Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Getting started-Gavin

For years and years, Tim and I have given each other books as gifts. Birthdays, mostly, as I recall but sometimes Christmas too. I know I always looked forward to getting a book from Tim, and it was just as important to pick out a good one. It was a really cool thing.

And for years and years, Tim never read any of the books I gave him, and I never read any of the books he gave me. It became something of a running joke.

And that's the extent of my history with One Hundred Years of Solitude. I hadn't read it when I bought it for Tim, and my memory is of picking up a copy for myself shortly before Oprah picked it for her book club. Or just after, when I could still get a copy without the big "O" sticker on the cover. I could be wrong though. I may be confusing my copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude with my copy of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.

I'm also fully expecting Tim to say, "You chump. You didn't buy One Hundred Years of Solitude for me. I bought it for you. And you still haven't read it."

But that all changes now! Tentatively, I think would should plan to each read a little before August 3, since that will allow us to break the book into segments of about 100 pages per week for the rest of August. I'm going to set a page number for each week, based on my 1998 Harper Perennial Classics edition of the Gregory Rabassa translation. I propose as a ground rule that no one should comment on events beyond the assigned page numbers, since some of us are reading for the first time.

August 3: p. 40
August 10: p. 153
August 17: p. 239
August 24: p. 337
August 31: End! (p. 448)

All right fellow contributors—what's your history with this book? First-timer? Favorite novel of all time? When did you read it for the first time, or what are you expecting if this is your first time though?

On the whole, I'm expecting each of us to write our own posts on the book, and let conversation flow in the comments. If you want to talk about something in someone's post comment away! If you want to change the subject or have something else you want to say, go ahead and write a new post. And of course, if you're stumbling across this conversation, please do comment. We're all really smart people, and should be able to handle a little argument, but please keep the ground rules in mind. Finally, this is my blog, so I reserve the right to delete any uncivil comments.

Friday, July 24, 2009

One month of One Hunded Years of Solitude

I'm very excited to announce for for the month of August Wordwright will become a group blog devoted to reading Gabriel García Márquez's One Hunded Years of Solitude.

I can confirm that Tim from Snarkmarket and my NLA collaborator Theresa will be participating in the discussion, and there are one or two others who may be posting as well. During the next week the plan is for each of us to introduce ourselves, talk very briefly about our history with the book (or, in my case, my lack of history with the book—I'll be reading it for the first time), and set some basic ground rules for the conversation. We'll start reading and talking in earnest on August 3.

We'd love if you came along for the ride, and comments, as always, are welcome. (At Tim's suggestion, we'll be using CADS, for Cien años de soledad to label posts.)

A quick note

I've been really exited to see New Liberal Arts making a bit of a splash, and it has been amazing to see talk about my entry on "Brevity" pop up here and there.

In the spirit of brevity, I'll let the links speak for themselves:

Jon Hansen at notes from the east side

Claudine Ise at Bad at Sports

Lila King on Twitter

Jill Stephenson on Twitter

I'm especially pleased with the last two, since "Brevity" (no surprise) was largely inspired by Twitter, and in a nod to Twitter's 140-character limit, is exactly 140 words long.

Also, not specifically "Brevity"-related, but Janneke Adema at Open Reflections talked about NLA, and she recommends Nine Poems, so she's okay with me.

(Update, 7/26: Sugar Sublime quotes "Food.")

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

It's up

The New Liberal Arts is now available for free download as a PDF at Revelator Press and Snarkmarket.

Enjoy! (And send fan email. Always appreciated.)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What kind of a world do we live in?

I've spent the last few months working in an ancillary role with the really awesome people at Snarkmarket to put together a book on the New Liberal Arts. It went on sale yesterday and, um, sold out before I had a chance to blog about it here on Wordwright.


Kottke dug it. The Book Cover Archive loved the cover.

It's still pretty awesome, so you should check it out on Revelator when we get the PDF posted (today or tomorrow, I expect). If you would like a sample before then, Tim at Snarkmarket has posted links to segments of the books that are already online in one form or another.