Pinky in Istanbul, Macbeth in Moscow

1. Carolyn “Pinky” Kellogg is in Istanbul! Nice to see a busy blogger getting away for a literary journey.

2. Arthur C. Clarke has died. I mainly know of Clarke for living in Sri Lanka (and reporting from there during the 2004 tsunami) and for co-writing an amazingly great movie with Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey. I’ve also read the original Arthur C. Clarke short story that inspired this movie, “The Sentinel”. This humble story only contained the short middle sequence in the film, the discovery of a sentinel (aka “the monolith”) sending signals to Jupiter from a crater on the moon, and it contained no bone-thumping apes or Richard Strauss music, so I was always more impressed by the movie. I don’t know a lot about Arthur C. Clarke but I think I’ll be learning more in the next few days.

3. Bud Parr on Patrick Stewart as a Stalinesque Macbeth.

4. I love the Morning News Tournament of Books, our literary March Madness. I am rooting for Remainder by Tom McCarthy to win, or if not that On Chesil Beach. I’m un-rooting for Lethem and Ferris.

5. And, also on the Morning News … speaking of movies that are better than their books, here’s the Morning News on Movies That Are Better Than Their Books. And they were nice enough to ask me to contribute one! I’ll tell you, I had a hell of a time choosing anything over Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but I had to put this one ahead. Click in to find out what I picked. Hell of a movie.

6. Chasing Ray on Obama’s speech.

7. Where is Encyclopedia Brown now? (via The Millions).

8. Rejections.

9. Onion.

5 Responses

  1. “Although some initially
    “Although some initially worried that the strike could affect Hollywood by limiting material for television or film adaptation, fears were quelled when studio executives announced in January that they would continue optioning comic books and graphic novels.”


    Gotta love The Onion.

  2. First I heard Clarke died.
    First I heard Clarke died. His most famous work was probably Childhood’s End, published in 1953 I thin. Later Rendevous with Rama would be his other most admired book. I have read both, and also 1976’s Imperial Earth which used the Bicentennial theme of the time.

    I was never a big fan of his. I always did think that the last part of After the Gold Rush by Neil Young was inspired by Childhood’s End.

    Clarke is said to be the one who first proposed geosynchronous orbit for satellites in the 1940’s. I’m not sure how true that is, but it’s repeated a lot.

    There have also been some rather negative reports over the years of his life in Sri Lanka.

    That Kerouac bit you linked to, Rejection, has some boo-boos. For example;

    Kerouac carried his unpublished novels around for seven years, including the ones that put him in the headlines, On the Road and Dharma Bums.

    Dharma Bums was not one of those. He wrote it after On the Road came out specifically to make a sort of sequel. Kerouac called it his potboiler.

    Similar sorts of little mistakes in people’s comments as well. For example, Kerouac published excerpts from On the Road at least twice I think before it was published: Jazz of the Beat Generation (by Jean-Louis Kerouac) and I think one called The Mexican Girl (not so sure about that, though).

    Still the point is a good one.

    The Ramans do everything in threes.

  3. I’ve never forgotten how, in
    I’ve never forgotten how, in Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke described premonition as “a memory from the future.” This suggests that time is a circle. If a thought reaches your mind from behind, it’s a memory. If it circles around and arrives in front of you, it’s a premonition.

  4. Arthur C. Clarke was awesome
    Arthur C. Clarke was awesome author and that’s an understatement. He was vigorous, had a long and well-lived life and I always considered him a man of peace. It has only been a year since I read his “Collected Short Stories” and I really admired him.

    I’ve read quite a few of his books including CHILDHOOD’S END, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and two books of his RAMA series among others.

    Sir Arthur was a scientist in his own “write”. He worked on the early radar systems and was one of the world’s greatest visionaries, having predicted satellite communications and so on. We landed on the moon sooner than he thought when he invisioned a landing in 2000 in the 1940s. We’ve not landed on Mars as soon as he thought we would.

    Clarke thought Moon landings and Mars landings would be back to back. However, we have put robot rovers on Mars several times and have found indications that there is water frozen on Mars which occasionally flows out in liquid eruptions. The Moon also seems to contain frozen water in a few craters, as yet unexplored.

    Space exploration is still in its infancy, yet some of the ideas of space stations and so on, are ongoing thanks to the efforts of scientists and writers such as Sir Arthur C. Clarke. I am especially amazed by the Hubble Space Telescope which is soon to be defunct.

    Sir Arthur lived to a ripe old age of 90 in relatively good health for the most part. He has made a lasting impression on our western society. He was fortunate enough to see many of his ideas come to fruition. We all owe him a moment of reflection and a vote of thanks to a man with a life well lived.

  5. I used to live a few blocks
    I used to live a few blocks from Robinson Crusoe on Istiklal Caddesi and while I couldn’t quite afford the books there, it did serve as my English language reference library. I’m sure they were happy to see me coming in and perusing their guidebooks every time I didn’t know where something was. There was a great American lady about 15 blocks away that ran a free English book exchange out of her home. A great find in a foreign city

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