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Orientation to modern poetry scene?

What are some great articles, websites, discussion forums, magazines, or books that would orient me to the state of the modern poetry and poetics -- the different artistic schools of thought, the competing aesthetic theories, what's considered avant garde, the culture, the gossip, the key small presses and publications, the place of MFA programs in it, and so on? Positive views, critiques, objective commentary -- all of it would be welcome.
posted by shivohum on Aug 6, 2013 - 5 answers

Site that reviews translations of classical texts?

I'm on a "read all the classics" quest and trying to figure out the best translations into English. Blog recommendations would be awesome! [more inside]
posted by blue_and_bronze on Aug 2, 2013 - 7 answers

Secret Room Literature

We've built a small secret room in our house for our children to discover. One of the features in the room is a bookshelf where we're putting secret room themed books. [more inside]
posted by MarkAnd on Jul 30, 2013 - 109 answers

Literature centered on "mentorship"

I have wanted to ask this for a while, and finally have a second example to broaden the scope of my search enough to be hopeful for hits. I am looking for literature that depicts a particular relationship between two main characters. Details to follow: [more inside]
posted by SollosQ on Jul 22, 2013 - 16 answers

THE ABYSS AWAITS; BRING ME UNKNOWN FRUITS FROM THE FURTHEST NATIONS

Non-Americans! I'm beefing up my to-read pile (especially on my kindle), and I would like suggests of Great Classics of Your National Literature that would typically be assigned in secondary school. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jul 21, 2013 - 31 answers

Favourite examples of foreboding or suspense in literature?

What are your favourite examples of building tension or suspense in literature? Ideally these are brief moments, single paragraphs or small scenes, compelling the reader to continue on, worried about what will follow. [more inside]
posted by swrittenb on Jul 17, 2013 - 22 answers

I Once Was As You Are Now Maybe

Looking for films and literature based on a theme of an older person discovering that many people younger than they are, are old themselves. Meta-theme: the meaning of aging.
posted by Xurando on Jul 15, 2013 - 6 answers

Why the arts matter.

I would like to read all of the best things about why the arts -- and in particular literature -- Matter(s). [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 15, 2013 - 15 answers

I just cannot remember the name!

Children's book, of a wintery sort (I've been trying to remember the title for six months). I read it in the last 15 years. It involved a bored princess and someone that came and shook everything up - perhaps pied piper-ish? It involved juggling I think and the character's name was really important - I remember it as something like 'Hode'.
posted by an opinicus on Jul 11, 2013 - 4 answers

A children's book about gender change

The book I'm looking for is one I remember reading in my childhood. It had a boy as a protagonist. It was similar to The Wizard of Oz in that the boy was travelling with friends through a magical realm to free it from some kind of oppressive rule. And when the boy arrived to the happy ending (which I think took place in the royal palace) it was revealed that actually he's not a boy - he's a girl. A princess, to be exact. And a rightful ruler of the realm. Which came as quite a shock to him/her. I must have been less than 10 years old when I read it, which places the book in the 1970s. Did I imagine it or does it really exist? (it is possible that I mixed it up with The Wizard of Oz, although I think I've read it later).
posted by hat_eater on Jul 11, 2013 - 7 answers

if i liked the movie l'avventura, what books will i like?

i really like the slow/subtle treatment of ennui/cultureshock/different manifestations of love/and the engaging "nonplot"
posted by sawyerrrr on Jun 25, 2013 - 8 answers

Ego pain and art: advice?

I'd like to spend more time reading serious literature or viewing art, but I find my ego keeps getting in the way. Advice, please? [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Jun 24, 2013 - 27 answers

Promote a literary event in NYC (Gowanus, Brooklyn) on short notice?

I would like to spread the word on a release party of sorts for a small publication that specializes in experimental poetry, literature, and conceptual writing. [more inside]
posted by archivist on Jun 10, 2013 - 5 answers

Wise and witty words about balding.

I don't have as much hair as I used to, and I understand this is not uncommon! It seems like the sort of thing Updike would have written about, or some other self-reflective male writer of a certain age, and I'd like to be able to read (and ideally quote) something well-written or epigrammatic for when the subject comes up. [more inside]
posted by piato on Jun 7, 2013 - 34 answers

What’s the best way to practice to get good at _____

Take your field, your sport, your hobby, your area of occupation and tell me the best way to become really good at some aspect of it. Don’t hesitate to name some form of practice that is heavily monotonous and laborious if it manages to yield awesome results. I don’t care how tedious it is. All I’m interested in are forms of practice or exercises that do elicit measurable improvements in a person’s ability to complete some task or exhibit some skill. [more inside]
posted by RapcityinBlue on Jun 3, 2013 - 39 answers

Publishing options for a collection of literary short fiction

I'm nearing completion of a book of very short stories that riff in various ways on the 'joke' form. The pieces are 1-2 pages. I want to publish this book. I'm not sure the best way. [more inside]
posted by skwt on May 27, 2013 - 4 answers

Help with project? Please list fictional cities !

For a project I'm currently working on as part of my graduation in Graphic Design, I wanted to compile something like an atlas of fictional cities. These may be from books, legends, stories, video games, advertisements, comics, really whatever... Even "real" cities but alternate versions, imagined or in some way deviate from their real counterpart are valid. [more inside]
posted by ahtlast93 on May 18, 2013 - 47 answers

Golden Compass close read

Due to persistant recommendations on AskMe, I am finally reading (well, listening to) The Golden Compass. It's amazing. Now I want to read about The Golden Compass. [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 13, 2013 - 16 answers

Brainstorming book-themed cupcakes

A group I belong to plans to have a book-themed Cupcake Wars party. Everyone's supposed to make a batch of cupcakes with a name based on a book title. Example: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cupcakes. [more inside]
posted by BibiRose on May 11, 2013 - 27 answers

Diamonds in the haystack

I'm looking for the unexpected, overlooked masterpieces hiding within conventionally marginal artistic genres: novelty Christmas music albums, mass market cowboy novels, direct-to-video action movie sequels, etc. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on May 7, 2013 - 16 answers

I read way too many books by white dudes.

I'm looking for recommendations for contemporary(ish) literary fiction written by folks who are not white men. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on May 7, 2013 - 55 answers

What book was this?

Help me ID a book I read a few years back ... [more inside]
posted by LonnieK on May 3, 2013 - 5 answers

Joan Didion's uncollected works

How can I assemble a complete list of Joan Didion's uncollected works? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 on Apr 30, 2013 - 5 answers

No Murakami please

Asking for a friend: I like to read, but I don't like reading Literature. I feel really crappy about this. What literary books might I like that do not read like literature? [more inside]
posted by goosechasing on Apr 24, 2013 - 51 answers

Iraq and Afghanistan fiction from women writers

Crowd-sourcing a student's question: I'm looking for contemporary novels about Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11, and the war on terror that have been authored by women. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Apr 24, 2013 - 15 answers

Great books about honest people struggling against a corrupt society?

I have in mind two (fiction) classics on the subject: An Enemy of the People (Ibsen) and The Winter of Our Discontent (Steinbeck). I would appreciate it if you could guide me to other valuable works on this issue.
posted by Basque13 on Apr 23, 2013 - 27 answers

I need a culture fix!

If I were to choose 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books to read within the next year to make me a better, more well-rounded conversationalist (for argument's sake, let's say within a college-educated professional audience), what books would give me the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
posted by dynamiiiite on Apr 23, 2013 - 37 answers

What was this book of short horror stories?

Help me find a short story collection I read maybe 20 years ago. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Apr 15, 2013 - 9 answers

Have you heard of these two short stories?

Can MeFi help me track down these two stories? [more inside]
posted by John of Michigan on Apr 6, 2013 - 4 answers

So?

Where is this mystical land where it is acceptable to answer statements with: "So?" [more inside]
posted by 256 on Apr 5, 2013 - 40 answers

The Books of the Dead! muhuhuhahaha

Why do horror stories often feature mysterious relics that often have information encoded in them, such as accursed old books, runes, etc.? What kinds of anxieties is this trope meant to express? [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Apr 4, 2013 - 34 answers

Resources and suggestions needed for improving my teaching skills

So I've been doing a little bit of teaching of free adult classes in my erstwhile academic specialty, an area of literature. (I am not an academic and do not teach except for community stuff.) I have trouble with big group discussion and balancing my role in the class. [more inside]
posted by Frowner on Apr 3, 2013 - 13 answers

Looking for wonderful books I can read to my kids, one chapter at a time

My kids (a boy and a girl) are now five years old, and my wife or I read to them every night before bed. I'd like to start reading larger books to them which we can stretch out throughout a week or more, by reading them a chapter a night. Please help me put together a great reading list of age-appropriate books that will capture their imaginations and inspire happy dreams. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 2, 2013 - 61 answers

Help me identify a piece of writing about cow's milk, urine, and hell

I have a hazy memory of a piece of writing that I would like to identify. It might have been poetry or prose. It might have been modern or not. It might have been in Italian, French, or English. It's an exchange between the protagonist, a man, and an antagonist - possibly a devil? The antagonist is comparing cow's milk to urine, saying that they are both liquids that come out of cows and are essentially the same. The protagonist says that they are essentially difference and if the antagonist can't articulate why, that simply means the lack is in his understanding. Then he is whisked away somehow. It's been a long, long, time since I read this, but it made a big impression on me, and I'd like to find up where it is from. If anyone recognizes this exchange please let me know. Obviously google searches are problematic given the subject matter.
posted by bq on Mar 20, 2013 - 1 answer

And Quiet Flows the Don -- real author?

I'm looking for a specific article that claimed that Mikhail Sholokov did not write And Quiet Flows the Don (or at least not the first and best part of it), but instead he plagiarized it. [more inside]
posted by lewedswiver on Mar 16, 2013 - 1 answer

A reader on the mind-body problem?

I'm working on a creative project about somebody who gets his brain removed and put in a vat. What should I read? [more inside]
posted by HeroZero on Mar 15, 2013 - 27 answers

Good books about idleness / laziness / lack of ambition

The British seem to have a particular talent for this (e.g. Wodehouse and Jeeves, Amis and Lucky Jim), so I'm eager to hear more about British authors, but I'm also open to other suggestions.
posted by jtothes on Mar 14, 2013 - 18 answers

ADHD & Graduate studies

I have (late-diagnosed) ADHD & I've just become a graduate student. I'm medicated, and under the care of professionals. This question is about best methodologies in graduate studies, particularly in remembering research I've read. [more inside]
posted by b33j on Mar 12, 2013 - 9 answers

Help me find a specific (art piece?) book

I was linked a book some time ago via twitter, but that account is now gone and with it went the link. Things I remember: Pretty sure it was called "Daylight" (maybe not that, but definitely a time word. daytime? morning?) Content: the text was just the entirety of a single day's New York Times transcribed The link went to the publisher, I recall seeing it on Amazon also. I believe published in the early 90s. 93ish? But still purchasable Currently going crazy trying to find it with such not-so-limiting search terms. My browser history doesn't go back far enough to find it there. Hoping someone familiar with it happens upon this, I guess.
posted by arsey on Mar 8, 2013 - 1 answer

Who wrote this story about a marvellous Alsation dog?

If anyone recognises this story, please can you tell me the author? I think the story is about five years old. An ordinary man with low self-esteem is dumped by his beautiful intelligent accomplished girlfriend. She gives him a dog as a pity present, with a snide subtext that the dog is better than he is. Gradually through caring for the dog, a magnificent Alsation, and taking pride in it, the man recovers his self-esteem and becomes sought-after. It's a story that feels as if it has a lot of undercurrents and as if it's not as simple as it looks: in some way the dog stands in for the guy, or represents the guy or becomes a totem for him. Or something.
posted by glasseyes on Mar 3, 2013 - 3 answers

Thesis argument about cultural contact zones

Hi Mefites! So I'm wondering if anyone can help me in finding something to argue in a 5-6 page paper regarding 'cultural contact zones' in Orwell's essay ' A Passage to India'. Specifically, "the concept of a “contact zone” emphasizes how subjects are constituted in and by their relations to each other, usually involving conditions of coercion, inequality, and conflict. It treats the relations among colonizers and colonized not in terms of separateness but in terms of interaction and interlocking understandings and practices, often within radically asymmetrical relations of power." ( this is part of the prompt). Any suggestions? I'm usually a fairly competent writer but am having trouble here. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Mar 2, 2013 - 15 answers

Works of literature or film featuring taxidermy or taxidermied animals?

References both great and small are welcome. [more inside]
posted by fleetofblimps on Feb 15, 2013 - 35 answers

Modern 'Platonic' dialogues?

Which works published anytime in the last century are Platonic-style dialogues on philosophical themes?
posted by shivohum on Feb 12, 2013 - 27 answers

A Canticle for Leibowitz halfway done--what's my next read?

I'm halfway through A Canticle for Leibowitz and am enjoying it so much that I'm doling it out slowly. It reminds me in a lot of ways of another favorite book The Name of the Rose. I'd love recommendations for books that have that combination of erudition and imagination/fantasy. [more inside]
posted by the sobsister on Feb 6, 2013 - 46 answers

What to read?

Seeking recommendations for fiction that features matriarchy / female led societies.
posted by travelwithcats on Feb 4, 2013 - 36 answers

Digital edition of a small arts magazine - the best way to do this?

I work for a small literary magazine. The incoming managing editor wants us to have a magazine app for tablets that appears on those virtual magazine racks. Is this a good idea, and if so what's the best way to do this? [more inside]
posted by Cantdosleepy on Feb 1, 2013 - 6 answers

Looking for new SF books hiding in the general fiction section

I like science fiction books that are placed in the general fiction section - but for me they are hard to find on Amazon or in libraries. Examples of these kinds of books are The Sparrow, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Oryx and Crake, Cloud Atlas and The Dog Stars ... but I need more new stuff - any suggestions?
posted by Dag Maggot on Jan 29, 2013 - 47 answers

What Elmore Leonard book should I start with?

Simple enough question. I've never read any Elmore Leonard, and think I will give him a whirl. Where should I start?
posted by Alaska Jack on Jan 21, 2013 - 18 answers

Toooo maaany booooks

How do you decide what books to read? Recommendations? Reviews? Go to the bookstore and read a chapter? I often find myself overwhelmed with the zillions of choices. How do you narrow it down?
posted by SampleSize on Jan 9, 2013 - 40 answers

What was this oversized 20th century american novel?

Another episode of Ask Metafilter, book-title detectives. [more inside]
posted by kickingtheground on Jan 5, 2013 - 8 answers

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