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1. Nonfiction

Do nonfiction books always have to have a story arc? 

http://donnabowmanbratton.blogspot.com/2011/07/do-nonfiction-picture-books-always-have.html

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2. Fellowship for Boston-area Writers: The Writer's Room of Boston

The Writers' Room of Boston (WROB) is a nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to supporting the creation of new literature for over 25 years by providing a secure, affordable work space and an engaged community to established and emerging writers in Boston. 

Every year, The Writers’ Room of Boston supports four emerging local writers who need financial support to secure a quiet place to develop their work. Fellowship recipients receive full membership to The Writers’ Room for 12 months (February through January) at no cost. Members enjoy 24-hour access to a beautiful light-filled work space in downtown Boston and the opportunity to be part of an engaged community of serious writers.  

Awards for the Emerging Writer Fellowship Program are based upon the quality of a submitted writing sample, a project description, a CV or resume, and a statement of need. The Fellowships are open to writers working in any genre or form. Fellows must be committed to using the Room on a regular basis throughout the 12-month period.  

For more information about the WROB Emerging Writer Fellowship Program, or to learn how you can become a member, please visit our website

Applications for Fellowships are due on December 31, 2014. Applications for regular membership are open all year.

--
The Writers' Room of Boston
111 State Street, Fifth Floor
Boston, MA 02109
617.523.0566

www.writersroomofboston.org
@writersofboston
info@writersroomofboston.org
www.facebook.com/thewritersroomboston

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3. Of Course, You Realise No One Cares?

Well, I will NOT be going to set up the table for the BCP Expo tonight.  Two things have let me down badly but the main problem is that I'm on the outskirts of Bristol and we have one, very bad, bus service at the moment that I'm told will see BIG delays (if you are in Bristol you will have noticed Bristol Water is ripping up most main roads!) tonight. Last time there were no roadworks on a Friday night and I had to wait almost two hours for a bus (and, no, it is NOT a country service).

So, it is a torrential dsownpour outside and Thursday First Bus removed the bus shelter.  Am I going to stand in the cold, pouring rain HOPING a bus arrives on time?  Feck that. I've used buses since I was a little kid so I KNOW the score.

It looks like tomorrow morning will be my new get-there-early to set up day.  As the rain outside turns to slight hail, I ask -who gives a feff!!

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4. Call for Submissions of Historical Crime and Mystery Fiction for Anthology: Darkhouse Books


Submissions remain open for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction

Darkhouse Books seeks stories for an anthology of historical crime and mystery fiction. For the purpose of this anthology we are defining historical fiction as, those works set more than a few decades prior to the present and written by someone without direct experience in the setting and events of the story. But should a truly superb story happen to stray from the above strictures and cross our threshold, we would happily consider it.

The submission period is now open and will remain open through 11:59pm (PST), December 31st, 2014.

We are seeking stories in the 2500 to 7500 word range, though if it’s knockout material, we’ll consider any length.

The anthology will contain between twelve and twenty stories, depending on the overall length. Authors will share equally fifty percent of royalties received.

We accept MS Word .doc and .docx files. Submissions must be in standard manuscript format. Links to formatting guides are available here.

Previously published work will be considered, provided the author has the power to grant us the right to publish in ebook, audio, and print versions, and that it has not been available elsewhere more recently than January 1st, 2014.

Submissions may be sent to:

submissionsATdarkhousebooksDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

Please leave “Submission-“ in the subject line and add the name of your story.

Andrew MacRae
Darkhouse Books
www.darkhousebooks.com
Now available "The Anthology of Cozy-Noir"!

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5. Call for Submissions: pacificReview: Vivarium

pacificREVIEW 2015: Vivarium

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
FICTION * NONFICTION * POETRY *
GRAPHIC NARRATIVE * PHOTOGRAPHY * ARTWORK


Submission Period: October 1st 2014 – February 28th 2015

A vivarium (Latin for "place of life") is an area for keeping and raising animals or plants for observation or research. Often, a portion of the ecosystem for a particular species is simulated on a smaller scale, a microcosm with controls for environmental conditions.

We, as human beings, create vivariums for both ourselves and other species. In these environments of our own design (zoos, shopping malls, universities, cathedrals, etc.), we breathe simulation, observe phenomena both natural and unnatural, speak in symbols, and cypher our dreams. We are inhabitants of our creations, thriving in the flux between the abstract and the absolute. The newest issue of the pacificREVIEW seeks dynamic work that speaks to this theme and interrogates the ever-blurring line between "real" and "unreal" settings.

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6. Fiction Competition: Boulevard Emerging Writers Contest

$1,500 and publication in Boulevard awarded to the winning story by a writer who has not yet published a book of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press  

RULES

All entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2014. Simultaneous submissions are allowed but previously accepted or published work is ineligible. Entries will be judged by the editors of Boulevard magazine.

Entry fee is $15 for each individual story, with no limit per author, and includes a one-year subscription. Make checks payable to Boulevard. 

We accept works up to 8,000 words. Author's name, address, and telephone number, in addition to the story's title and "Boulevard Emerging Writers Contest," should appear on page one. Cover sheets are not necessary. Manuscripts should be typed and double spaced. 

Contest entries can be submitted electronically or by mail. 

Electronic submissions 


Postal Submissions:
 
Send manuscript(s) and SAS post card for acknowledgement of receipt to: 

Boulevard Emerging Writers Contest
PMB 325
6614 Clayton Road
Richmond Heights, MO 63117

No manuscripts will be returned. 

Due to the number of submissions, we cannot respond to each writer individually. Each author will receive an acknowledgement of receipt but will need to check the website for notification of the winner. 

The winning story will be first announced on the website, traditionally during June, though occasionally earlier, and then published in the Spring or Fall 2015 issue of Boulevard

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7. Thanks from the Depths


the whole alphabet
is somehow not enough
to express my thanks


Hello from the depths of a big freelance project—for which I am grateful, of course! Today I continue the Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving series, in which each Teaching Author is supposed to share three things she is grateful for. Like the others who posted before me, I tried, but I can’t limit it to three. So I’m sharing three categories.


People: my dear husband Gene, our strong, determined, and healthy (!) sons, my mom and my sisters, my cousins, my writing companions: my wonderful VCFA classmates the Hive, my writing group (How is it that we’ve never given ourselves a name?), the amazing current and former fellow Teaching Authors (and the readers who make our posting so rewarding), my Poetry Friday pals who inspire me even though many of us have not met yet, editors who respond with thoughtful comments even when they reject my work, teachers and students, writers everywhere who share their joys and woes, plus anyone who works for justice, anyone who tries to save the planet and its inhabitants, and anyone who tries and tries and tries again

Places: home with all its connotations (warmth, respite, a place to put my feet up), Lake Michigan, wilderness wherever it still exists

Things: sunshine, opportunities, courage, even (or especially) when it’s borrowed, reliable transportation that enables us to visit family and see a bit more of the wide, wonderful world, and the Internet, which makes worldwide communication possible--along with travel directions, weather reports, and planning for family reunions (Yea, cousins!)

That’s all I can think of for now, although another thing or two will surely pop up as soon as I click “Publish.” As in years past, we also invite you, our readers (and your students), to join in by sharing your own thanks with us in one of three ways:

  • Comment on any of our blog posts through Nov. 28.
  • Send them via email to teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com, with “Thanks-Giving” as the subject. We might share some of your comments in our posts.
  • Post them on your own blog and then share the link with us via a comment or email. (Feel free to include the Three Weeks image in your post.) On November 28, Carmela will provide a roundup of all the links we receive.

Don’t forget about our CWIM Giveaway! You can enter until November 28.

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at Tapestry of Words. Enjoy! And happy Thanksgiving, from the depths of my heart!
xox,
JoAnn Early Macken


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8. Holy cow, James Jean

james jean seasons Holy cow, James Jean
After some well publicized difficulties, artist James Jean has been back making great art for a while now. And better than ever, as this already sold out print Seasons may indicate.

1 Comments on Holy cow, James Jean, last added: 11/21/2014
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9. Last Day for Early Bird Discount

goodybagIt’s the Last Day for Early Bird Discount on The Help! I’m Sensitive Support Course. Have you reserved your space? It starts next Friday. Here’s a freebie from the Class! For sensitive folks, we can often become very drained and empty from living at a high intensity, because we process everything at once and at a deep level. It’s important to take time out and fill back up with nurturance, especially making sure you have space to breathe all around you. Here’s a writing prompt to get you started:

breatheexercise

Subscribers, take advantage of the Early Bird Rate HERE.


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10. Call for Submissions: Tiferet

Tiferet is currently accepting new submissions. You are invited to submit a short story, an essay or interview, poems, or an original piece of art. 

Click here to read the guidelines and use our online submission process. 

Deadline is December 31st!

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11. Upon driving southwards along the Mississippi River at sunrise while listening to “Rhiannon” the day before my 46th birthday

Grain Belt Sign

My drive to work takes me south along the Mississippi River, on a bucolic road where cyclists zip along next to you in all seasons, and sometimes people walk little dogs from the expensive townhomes to the park. Lately the sunlight has been gleaming off the dark, frozen water, like the symbol of something, both blinding and beautiful. I could do worse for a drive, because there are stately ruins that have been left that way as a kind of public art statement by the city, and the memorial bridge replacing the one that collapsed a few years ago, and an ugly sign for a lousy beer that has come to be loved simply because it is old and outlasted generations (that can be said of both the sign and the beer).

I think the ruins are there because this is, really, a young city — there are no layers to it, like in New York or Paris or London, where you can dig up another era beneath your own. And yet we have an aching to be old, and let the ruins remind us that at least we weren’t born yesterday. There has been time for industries to fall into disrepair, enough history for there to be an historic district. (You can read vivid descriptions of this area the way it used to be in Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, and in the Sinclair Lewis novel Babbit, though he calls his bustling metropolis Zenith.)

Yesterday the song “Rhiannon” was playing on the radio as I took this drive, and it suited my mood perfectly. Stevie Nicks, in her prime, had as good a voice as any singer, smokey and nuanced, and while I don’t know what the hell the song is about (Welsh goddess? A breakup?) she could probably sing anything at that time, to the polished and confident music of Lindsey Buckingham, and make it a hit. Remarkably, somehow, I can recall a forty-year-old song from its original radio heyday, and it feels like its been in regular rotation since. “Rhiannon,” like sunshine and prairie grass, is now a part of my landscape. Perhaps not deserving of timelessness, that pop song or that beer sign, but nevertheless permanent.

It’s been a rough year for me, in a lot of ways, though not without everyday joys, and the hardships smaller than those of other people, so it’s comforting to go down this timeless corridor — good to know that the same sun has gleamed off the same river since before humans saw it, and will continue to do so when the city has turned into dust and our descendants (lets be positive) have scattered across the galaxy, and bison have resumed their natural title as the rulers of the prairie, and (I expect) worship the beer sign, which is still there, as some kind of message placed there by Bison God, to mark a sacred watering hole, and somehow, in the background, there will be a radio blaring “Rhiannon.”

 


Filed under: Miscellaneous, Reflections

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12. Yet Another Must Read: Jeff Trexler analyzes the Kirby settlement

eternals kirby SCOTUS Yet Another Must Read: Jeff Trexler analyzes the Kirby settlement

I’ve long been awaiting Jeff Trexler’s analysis of the Marvel/Kirby Settlement, and he starts a two-part piece with Should the Kirby Family Have Settled? In case it hasn’t been explicitly stated enough, it was Trexler’s exploration of the potentially ground breaking work for hire aspects of the case that Kirby family attorney Marc Toberoff seems to have used to get the Supreme Court to even look at the case. To allow it to go to decision would have established an important precedent—but it was extremely risky for the Kirby heirs:

That’s not an unreasonable point of view, but it’s also not entirely fair. To see why, it can help to compare the Kirbys’ situation with that of the Siegel heirs in their own pursuit of a historic precedent. As we saw with the Siegels, the calculus in the Siegel case involved more than a decision between a win and a loss. The Siegels filed their lawsuit after agreeing to a set of terms that their previous attorney had informed them was legally binding; the likely and ultimately realized worst-case scenario was that the Siegels would quote-unquote lose with an eight-figure payout. The Kirbys, on the other hand, were in Schroedinger’s Court – the case for the moment was dead and alive, but once the Court observed it the lawsuit would reduce to just one of these states with no in-between.

Trexler also suggest that the votes on the final case may not have been the ones we were expecting. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—who actually requested Marvel answer the petition—may not have been all pro-freelancer:

Nonetheless, while Ginsburg’s dissents in such infamous cases as Citizens United (opposing corporate personhood) and Hobby Lobby (opposing the corporate religious exception for birth control coverage in Obamacare) have made her an anti-corporate hero, her approach to copyright cases is far more tempered. Exhibit #1: Justice Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in the equally notorious case of Eldred v. Ashcroft upholding the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Act, the law that extended the term of copyright and kept Mickey Mouse out of the public domain.

Ginsburg also concurred in the Grokster case, an unpopular decision (in free-culture circles, at least) that sided with the music companies against those who believed that online file sharing should be left alone. Moreover, Ginsburg sided with the majority in the recent Aereo case, which helped the big TV networks to keep an Internet start-up from rebroadcasting freely available TV signals. Opposing Ginsburg & the rest of the majority in defending the rights of the corporate copyright establishment: conservative Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito.

In a subsequent piece, Trexler will look at what we know of the settlement, which it’s been suggested, included a mid-eight figure monetary sum.

I urge everyone to just go read the whole thing. Given what we know, it’s quite possible that we have Trexler himself to thank for the circumstances that allowed the Kirby heirs and Marvel to come to an agreement which allows Jack to finally get his due in the modern Marvel Universe. And for that, we all owe him a huge thank you.

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13. an interview with yours truly

Mabry coverAuthor Richard Mabry has posted an interview with me in two parts: the first is here, the second here. Many thanks, Richard. 

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14. Fassbinder's Lili Marleen


I attended a screening of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1980 film Lili Marleen at the Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist series at Lincoln Center last weekend, and it was an extraordinary experience. This is one of Fassbinder's weirdest and in some ways most problematic films, a movie for which he had a relatively giant budget and got lots of publicity, but which has since become among the most hard-to-find Fassbinder films (which is really saying something!). Despite a lot of searching, I didn't come upon a reasonably-priced copy of it until I recently discovered an Australian DVD (seemingly out of print now) that was a library discard.

The story of Lili Marleen is relatively simple, and is very loosely based on the wartime experiences of Lale Andersen, whose performance of the title song was immensely popular, and whose book Der Himmel hat viele Farben is credited in the film. A mildly talented Berlin cabaret singer named Willie (Hannah Schygulla) falls in love with a Jewish musician named Robert (Giancarlo Giannini), whose father (Mel Ferrer) is head of a powerful resistance organization based in Switzerland, and who does not approve of the love affair or Robert's proposal of marriage. A Nazi officer (Karl Heinz von Hassel) hears Willie perform one night, is captivated by her, and guides her into recording the song "Lili Marleen", which unexpectedly becomes a song beloved of all soldiers everywhere on Earth. Willie becomes a rich and famous star, summoned even by Hitler himself, while Robert continues to work for the resistance and ends up marrying someone else. By the end of the war, Robert is a great musician and conductor and Willie seems mostly forgotten, many of her friends dead or imprisoned, and Robert lost to her. She had no convictions aside from her love of Robert, but that love was not enough. (I should note here that there are interesting overlaps between the film and Kurt Vonnegut's great novel Mother Night. But that's a topic for another day...)

I was surprised to find that Lincoln Center was using the German dub of the film rather than the English-language original (it was a multinational production, so English was the lingua franca, and, given the dominance of English-language film, presumably made it easier to market). It was interesting to see Lili Marleen in German, but unfortunately the print did not come subtitled, and so Lincoln Center added subtitles by apparently having someone click on prepared blocks of text. The effect was bizarre: not only were the subtitles sometimes too light to read, but they were often off from what the actors were saying, and when the subtitler would get behind, they would simply click through whole paragraphs of text to catch up. My German's not great, but I was familiar with the film and can pick up enough German to know what was going on and where the subtitles belonged, but I missed plenty of details. The effect was to render the film more dreamlike and far less coherent in terms of plot and character relations than it actually is. Not a bad experience, though, as it heightened a lot of the effects Fassbinder seemed to be going for.

Afterward, I said to my companion, "That was like watching an anti-Nazi movie made in the style of Nazi movies." I'd vaguely had a similar feeling when I first watched the DVD, but it wasn't so vivid for me as when we watched the German version with terrible subtitling — my first experience of Nazi films was of unsubtitled 16mm prints and videotapes my WWII-obsessed father watched when I was a kid.





When I got home, I started looking through some of the critical writings on the film, and came across Laura J. Heins's contribution to A Companion to Rainer Werner Fassbinder: "Two Kinds of Excess: Fassbinder and Veit Harlan", which interestingly compares Lili Marleen to the aesthetics of one of the most prominent of Nazi filmmakers (and a relative-by-marriage of Stanley Kubrick).

Lili Marleen was controversial when it was released, not only because it is probably Fassbinder's most over-the-top melodrama, a film that defies both the expectations of good taste and of mainstream storytelling, but also because it arrived at a time when what Susan Sontag dubbed (in February 1975) "fascinating fascism" was on the wane (The Damned was 1969, Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS was October 1975, as if to bring everything Sontag described to an absurd climax) while interest in earnest representations of the Nazis and the Holocaust was on the rise (Holocaust 1978, The Tin Drum 1979, The Last Metro 1980, Playing for Time 1980, Mephisto 1981, Sophie's Choice 1982, The Winds of War 1983, etc.). Lili Marleen is much closer to The Damned (a film Fassbinder loved) in its effect than to the films with similar subject matter released in the years around it, and so its contrast from the prevailing aesthetic regime was stark, leading to what seems to have been in some critics utter revulsion. It's notable that Mephisto, a film with very similar themes* and a significantly different aesthetic, could win an Oscar, but though Germany submitted Lili Marleen to the Academy, it was not nominated — and I'd bet few people were surprised it was not.

Even though it exudes the signs of a pop culture aesthetic, Lili Marleen can't actually be assimilated into the popular culture it was released into, partly because the aesthetic it's drawing from is passé and partly because it is deliberately at odds with conventional expectations. In a chapter on Lili Marleen in Fassbinder's Germany, Thomas Elsaesser writes that "coincidence and dramatic irony are presented as terrible anticlimaxes. With its asymmetries and non-equivalences, the film disturbs the formal closure of popular narrative, while still retaining all the elements of popular story-telling."



At the time of its release, there was much handwringing about the ability of works of art to create a desire or nostalgia for fascism in audiences, and Lili Marleen became Exhibit A. Heins quotes Brigitte Peucker: "One wonders whether, in Lili Marleen, Fassbinder’s parodistic style is not unrecognizable as parody to most spectators, and whether his central alienation effect, the song itself, does not instead run the danger of drawing us in." This is absurd. Fassbinder's style is parodistic, but it's also much more than that — it is multimodal in its excess — and I have about as much ability to imagine an audience member getting a good ol' nostalgic lump in the throat and tear in the eye while watching it as I have the ability to imagine someone watching Inglourious Bastards and mistaking it for Night and Fog.

Heins paraphrases Peucker as apparently thinking that "the often repeated title song may ultimately generate more sentimental affect than irritation". I can't believe that, either. For those of us who are not especially misty-eyed about the long lost days of the 1,000-year Reich, the song becomes as grating as it does for the character of Robert (Giancarlo Giannini), who gets locked in a cell with a couple lines of the song playing over and over and over again. What begins as sentimentality becomes, through repetition, torture.


The song is repeated so much that even if it doesn't irritate, it is stripped of meaning, and that's central to the point of the story, as Elsaesser describes:
When Willie says, "I only sing", she is not as politically naive or powerless as she may appear. Just as her love survives because she withdraws it from all possible objects and objectifications, so her song, through its very circularity, becomes impervious to the powers and structures in which it is implicated. Love and song are both, by the end of the film, empty signs. This is their strength, their saving grace, their redemptive innocence, allowing Fassbinder to acknowledge the degree to which his own film is inscribed within a system (of production, distribution and reception) already in place, waiting to be filled by an individual, who lends the enterprise the appearance of intentionality, design and desire for self-expression. 
One of the things I love about Lili Marleen is that its mode is utter and obvious kitsch, undeniable kitsch. It highlights the kitschiness not only of the Nazi aesthetic (which plenty of people have done, not least, though unintentionally, the Nazis themselves), but to some extent also of many movies about the Nazis. (I kept thinking of the awful TV mini-series Holocaust while watching it this time, and Elsaesser makes that connection as well.) We love to use the Nazis and the Holocaust for sentimental purposes, and representations of the Nazis and Holocaust often unintentionally veer off into poshlost. To intentionally do so is dangerous, even as critique, because it is too easy to fall into parody and render fascism as something absurd and ridiculous, but not insidious. The genius of Lili Marleen is that the insidiousness remains. It's what nags at us afterward, what lingers beneath the occasional laughter at the excess. There is a discomfort to this film, and it's not just the discomfort of undeniable parody — it is the discomfort of realizing how easily we can be drawn in to the structures being parodied: the suspense, the action, the breathless and improbable love story, the twists and turns, the pageantry, the displays of wealth and power. Our desires are easily teased, our expectations set like booby traps, and again and again those desires and expectations are frustrated and mercilessly mocked.


It's worth thinking about the place of anti-Semitism in Lili Marleen (and Fassbinder's work generally), because this was also part of the uproar over the film, an uproar that was really a continuity of the complaints about Fassbinder's extremely controversial play Garbage, the City, and Death. While not as brazenly playing with anti-Semitic imagery and language, Lili Marleen does give us a very powerful Jewish patriarch in Robert's father, played by Mel Ferrer, a character that can be seen in a variety of ways — certainly, he is an impediment to Robert and Willie's romance (clearly wanting his son to marry a nice Jewish girl), but I also think that Ferrer's performance gives him some warmth and grace that the Nazi characters lack. Nonetheless, while Lili Marleen is very obviously an anti-Nazi film, it's not so obviously an anti-anti-Semitic film (though there is a quick shot of a concentration camp, and Willie redeems herself by sneaking evidence of the camps out of Poland). Heins writes:
It cannot, of course, be concluded that the Absent One of all of Fassbinder’s films is The Jew, or that the sense of danger created by an unseen presence is racialized or nationalized, as it is in Harlan’s film [Jud Süss]. The malevolent other of Fassbinder’s films is more properly patriarchy and the police state, acting in the service of a repressive bourgeois order. In the case of Lili Marleen, however, we must conclude that Fassbinder did fail to effectively counteract the Harlanesque paranoid delusion of total Jewish power, if only because The Jew in this film is described as capitalist patriarchy’s main representative.
That point is astute, though for me it highlight the (sometimes dangerous) complexity of Lili Marleen: by employing certain features of Nazi storytelling, by putting clichés (aesthetic, narrative, political) at the center of his technique, and by seeking to wed this to the sort of anti-capitalist, anti-normative-family ideas common to his work from the beginning, Fassbinder ends up in a bind, one that forces him to trust that the various opposing forces render all the clichés hollow enough that performing and representing them does not give them new validity or justification — that the paranoia and delusion remain legible as paranoia and delusion. I think they do, but I feel less certain of that than the certainty I feel against the old accusations of glamourizing Nazism.

In addition to the title song, Lili Marleen includes an ostentatiously schmaltzy score by Fassbinder's frequent collaborator Peer Raben. It's schmaltzy, but also very sly — as Roger Hillman points out on the Australian DVD commentary, Raben includes brief homages to composers and works that the Nazis would not have looked fondly on, such as Saint-Saëns' Samson and Delilah. This technique is similar to the film's entire strategy: to booby-trap what on the surface is an overwrought deployment of old tropes.

Finally, a note on the acting: sticking with the concept of the film as a whole, the acting is generally a bit off: sometimes wooden, sometimes unconvincingly emotional. (It's acting a la Brecht via Sirk via Fassbinder.) The more I watch it, though, the more taken I am by Hannah Schygulla's performance. On the surface, it's an appropriately "bad" performance, one redolent of the acting style of melodramas in general and Nazi melodramas in particular. And yet Schygulla's great achievement is to find nuance within that — hers is not a parodic performance, though it easily could have veered into that. Instead, while abiding by the terms of melodramatic acting, it also gives us a transformation: Willie starts out awkward, not particularly talented, a sort of country bumpkin ... and she becomes a poised, distant, sculpted icon ... and then a refugee from all she has ever known and loved. There's still a sense of possibility at the end, though, and one Schygulla's performance is vital for: a sense that Willie may reinvent herself, may find, in this newly ruined world, a path toward new life.

Elsaesser suggests that Lili Marleen can be seen within the context of some of the other films Fassbinder made around it:
the three films of the BRD trilogy — shot out of sequence — are held together by the possibility that they form sequels. If we add the film that was made between Maria Braun and Lola, namely Lili Marleen which clearly has key themes in common with the trilogy, then Lili Marleen's status in the series might be that of a "prequel" chronologically: 1938-1946 Lili Marleen, 1945-1954 Maria Braun, 1956 Veronika Voss, 1957 Lola. Four women, four love stories, four ambiguous gestures of complicity and resistance.
It could be a tagline for so many of Fassbinder's films, not the least Lili Marleen: Ambiguous gestures of complicity and resistance. For a world entering the era of Thatcher, Kohl, and (especially) Reagan, Lili Marleen was a most appropriate foil.



-------------------
*In one scene of Fassbinder's film, Willie looks through a magazine and we quickly glance a picture of Gustaf Gründgens as Mephistopheles.

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15. Fellowship for Emerging Female Writer: The Mary Wood Fellowship

Announcing the Mary Wood Fellowship at the Rose O'Neill Literary House!

The Mary Wood Fellowship at Washington College is awarded in even-numbered to an emerging female writer—in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction—who has published one book.

The Fellowship enables female creative writing students at Washington College to work with and learn from successful female writers like Laura van den Berg, Hannah Tinti, and Irina Reyn, who spend several days on campus.

The Mary Wood Fellow spends approximately three days at Washington College, during which she holds individual conferences with select female undergraduate creative writers. The Fellow also gives a public reading and a craft talk. The Fellowship includes a $1500 stipend, overnight accommodations, and travel. 

Eastern Shore author Mary Wood, whose support makes the fellowship possible, is a ’68 graduate of the College and a former member of its Board of Visitors and Governors.

Applicants should send a cover letter (outlining qualifications and reasons for interest in position) as well as a copy of their book to Assistant Director Lindsay Lusby:

The Rose O’Neill Literary House

Washington College
300 Washington Avenue
Chestertown, Maryland 21620

For the Spring 2016 Mary Wood Fellowship, applications will be accepted if postmarked by March 1, 2015.

To learn more about the Rose O'Neill Literary House and Washington College, please visit our website.

 

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16. Casper Cures All

Symptom: Children seem listless and bored. Cure: Casper

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17. Chip Zdarsky: “Ha ha, I’m writing Howard the Duck!”

HOWARD THE DUCK 01 Chip  Zdarsky: Ha ha, Im writing Howard the Duck!

Exhibit A: A Howard the Duck cameo at the end of the years #1 movie

Exhibit B: Marvel brings out a Howard the Duck Omnibus, reprinting the masterful comics by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, Val Mayerik and more.

It doesn’t take much detective work to figure out that a new Howard the Duck ONGOING COMIC was on the way. And it’s by Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones , EW reveals. Did I ever think I would be writing a story about Chip Zdarsky writing for Marvel? Writing Howard the Duck? No, I did not.

Remember, Disney loves cute talking animals

What can readers expect from your work on Howard the Duck? Comedy is obviously a huge part—will there be a lot of visual humor? Chip, will fans of Sex Criminals find themselves at home here?

QUINONES: Nah. I think we’re going for something a bit more grounded here. We really wanted to explore Howard’s pain and loneliness, and how he expresses his outsider frustrations with extreme violence. Kidding! It’s definitely meant to be funny. I’m a big comedy fan, so expect a lot of visual gags throughout. Chip and I have already been brainstorming some on the subject.

ZDARSKY: Expect a humorous tale of time and sexuality! I’ve basically just copied Matt’s first three Sex Criminals scripts and replaced characters with Howard and some C-level superheroes.

I think it’s going to be fun! We’ll get to explore the Marvel Universe with a very short tour guide and a very good artist and me, a man who dresses as Garfield on the weekends.

Ha ha, I’m writing Howard the Duck!

 

HOWARD THE DUCK 02 Chip  Zdarsky: Ha ha, Im writing Howard the Duck! HOWARD THE DUCK 03 Chip  Zdarsky: Ha ha, Im writing Howard the Duck!

3 Comments on Chip Zdarsky: “Ha ha, I’m writing Howard the Duck!”, last added: 11/21/2014
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18. Is Hello Kitty a Cat or a Girl? And Does it Matter? News from the 1st ever Hello Kitty Con!

Is she a girl or a cat? This question about iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty was hot on the Internet not long ago, but the thousands of fans of all ages who attended the sold-out first-ever Hello Kitty Convention in Los Angeles over Halloween weekend were unconcerned with the answer. Instead, they were indulging in an overload of “kawaii,” the Japanese word for “cute”, as Hello Kitty mania took over Los Angeles.

If you’ve never attended a fan convention (or “con,” as they are known among insiders), it’s a must-do for anyone interested in popular culture and the many characters who live in our imagination. Children in particular are drawn to familiar characters, as any children’s librarian can attest. Sanrio’s Hello Kitty is especially popular among patrons young and old alike at my library, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get up close and personal with her at the convention.

Hello Kitty Apple

Hello Kitty Apple

As a blogger, I snagged an invitation to a super-exclusive press preview and elegant VIP party the night before the “con” opened officially to the public. This was a special delight for me as not only was I able to see the exhibits without the sold-out crowds of the convention, but we even got swag bags filled with exclusive Hello Kitty goodies (these included an actual apple with a Hello Kitty logo in an elegant box with a gold ribbon–an inside joke for Hello Kitty fans, since Hello Kitty is described as five apples tall and weighing as much as three apples).

As you might guess, a retrospective of Hello Kitty merchandise from her 40-year career was on display, including the original Hello Kitty coin purse, the first item manufactured, which was on display for the first time in the U.S. Normally kept in a vault in Japan, the tiny purse was exhibited in a special darkened room where it was shown as proudly as the crown jewels! A huge reproduction was also on display for photo ops.

There were many special opportunities for fans, including free Hello Kitty tattoos designed especially for the con–the real kind for adults, although the stick-ons for kids were also available. The tattoos were in such demand that fans had to line up at 5 a.m. to get a spot. FashionOther highlights included an incredible high fashion installation curated by Stephiee Nguyen of JapanLA clothing, with one-of-a-kind creations by 13 designers from all over the world, special workshops with designers such as Paul Frank where fans could learn Hello Kitty-themed jewelry making, nail art, scrapbooking, and other crafts, and of course lots of exclusive shopping with merchandise available only at the convention. Fans waited in line over five hours for a chance to spend money at the special Sanrio pop-up store, although a Super Supermarket with other exclusives from Sanrio licensees offered slightly shorter lines (Hello Kitty SPAM, anyone? Or how about Hello Kitty headphones from Dr. Dre?)

booksLibrarians and booklovers were not ignored, since the Super Supermarket included representatives from Viz Media’s  Perfect Square imprint. Viz is one of several publishers who produce high quality Hello Kitty books suitable for the library market. Currently five volumes are available in their Hello Kitty graphic novel series; this suitably adorable series is wordless, and thus suitable for pre-readers as well as older children who can use these graphic novels to develop their own narrative skills by imagining the stories through the images. Perfect Square was also promoting a new release, Hello Kitty, Hello 40: a Celebration in 40 Stories, in which a variety of authors and illustrators pay tribute through stories and art.

As at other conventions, fans could attend an array of panels with Hello Kitty experts, including one with Hello Kitty head designer Yuko Yamaguchi. Although Hello Kitty was created “to inspire happiness, friendship, and sharing across the world,” she was initially a minor–i.e. not very profitable–character at Sanrio. It was not until Ms. Yamaguchi took over her design in 1980 that she increased in popularity until she became the #1 character in Japan. Ms. Yamaguchi’s aspirations for Hello Kitty do not stop there, as she would like to see her become the #1 character world-wide. As to whether she’s a cat or a girl, Ms. Yamaguchi replied that she didn’t understand what all the fuss is about. “She’s not a cat and she’s not a human,” she responded. “What’s Mickey Mouse? I don’t think he’s a mouse…Hello Kitty is Hello Kitty and it’s my wish to continue to nurture her as a very special brand.” (you can read more of Hello Kitty’s back story here ).

It is clear from the enormous response to Hello Kitty con that, whatever she is, this deceptively simple and widely marketed character has a very special place in the hearts of both children and adults. I don’t doubt that Hello Kitty will be around for many years to come.

(All photos courtesy guest blogger)

******************************************************************

Margo Tanenbaum receives a hug from the famous Kitty

Margo Tanenbaum receives a hug from the famous Kitty

Our guest blogger today is Margo Tanenbaum. Margo is a children’s librarian in the Los Angeles area.  She blogs about children’s books at The Fourth Musketeer and is co-curator of Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month, a group blog with posts published in March.  

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

 

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19. ABA to Take On the Operations of the ABFFE

abfe logoThe American Booksellers Association (ABA) will handle the operations of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).

Here’s more from the press release: “As was the case when the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) voted to become part of ABA in 2010 as the ABC Children’s Group, ABFFE will become a distinct group within ABA, the American Booksellers for Free Expression Group at ABA (ABFE), beginning January 1. The ABFFE board will be reconstituted as the ABFE Advisory Council.”

According to this new agreement, ABFFE President Chris Finan will be appointed group director for the ABFE. The ABA has designated all of its members as official supporters of the ABFE. Every single indie bookstore with an ABA membership will receive a sticker advocating for free speech and a subscription to a new monthly newsletter called “Free Speech Report.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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20. Pick of the Week for THEATRE and This Week’s Topic

macbeth_lrg1

Happy Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Stephanie Dalton Cowan, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘PAPER’. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!

You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

SLOW

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

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21. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e November 21st 2014



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:

To Free or Not To Free (Terry Odell)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2014/11/to-free-or-not-to-free.html

Conquering the Cliché (Ash Krafton)
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2014/11/conquering-cliche.html

Gerunds Be Gone (Nancy J. Cohen) http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/11/gerunds-be-gone.html

Think YOU Don’t Like Pass Letters? (Rachelle Gardner)
http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/pass-letters/

Positive and Negative Motivation (Mary Kole)
http://kidlit.com/2014/11/17/positive-and-negative-motivation/

Rising Expectations, Daily Pages, and Having Fun (Kristan Hoffman)
http://writerunboxed.com/2014/11/16/rising-expectations-daily-pages-and-having-fun/

Your Friends Won’t Tell You—But Your Editor Will (Sarah Crysl Akhtar)
www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/your-friends-wont-tell-you-but-your-editor-will/

Literary Fiction and Self-Publishing (James Scott Bell)
http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/11/literary-fiction-and-self-publishing.html

Story Structure for Dummies (Larry Brooks)
http://storyfix.com/story-structure-dummies

I'm Outraged! (Mark Alpert)
http://killzoneauthors.blogspot.com/2014/11/im-outraged.html

The Submission Process, from an Agent's POV (Jennifer Laughran)
http://literaticat.blogspot.com/2014/11/an-epic-post-about-submission-process.html


If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2013, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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22. Logical Story

Hi, I'm a member of a critique group and actively working on my second novel. Some critters complain about the logic of the story. They say it's impossible

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23. OMG

Here are two new YA books about the Rapture, starring teen girls.

“It’s the end of the world as we know it / And Vivian Apple and Abigail feel fiiiine.”

coyle vivianapple OMG   bliss noparking OMG

share save 171 16 OMG

The post OMG appeared first on The Horn Book.

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24. Determining the Impact Character of my time-travel novel.

Question: - I was wondering; is it ever possible to consider a specific circumstance, environment or event as the Impact Character in a story, rather than

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25. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Alexis Deacon


(Click to enlarge)


 

This morning over at Kirkus, I write about Bárður Oskarsson’s The Flat Rabbit, released by Owlkids Books in September. That link is here.

Last week, I wrote about Russell Hoban’s Jim’s Lion, which has been re-imagined as a graphic novel (Candlewick, November 2014) with the illustrations of Alexis Deacon. That link is here, and above and below are some spreads from the book, as well as the cover of the 2001 picture book with art from Ian Andrew.

Enjoy.



(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


 


* * * * * * *

JIM’S LION. Text copyright © 2014 by Russell Hoban. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Alexis Deacon. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books London.

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