Archive | May 2005

That music meme

1. The person who passed the baton to you.
Genevieve at You Cried For Night. A fellow bookworm. Cheers.

2. Total volume of music files on your computer.
5.53GB. And rising. I am an iTunes convert. I don’t own a stereo – just plug the iBook into some speakers and we’re away. Still don’t own an iPod though.

3. The title and artist of the last CD you bought.
It has been a while since I bought a physical CD. I think it was Franz Ferdinand.

4. Song playing at the time of writing
Er, none. I’ve got half an eye on Australian Story.

5. Five songs you have been listening to of late (or all-time favorites, or particularly personally meaningful songs)
I’m taking the former option, in no particular order:

– Hey Now Now – The Cloud Room
– Untitled (Velepene Screen remix) – Interpol
– Shake Break Bounce – The Chemical Brothers
– I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs
– Tits on the Radio – Scissor Sisters

6. The people to whom you will ‘pass the musical baton.’
A lot of them had already done it but these haven’t (I think):
Larrikin at Matilda
Susoz

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I really should be blogging…

…but I’m a little bit excited about this.

SWF live and streaming

Via Matilda, some events of the Sydney Writer’s Festival are to be streamed live by Bigpond. Although Telstra makes it sound as if you have to be on their broadband, anyone can get the stream. (Someone should tell Telstra that’s the beauty of the internet and their continual attempts to "proprietrise" it is tiresome in the extreme). Ahem. Anyway, back to the streams, for those not in Sydney, this is a great way to hear some of the writers. Apparently there will be an ‘on-demand’ function so you can listen to them afterwards should you be busy at the time they are broadcast. It kicks off tomorrow night with Lewis Lapham’s keynote address. (What were they thinking? Tomorrow’s State of Origin night! Ahem).

Ok, I’m going to pick a fight

"If we really push all classics, all the time, it gets too heavy," said
Kathryn Delaney, the English curriculum coordinator at Watertown High
School. ”When students bring a book home and their parents say, ‘I
read that when I was in school!’ a lot of kids don’t like it."

And your point is? Surely the learning of literature should be just that, about literature. I know, I’ve done years of undergraduate pomo work, anything can be a text these days. Well, anything can be read as a text but that doesn’t actually mean it’s any good. Obviously, the criteria by which something is judged to be ‘good’ has been heavily weighted by non-literary measures in the past, but this doesn’t mean we have to put Barbara Cartland on a par with Jane Austen.

If the kids can handle the classics, give them the classics. Give them just above what they can handle, push them, but not too far that they are turned off books for life. Sometimes reading is like muesli, it might taste like shit but you just know it’s doing you good…

NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have been anounced with the Book of Year being taken out by poetry. Samuel Wagan Watson’s Smoke Encrypted Whispers took the poetry and book of the year prizes. Tim Winton scooped the Christina Stead prize for fiction with The Turning. Full list of winners.

Theory, books and death

Two articles of note from the New York times (use login stackblog password stack):

Christopher Hitchens reviews The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism and decides that it “is a pointer to the abysmal state of mind that prevails in so many of our universities”.

A man dies with no will, leaving his large collection of books up for grabs (and which, incidentally, was partially responsible for his death).