! I feel like I’m back in the 80s–and not in a good way!

Strangest Present

Hidamari no tami arrived today from a friend in San Fransisco. After much pensive interaction with this objet, I began to feel a little like King Kong poking at Fay Wray, or Anne Darrow, or… Yes, poking at the little fat body with the bobbing head and other tiny heads clutching plastic ginko leaves made...

Word finds solid footing

After years of admirable flailing, Word, Toronto’s monthly literary magazine, seems to be finding its footing. It’s a tough job with little renumeration, but someone has to do it. This issue is a sprawling 18 pages, which may be a little hopeful in terms of pulling off every month, but this goes a little way...

Katz’s Deli, LES

Happy Hanukka! Hear the blessing for the lighting of the candles here. Slideshow of Christmas Eve in the city here.

BBC plays Bach for Christmas

You have another week to take advantage of the Bach Fest. Everything you wanted to know about the composer and more. Plus amazing concerts.

Canadian Christmas Rituals

One of the stranger things I miss about Christmas in Canada is the Queen’s Christmas message. Why should this white-haired tertiary head-of-state be so moving? Every year I resist, and every year the Queen’s message slips in under the skin…and though this year’s call for religious acceptance and tolerance seems slightly more pointed, it’s hardly...

Christmas Story by Jeanette Winterson

Every time Winterson disappoints me (and lets face it, we’ve had a string of them…), I remember The Passion, Sexing The Cherry and Art Objects, and of course with all that on her side she can do no wrong… Here’s a Christmas story courtesy of The Guardian.

Happy Holidays

Christmas trees on Montague Street. Many of the tree salesmen are young men from Quebec who come to New York for the season, sleeping in their cars for the three or four weeks of the season. There’s something very appealing about the temporary nature of the structures, not to mention the creative energy that goes...

Christmas Eve Day in Chelsea

Chelsea was a ghost town, nary a dog in sight. There was one gallery, Matthew Marks, that I knew I had to catch, so it was the one I called, and yes, they said, they were open until 3. So off I went. As luck would have it (or not depending on one’s perspective), it...

King Kong & Brokeback Mountain

King KongThe only thing I remember from the 70s King Kong was the awful mixed feelings I had watching Jessica Lange writhing around in the palm of the big ape. It’s so pornographic. In this new version what made an impression on me once more was the girl in the palm. But this is no...

Check out the new Rabble book section

Rabble is good stuff, and now they have a book section! Yes, even better. Smart posts, intelligent reviews, this may be the best online window into Canada yet.

Insomniac Press rocks

Ever imaginative Insomniac Press has come up with a great idea: publish the blog musings of Canadian rock stars. They’re starting first with Jan Arden and following up next year with Trooper. This according to the Globe & Mail. How cool is that? I’m in for the Trooper book, but a little wary after hearing...

Marry Me Oprah!

Letterman infiltrates the mind of New Mexico woman. Hey, what if she’s only the first to come forward? If Letterman is speaking in complicated codes maybe there should be a talk-show host decoder not unlike the spiffy new translation program below. Hmmm. Marketing idea?

C’est le website le plus frais jamais!

A translation program that you can watch working…sort of. Mais combien futé est-il? Essayez-le pour vous-même.

Helen Farish Poetry Workshop

Ah yes, the discover-an-object exercise. A good place to start learning the craft of poetry, lets hope it leads somewhere just a little more challenging. And what is this formula people seem to have regarding poetic tone and quality? Overly reverent tones or tidy couplets do not mean good poetry. And what does she mean...

Zang Er

I’m working on a piece concerning Zang Er whom I heard last Saturday at The Bowery launching a new chapbook. She read the Chinese, Rachel Levitsky, who translated collaboratively, then read the English. A beautiful event, and gorgeous prose poems. I’ll post one shortly.

NY Times Exposes on Web Cams & Child Pornography

This is an unbelievably powerful and candid piece about webcams and pedophiles using the net. It’s enough to make you just want to unplug and never log on again… There are interviews and an extensive article.

The Ever-Evolving Book

Toronto hipster Hal Niedzviecki on the rapid internet-ization of the book, the niche market joke book, or rise of the ever-digestible, high gloss info-book. NIEDZVIECKI

Mr. Winky Chips

Madness on 2nd Avenue. Sporadic holiday posts.

Life of Pepys

Ah Pepys. Here’s a comment on Kinaston, the subject of the recent Stage Beauty about the moment when women began playing women on stage. Actually Pepys character was one of the highlights of this movie, played perfectly by one Hugh Bonneville, whom I have never had never heard of before, and haven’t since. But doesn’t...

Vanity Fair Finds Toronto

Thanks to Bookninja for pointing this out. Like the portal in Being John Malkovich, it turns out McNally Robinson, in SoHo, is a conduit for Canadian literary figures to slip into the pscyhe. Go to Toronto, they murmur. But I can relate. Having read Toronto long before arriving there, one does, upon landing on those...

Dylan Thomas

More amazements. Here you can find Dylan Thomas reading a selection of poetry, and more seasonally appropriate, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, which after all, is still amazing.