Tuesday, August 31, 2010

At Bookstore, Even Those Not Buying Regret Its End - NYTimes.com

from The New York Times


It has been a bumpy year for Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest book chain, with 720 stores. Sales and store traffic have suffered as the book business has shifted online; Amazon has held its early lead in the e-reader war; and early this month, Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale and is now in the midst of a battle for control of the company with Ronald W. Burkle, the billionaire investor.

People browsing at the Lincoln Center store on Monday lamented the loss of one of the city’s largest and most prominent bookstores, a sprawling space with a cafe on the fourth floor and an enormous music selection. For devoted theatergoers, it was a reliable site for readings and events that focused on the performing arts. (Still on the fall schedule are appearances by Patti LuPone and Elaine Paige.)

But many of those same people conceded that they have not bought as many books there as they did in the past. Some said they were more likely to browse the shelves, then head home and make purchases online. Others said they prized the store most for its sunny cafe or its magazines and other nonbook items.

Complete text:
At Bookstore, Even Those Not Buying Regret Its End - NYTimes.com

Amritsar Journal - A Sikh Temple Where All May Eat, and Pitch In

from The New York Times


It is lunchtime at what may be the world’s largest free eatery, the langar, or community kitchen at this city’s glimmering Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Everything is ready for the big rush. Thousands of volunteers have scrubbed the floors, chopped onions, shelled peas and peeled garlic. At least 40,000 metal plates, bowls and spoons have been washed, stacked and are ready to go.

Anyone can eat for free here, and many, many people do. On a weekday, about 80,000 come. On weekends, almost twice as many people visit. Each visitor gets a wholesome vegetarian meal, served by volunteers who embody India’s religious and ethnic mosaic.


Amritsar Journal - A Sikh Temple Where All May Eat, and Pitch In - NYTimes.com

Monday, August 23, 2010

British literary critic Frank Kermode dies at age 90

As a scholar, Mr. Kermode sought to bring new ideas on literary theory into the classroom, helping introduce French theorists such as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault into British academia in the 1960s. He later distanced himself from some of their more arcane notions of literary interpretation but remained committed to academic freedom.

He left his prestigious job at University College London in 1982 after an unsuccessful battle to achieve tenure for a younger colleague who advocated a structuralist view of literature and film.



British literary critic Frank Kermode dies at age 90

The Face That Launched a Thousand Drones? | ShahidulNews

The much talked about August 9 Time magazine cover, unabashed in its aim to shore up support for the war effort in Afghanistan, has left many still shaking their heads in disbelief at such brazen exploitation of a woman’s suffering. It’s not the first time the plight of Afghan women has been used to manipulate public opinion. It’s a narrative we have become so accustomed to since the 2001 invasion, that many of my most intelligent female friends did not recognize it for the subversive emotional blackmail that it is. More important, they said, was the attention it brought to women’s issues. Well, let us talk about those issues in earnest, then.


The Face That Launched a Thousand Drones? | ShahidulNews

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Frank Kermode | Tribute | John Naughton | Books | The Observer

He was the most erudite man I've ever known, but he wore his learning lightly. And he had a way of alerting one to one's ignorance in the gentlest of ways. Once, for example, we were discussing a very eminent scientist whom we both knew and who had been the recipient of numerous honours and awards. I confidently, but mistakenly, asserted that the man in question was a Nobel laureate. "Oh, really," said Frank, "I hadn't known that." And I immediately realised the extent of my gaffe. But nothing was said, and the subject was never mentioned again.

Frank Kermode | Tribute | John Naughton | Books | The Observer

Friday, August 20, 2010

Frank Kermode, Literary Critic, Dies at 90 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com


Frank Kermode, who rose from humble origins to become one of England’s most respected and influential critics, died Tuesday at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 90.

His death was announced by The London Review of Books, which he helped create and to which he frequently contributed.

Frank Kermode, Literary Critic, Dies at 90 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com