Archive for the ‘literary news’ Category

For the bibliophile wanderlust.

Posted: February 2, 2012 in literary news

Flavorwire’s 20 most beautiful bookstores in the world.

And some of these sure are magnificent architectural wonders.

I’m a Potterhead.

I’ve read and immensely enjoyed the first three Harry Potter books back in high school (circa 1999-2000), years prior to when the mania fully exploded when the books were brought to life on the big screen. I remember the days when my books would be passed from one classmate to another, or the days when I’d make sure I’d get the latest Potter book the same day National Bookstore first released it, or when my friends threw a Harry Potter party and I came dressed as my favorite w(b)itch, Bellatrix Lestrange (there are photos online, but no, I won’t point you over there from this blog).

When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released in 2007, Blooey, Dianne, and I lined up at Powerbooks Greenbelt 3 sometime past 6 in the morning, just to be one of the first Potterheads to grab a copy the moment the store opened at 7:02 a.m. We all immediately went our own ways once our books were purchased, and we each went through the whole eight hours of non-stop reading, laughing, crying, and getting excited at every possible turn in such a grand adventure.

Then the inevitable hits you. It is all over.

Well, not really. As I am also a fan of the movies (I do think they have been improving with each installment), I think I would have felt the finality once the eighth movie will be released. But even before I could get to feel that, J.K. Rowling announces that Pottermore will be launched later in the year. See the video below:

The sneak peek into what’s in store for Harry Potter fans worldwide is just enough to create a palpable anticipation by end-July and October 2011. As a communications practitioner, I am excited to see what this next adventure in the Potter world would be, as it seems to be poised to bring the digital experience to a whole new level altogether. As a Potterhead, I feel a tremendous sense of relief that the magic will continue, based from the demand of millions of fans worldwide, whose imaginations have been masterfully captured by J.K. Rowling (especially those like us who have literally grown with the series).

I was finally able to submit my email address on the site. Here’s to hoping the magic would continue in the digital space and more secrets in the Potter world would be revealed! (And yes, I do think Harry Potter is the definitive piece of literature of our generation, but that ought to be the subject of another entry some other time.)

(Cross-posted on Communique)

Literature and Exile.

Posted: January 21, 2011 in literary news
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One more reason why Roberto Bolaño rocks: Literature and Exile.

Here’s my favorite part:

Literature and exile, I think, are two sides of the same coin, our fate placed in the hands of chance. “I don’t have to leave my house to see the world,” says the Tao Te Ching, yet even when one doesn’t leave one’s house, exile and banishment make their presence felt from the start. Kafka’s oeuvre, the most illuminating and terrible (and also the humblest) of the twentieth century, proves this exhaustively. Of course, a refrain is heard throughout Europe and it’s the refrain of the suffering of exiles, a music composed of complaints and lamentations and a baffling nostalgia. Can one feel nostalgia for the land where one nearly died? Can one feel nostalgia for poverty, intolerance, arrogance, injustice? The refrain, intoned by Latin Americans and also by writers from other impoverished or traumatized regions, insists on nostalgia, on the return to the native land, and to me this has always sounded like a lie. Books are the only homeland of the true writer, books that may sit on shelves or in the memory. The politician can and should feel nostalgia. It’s hard for a politician to thrive abroad. The working man neither can nor should: his hands are his homeland.

I find his words to be beautiful.

Apparently, this was published several days ago, but since I haven’t been catching up on my news, I just read that Ted Hughes’ Last Letter to Sylvia Plath was just published for the first time. (Thank you, Sam, for the heads up!) I felt that I had to put it here because I am a fan of Sylvia Plath—to the point where I considered her one of my heroes during my angsty teenage years. The angst is long gone, but I have so much respect of Sylvia Plath’s writings—as if every word that she puts down is filled with so much raw emotion.

After her death in 1963, Ted Hughes was largely vilified, no thanks to his womanizing ways. In “Last Letter”, the world is provided with much insight about Sylvia Plath’s last days and how Ted Hughes dealt with his estranged wife’s last days, given the sense of immediacy present in this just-published poem. Hughes himself is a master at poetry, and reading through the “Last Letter”, he conveys the mix of emotions that were running through him from the time he received a note from Plath—intended, of course, to be read after her death. One can sense much confusion, fear, and yes, even a sense of guilt and regret.

It has been years since both Plath and Hughes have passed away, but their story as one of modern literature’s most tempestuous relationships and shocking tragedies lives on. And “Last Letter” proves to make that story even richer.

Image credits: The Ted Hughes Estate/The British Library Board

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