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.

George W. Bush poem scrapped

A poem in which the first letter of each line makes up the name George W. Bush has been taken from the latest English language text in Islamabad, reports the Khaleej Times Online. Yikes. Here are the last four lines: Bracing for war, but praying for peace, Using his power so evil will cease: So...

We have Monday & Tuesday covered

Leslie Bumstead & Sina Queyras Poetry ProjectSt. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St.New York, NY Monday, 8:00pm All events are $8, $7 for students and seniors, $5 for members and begin at 8pm unless otherwise noted. The Poetry Project is located in St. Mark’s Church at the corner of 2nd Ave and 10th St in...

Flying Boys

For pleasant dreams.

An Eye on the Entertainment Weekly

Eye takes a look at lit journals. Sort of. Lit journals, the author claims “like farm journals, but without the sex appeal…are an ultra-niche phenomenon”. Really? I haven’t done the math, but considering the numbr of journals online and off, compared to the overall number of Canadian magazines, I would say it’s a pretty big...

The Danforth Review

In my ongoing effort to include All Things Canadian in my sidebar, I have been visiting and revisiting sites. I’m looking to compile a complete list, but given my schedule, it’s slow going. The Danforth Review has been on my list for quite some time, and I’ve been waiting to see how it develops. The...

Quote of the Day

Unfortunately, some experimental poets are crashing boors who haven’t changed their clothes in three weeks and think John Lennon was shot by Ted Hughes – and some mainstream poets are sherry-swilling chinless wonders who actually want to see a return to fox-hunting and Georgian Verse. –Todd Swift, who brings an unabashed “Toddness” to all things...

Our very own street artist

Yes, the shadow man haunts Smith Street with his chalk outlines. They actually look best at night, or when there are inverse shadows to contrast. And his art, simple as it is, seems to make people feel like they’ve been visited.

David O’Meara & Shane Rhodes

David O’Meara The Vicinity, Brick Books, 2003Shane Rhodes Holding Pattern, NeWest 2002; The Wireless Room NeWest 2000Two poets I am curious to watch develop. Shane Rhodes I discovered through Greenboathouse, David O’Meara, through Brick Books, who kindly sent me quite a few books when I was reading for Open Field. These two poets impressed me...

Noble Pinter

Go Pinter. A man after my heart. Not only is he a good writer, he uses his success well. Bravo. Dressed in black, bristling with controlled fury, Mr. Pinter began by explaining the almost unconscious process he uses to write his plays. They start with an image, a word, a phrase, he said; the characters...

Overheard quote of the week, or Freshmen Speak

So, maybe the human imagination isn’t as original as we want to think it is?

The Economist Features Canada

A ten page spread on the great white north seems to say much of the same. A success by any standards, Canada remains an icon of possibility and potential, and that word “potential” is something to ponder. Most humorous comment, the swipe at our lack of ambition. Unbridled economic growth has never been the agenda,...

Interlude, triptych

Movement, so much of the day in NY is about movement, even motionless all around me, movement, the men on the street with packages, digging through trash cans, delivering, climbing out of; and under subways rattling, loosening screws and bolts, what can or can’t be bolted down, even the books make their way off the...

Illness as more than metaphor

Susan Sontag’s son on her final illness in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine.

Perloff has a lot to teach us about reviewing/reading books

Marjorie Perloff continues to amaze. Here she is on Elias Canetti, here on Anna Akhmatova, and here on Apollinaire, all in Book Forum (now available on line by the way), and again in The Boston Review (more later) on new translations of Paul Celan. I’ve already posted links to her essay on Bok and Bergvall–an...

The trouble with Canadian fiction

Well, the fiction bubble burst did it? At least according to the Globe & Mail. I’m not surprised. At upwards of $30 a pop, one has to have a lot of faith in a novel to buy into it. But blaming this on 9/11 and other fanastical reasoning? Really? Look closer to home, I’d say....

Oh, God. How am I going to resist Cate Blanchett as Hedda Gabler? I’ve actually never seen a production of the Ibsen classic, and Bam is just around the corner from me…I’m thinking if she plays that with half the power she brought to Elizabeth, it may be more than I can take.

An advent from the National Gallery in London for those of us who cannot resist the season… Christmas music, Christmas movies, Christmas poetry…hmmm?

More on Mike Kelley

I felt vindicated in the last few weeks by hearing similar responses to the Mike Kelley enterprise in Chelsea which I expressed frustration over in a recent post. Then this week the Village Voice reviewed Kelley’s Day is Done and I felt, echoed my sentiments too: But even with its considerable drive and cleverness, “Day...

Reading Notes, 2-1

O Cidadán, the elusive, but less so each time I come back to it, and come back to my coming back to it again. Here, in a review in Rain Taxi, Laura Mullen writes: The Canadian poet Erín Mouré’s new book is so brave, has so much truly lively wit, and is so completely fresh...

Quote of the Week

The birth of laughter was the essay.–Erin Moure