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02 December 2006

Well Born Melbourne Highway By-Pass


Walking Turcot Yards

LEDs, light emitting diodes, provide subtle lighting for the wall of a sound barrier built along several k. of highway leading to this by-pass. Bicycles have their path right next to pedestrians on the natural red pathway and overpass crossing the highway.

What I also find attractive is the photography on this and several other features posted by my friends on Walking Turcot Yards (I hope the photographers form a collective video production unit and travel the world to make a new documentary on urban structures).

In addition to the aesthetics of the sound barriers, it is the level of consideration that went into the Bypass design and construction that are truly worth taking note. Streams, wetlands, grasslands, and endangered species were all taken into account. The local academic community was involved with development. Accommodations were made to Melbourne’s original inhabitants, the Wurundjeri people, in order to preserve their ties to the land. This robust development phase yields an uniquely effective solution.

30 November 2006

Dragon's Almanac - 30 November


from Justin Wintle

Who knows whether the monk or his wooden begging bowl will last the longest?

. . . (1336) Chinese

Dragons Teeth Used Books

Joan Didion, "Slouching towards Bethlehem"

New York: Dell (paperback), 1968.

US $12.55 plus $2.45 shipping
(in Canada and the USA)

28 November 2006

Rabindranath Tagore(1861-1941)


Nobel laureate

From Books and Writers

Greatest writer in modern Indian literature, Bengali poet, novelist, educator, and an early advocate of Independence for India. Tagaore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Two years later he was awarded the knighthood, but he surrendered (sic) it in 1919 as a protest against the Massacre of Amritsar, where British troops killed some 400 Indian demonstrators. Tagore's influence over Gandhi and the founders of modern India was enormous, but his reputation in the West as a mystic has perhaps mislead his Western readers to ignore his role as a reformer and critic of colonialism.

'When one knows thee, then alien there is none, then no door is shut. Oh, grant me my prayer that I may never lose touch of the one in the play of the many.' (from Gitanjali)*

. . .

Tagore's reputation as a writer was established in the United States and in England after the publication of GITANJALI: SONG OFFERINGS*, about divine and human love. The poems were translated into English by the author himself. In the introduction from 1912 William Butler Yates wrote: "These lyrics - which are in the original, my Indians tell me, full of subtlety of rhythm, of untranslatable delicacies of colour, of metrical invention - display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long." Tagore's poems were also praised by Ezra Pound, and drew the attention of the Nobel Prize committee. "There is in him the stillness of nature. The poems do not seem to have been produced by storm or by ignition, but seem to show the normal habit of his mind. He is at one with nature, and finds no contradictions. And this is in sharp contrast with the Western mode, where man must be shown attempting to master nature if we are to have "great drama." (Ezra Pound in Fortnightly Review, 1 March 1913) However, Tagore also experimented with poetic forms and these works have lost much in translations into other languages.

. . .

Tagore wrote his most important works in Bengali, but he often translated his poems into English. At the age of 70
Tagore took up painting. He was also a composer, settings hundreds of poems to music. Many of his poems are actually songs, and inseparable from their music. Tagore's 'Our Golden Bengal' became the national anthem of Bangladesh. Only hours before he died on August 7, in 1941, Tagore dictated his last poem. His written production, still not completely collected, fills nearly 30 substantial volumes.

27 November 2006

Timeline : Nobel Prize for Literature

0 comments - Authors: Nobel Prize for Literature:
A list of the Winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature since 1901.

Awarded to: The author who has produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction, international.

Awarded by: The Swedish Academy, Stockholm.

Even with standard references or annual collections of Nobel authors, it is sometimes a difficult search to find all the lauteats and the year they were awarded the prize in one place.

I blogged the list from TomFolio while search their used book holdings and figure out how this unique membership site for book vendors works in practice. TomFolio is frequently bracketed as a club of die-hard independent sellers. When I figure out how that distinguishes them from all the rest, I'll blog that response.

One item I caught and that rang a bell was how pissed off it made Jean Paul Sartre that Albert Camus was awarded a Nobel in 1957 and 'the greater author' had to wait 7 long years for his. Big deal; Toni Morrison, as well, antedated some serious heavies.

2006 Orhan Pamuk, Turkey
2005 Harold Pinter, United Kingdom
2004 Elfriede Jelinek, Austria
2003 J. M. Coetzee
2002 Imre Kertész
2001 V. S. Naipaul
2000 Gao Xingjian
1999 Günter Grass
1998 José Saramago
1997 Dario Fo
1996 Wislawa Szymborska
1995 Seamus Heaney
1994 Kenzaburo Oe
1993 Toni Morrison
1992 Derek Walcott
1991 Nadine Gordimer
1990 Octavio Paz
1989 Camilo José Cela
1988 Naguib Mahfouz
1987 Joseph Brodsky
1986 Wole Soyinka
1985 Claude Simon
1984 Jaroslav Seifert
1983 William Golding
1982 Gabriel García Márquez
1981 Elias Canetti
1980 Czeslaw Milosz
1979 Odysseus Elytis
1978 Isaac Bashevis Singer
1977 Vicente Aleixandre
1976 Saul Bellow
1975 Eugenio Montale
1974 Eyvind Johnson (tie) Harry Martinson
1973 Patrick White
1972 Heinrich Böllr
1971 Pablo Neruda
1970 Alexander Solzhenitsyn
1969 Samuel Beckett
1968 Yasunari Kawabata
1967 Miguel Angel Asturias
1966 Samuel Agnon (tie) Nelly Sachs
1965 Michail Sholokhov
1964 Jean-Paul Sartre
1963 Giorgos Seferis
1962 John Steinbeck
1961 Ivo Andric
1960 Saint-John Perse
1959 Salvatore Quasimodo
1958 Boris Pasternak
1957 Albert Camus
1956 Juan Ramón Jiménez
1955 Halldór Kiljan Laxness
1954 Ernest Hemingway
1953 Winston Churchill
1952 François Mauriac
1951 Pär Lagerkvist
1950 Bertrand Russell
1949 William Faulkner
1948 T. S. Eliot
1947 André Gide
1946 Hermann Hesse
1945 Gabriela Mistral
1944 Johannes V. Jensen
1943 1940–1943 No Awards Given
1939 Frans Eemil Sillanpää
1938 Pearl Buck
1937 Roger Martin du Gard
1936 Eugene O’Neill
1935 No Award Given
1934 Luigi Pirandello
1933 Ivan Bunin
1932 John Galsworthy
1931 Erik Axel Karlfeldt
1930 Sinclair Lewis
1929 Thomas Mann
1928 Sigrid Undset
1927 Henri Bergson
1926 Grazia Deledda
1925 George Bernard Shaw
1924 Wladyslaw Reymont
1923 William Butler Yeats
1922 Jacinto Benavente
1921 Anatole France
1920 Knut Hamsun
1919 Carl Spitteler
1918 No Award Given
1917 Karl Gjellerup (tie) Henrik Pontoppidan
1916 Verner von Heidenstam
1915 Romain Rolland
1914 No Award Given
1913 Rabindranath Tagore
1912 Gerhart Hauptmann
1911 Maurice Maeterlinck
1910 Paul Heyse
1909 Selma Lagerlöf
1908 Rudolf Eucken
1907 Rudyard Kipling
1906 Giosuè Carducci
1905 Henryk Sienkiewicz
1904 Frédéric Mistral (tie) José Echegaray
1903 Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
1902 Theodor Mommsen
1901 Sully Prudhomme

This content has been provided by Alan's Used Books

Follow-up : The Richard Bandler Post Tested on My Friend . . . . . . . . . (Former Friend?)


I printed out page one of the scanned article from Mother Jones Magazine about Richard Bandler (a co-founder of Neuro- Linguistic Programming, NLP) and gave it to Lenny in the restaurant today. Immediately it put him on the defensive and a back 'n' forth, heated discussion ensued. He claims I see only the negative and that I am afraid of success.

The number of tortuous arguments for dissociating the school of NLP from its disturbed and disturbing founding father that Lenny laid on the table was like grabbing from straws. He jumped from Leonardo da Vinci to Einstein to whoever. "It's not the man who invented it, but the science's ability to enlighten us that matters. I don't care about Bandler. Take the workshop, read the text. Don't go into it with all this negativity."

Enough. Basta. It's too easy to rehash my arguments here and have no one but a straw man as the butt of all argument. (Unless my dozen or so readers wish to start commenting and taking sides, I won't do dialogues of the fictional sort in blog post to air issues that embody real-world disagreements with real friends in day-to-day encounters.

I quit Lenny's table in as natural and polite manner as possible and joined Mark and his 18-month-old baby daughter (with her beautiful copper hair). The cook came out and took baby Rhena off as our discussion about L. Ron Hubbard, Ayn Rand and this Richard Bandler became more engrossing. (The cook is a shirt-tail relative and welcomes babysitting baby Rhena like her uncle.) Mark and me continued to discuss Slavespeak.

One conclusion Mark and I came to: You cannot casually engage serious convert about his or her cultish belief system and ever expect to get beyond square one. The convert is hanging to their dogma like post-crash Titanic passenger would cling to some floating plank -- a buoy and lifepreserver in the midst of the chaotic and chilling waters of their existence. To openly question the solidity of their position and invite the man or woman tossed overboard to let go and swim relying on their own strength is to invite them to commit psychic suicide under such circumstances.

So Mark and I took 15 or 20 minutes advantage of the break from his fatherly responsibilities to drag out all the 'negativity' we savour in our store of conversational tidbits about the founders of Mormonism, Scientology, the Raelians, and the NLPers. We cut Joseph Stalin a very little bit of slack but pondered the starvation of 1.5 million Ukrainians in the late 1940s. I like to chat with both Lenny and Mark. And any wrongheadedness in cultist perspectives doesn't automatically mean that Mark and I know shit about the "Mystery and Magic of the Universe" or that Lenny is always out to lunch. All three of us can share insights and all three, as fathers, know how to change a diaper. We willingly get stuck with the job when we can. It's just that we'll be damned if we'll ever talk about it!

I hope this copy of the first page of an article about Richard Bandler is more readable* within the pages of Cheap Priceless Editions. Go down two posts from here for a link to the online version.

I click on images and use the 'Enlarge' 'Decrease' icon on the resulting image (put cursor over it) to bring it up to a readable size. Or just go to the original link.

Philippe Noiret Image Link Fixed


Sorry that I botched the link in a post on the projectionist persona of Cinema Paradiso, Philippe Noiret. My favorite French actor, who died last week, was featured in the week-end Montreal media, and rightly so. (CLICK ON TITLE)

Unhinged Friendly Philosophy Uprooted at its Core


Autodidacts are everywhere. A surprisingly great number of self-educated people may never have questioned the origins and authors of pseudo-sciences they loyally claim validity for and buttress with their own charismatic arguments if anyone will listen.

New Agers from every walk of life pick up bits and pieces of pop psychology, cosmology, and alchemy or witchcraft and spin their own quirky narrative that is then tested in endless casual conversation with their acquaintances; people they run into on the street, at parties, in cafés . . anywhere.

Recently a fellow I enjoy chewing the fat with over morning coffee has claimed that what guides him in his gainful endeavors is Neuro-Linguistic Programming. But Lenny, let's call him, cannot cite chapter and verse about this pseudo-science despite adhering to NLP's basic principles.

Well Lenny is going to have an earful from me the next time we meet.

Richard Bandler and John Grinder are the 'fathers' of NLP. The briefest search on the Internet reveals that both have taken each other to court fighting over the school they joined to launch as a commercially lucrative seminar circuit and cultish Chautauqua across the USA. A little further searching and one discovers how Bandler's behaviour is nothing short of psycopathic; at least according to eye-witnesses interviewed by serious and probing reporters.

There may be a success story down the road for NLP as a religion of super-sales mindsets. The NLP appears to be a starfish capable of regenerating lost appendages.

Here are the links and a scanned page from a 1989 issue of 'MOTHER JONES' MAGAZINE. I still think I will wade through the conference notes from one three-day long NLP workshop. In keeping with the top-down, authoritarian character of the Bandler-Grinder bandwagon, these notes are published under their names, not the workshop participant who penned them originally. ("Frogs into Princes", Real People Press; my edition is in French translation as "Les Secrets de la Communication" and published in 1982 by Le Jour, éditeur in Montreal)

After scanning what Mother Jones reports below: Would You Read One of Bandler's Book? Am I merely polluting my brain?

If you cannot read these scans here, and to access all eight pages online, click on the title of this post at the top.

26 November 2006

Upside-Down Literary Theory


Terry Eagleton turned Lit-Crit on its head so why not try to see where he's coming from?


It is NOT A JOKE -- my copy of Terry Eagleton's Literary Theory: An Introduction was bound in its paper wraps upside-down. This coffee klatch regular in our corner restaurant still enjoys me passing books around for his morning read over java.

EAGLETON, TERRY. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983. Pp. viii + 244

A LINK to a Summary of Lit Theory, An Intro via The French Review 58.4 (1985): 572-573

Il Postino's Noiret loses cancer battle


Guardian Unlimited Film

After seeing Cinema Paradiso and one or two other films in which Noiret figured prominently, he became one of my favorite European actors.

See images and filmographie (listed in French today in the Journal de Montreal).

"Philippe Noiret, the French star of Il Postino and one of the greatest actors of his generation, has died after a lengthy battle against cancer. He was 76.

Noiret, the winner of two Cesar Awards for La Vie et Rien D'autre and Le Vieux Fusil, got his big break in the 1960 comedy fantasy Zazie Dans le Metro and went on to star in more than 125 films, including Cinema Paradiso, in which he played a village projectionist. "