Category Archives: Bradford Library

Zamyatin’s tangible threat that 2+2=4 [yikes]

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Originally @ S-is-For-Somewhere

I’m admittedly biased against DRM-locked digitized books and audio, and so when it was announced that Amazon–which, otherwise, I like a ton–axed copies of 1984 from owners’ kindles, I was less at odds with the particular action than what it meant & symbolized regarding threats to ownership and autonomy in the digital culture.

Skim “Why 2024 Will Be like Nineteen Eighty-Four: How Amazon’s remote deletion of e-books from the Kindle paves the way for book-banning’s digital future” published @ Slate.

Amazon deleted books that were already available in print, but in our paperless future—when all books exist as files on servers—courts would have the power to make works vanish completely. Zittrain writes: “Imagine a world in which all copies of once-censored books like CandideThe Call of the Wild, and Ulysseshad been permanently destroyed at the time of the censoring and could not be studied or enjoyed after subsequent decision-makers lifted the ban.” This may sound like an exaggeration; after all, we’ll surely always have file-sharing networks and other online repositories for works that have been decreed illegal. But it seems like small comfort to rely on BitTorrent to save banned art. The anonymous underground movements that have long sustained banned works will be a lot harder to keep up in the world of the Kindle and the iPhone.

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/The Graphic Classroom/ in /Teacher Librarian/

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I read through the grapevine that The Graphic Classroom was plugged in the school-library journal Teacher Librarian, reading: “Web 2.0: The growing popularity of blogs such as The Graphic Classroom, http://graphicclassroom.blogspot.com, has provided a way for people to easily share reviews and favorite web sites about age appropriate materials for young people.” — which makes me want to mention (I am sure I have before) that I am really pretty impressed with what Chris Wilson [editor] is achieving through his reviewsite. And although it is [for some ungodly reason] in the shadow of godawful reviewsites like No Flying, No Tights, I am watching for it to take off.

I think [I think] the issue may be that it is geared toward a niche audience, or maybe because it is a blog it is somehow less-worthy than NFNT‘s messy code, which–maybe like Bookslut–earns it status as an eZine. The Graphic Classroom’s multiple talented authors are thorough reviewers (academic in length and structure), and Chris has some well-earned sway among some of the early-reader/ya graphic marketers: it might not be too hard (although it’d certainly be more time consuming) to wrangle authors and illustrators in and interviewed, reports on major industry events (we already do that, but they aren’t gathered in–say–their own corner of the site, but intermingled with the steady stream of reviews).

Using Bookslut as a model and looking through the TGC archives, there are enough reviews, op-eds, features and suchlike, including the obligatory links, Chris’s killer graduate study, archives organized by recommendations, and so on to situate and usurp a NFNT’s position in the YALSA Recommended Websites list. IMHO

The Gratuitious Coconut of Blahggery

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So, it’s been awhile. It’s been–I guess–a good long hiatus from the net, the reestablishment of autonomy, a fantastic woman (and stress in wresting her out of the ether), loads of work, and whatnot. The school’s back in August (don’t forget that I am a Seminole: a graduate student at FSU); I’ve survived a year in county employment (or that I am the Reference Assistant & Teen Coordinator at the Bradford County [I accidentally typoed “coconutty“] Public Library) on July 8th. Gratuitous. Anxious to be back.

Capital-R Romantic Libraries

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[Posted @ S-is-For-Somewhere.com]

I was busy aggregating Vic’s feed through my mobile when I read in reference to a collection of essays on Romantic Libraries. – re-reading this sentence informs my rebel aesthetics that this isn’t at all interesting and warrants no reckoning (except that maybe of the Almighty [praise be, praise be]. But, ah …, screw it. I am anxious to mine this jazz to put into context my current library-centered existence – especially a now democratic dissemination of lit. and the aesthete of having read tomes, although canon is losing its grip.

Moving Time // S is For Somewhere

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Intending to address the derth of content by pointing you to my new website-in-progress called “S-is-For-Somewhere.” I am still in the layout and code-buggery phase, but hopefully by the end of the week I will begin writing there semi-regularly. Essentially, because I exist at the Blogering Hole and vis-a-vis Bradford County Public Library virtual presence, twitter, and so on ad nauseum, I really wanted a master hub I could use as both a portfolio website and general hangout. I’m screwing around with a widget I am trying to install that will create a snazzy flash gallery to replace (or at least supplement) my Facebook, Flickr, and Myspace – for instance. 

I also wanted somewhere I could throw-up (blaaaaaahrg) my occasional short stories, some essays I’ve written, and so on. 

I know some of you RSS me, and I’ll probably have my journal postings there dumped into here for a short while, but the RSS feed is setup over at S-is-For-Somewhere for anyone wanting an early start.

Fav. Bookslut on the Inauguration

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I have been busy, but I wanted to point you to Colleen Mondor‘s thoughts on the inauguration which I thought well-spoken. Having moved just recently from Michigan to rural Florida (Starke in Bradford County), she has already learned what I am first encountering – that is, really, the disparity between theoretical and first-hand social knowledge. Okay, maybe that’s sorta highbrow, but that’s the best I can do. I just wanted to pull a resonant quote.

Even growing up in Florida, I didn’t realize how prevalent separation was between the races in this country and I had not idea – no idea at all – how distant this country’s young black citizens felt from the American dream. I didn’t know that most of them did not dream at all, or believed the dreams were never going to be for them.

I know that Barack Obama is not perfect and that he will likely make mistakes and that more than once in the future a lot of us will be frustrated with some of his decisions. I am not naive in that regard. However I also know that he is intelligent and thoughtful and acts with supreme care, something his campaign proved to us over and over and that we have been sorely lacking in the White House for a very long time. (Hello George W. and Bill Clinton.) I do not think he is perfect but I do think he is capable of brilliance and that is what makes me so hopeful right now, what makes the historian in me believe that perhaps this time we, as a country, will accomplish great things. 

I love that train of thought, and I am stunned by its blunt common-sense, which describes in me my general appreciation for both the President’s rhetoric and manner, and my sometimes unspeakable unease that I was never so carried away as, say, the many present in the national mall yesterday. I have hope in his thoughtful, empathetic demeanor, and his capability of brilliance – but I am also aware and halfheartedly presuming it to fail him on occasion. I am a little worried that his real, first stumble, will be millions tripping.

Yevgeny Zamyatin[-and-Mirra] / Evgenii Zamyatin[-and-Clarence]

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Mirra Ginsburg is just pure poetry.

I’ve wound-up brooding on my purchase of the Penguin Classics We, rather than the Mirra Ginsburg mass-paperback. The novel was pretty comfortable in obscurity until, I think, relatively recently, when it roiled-up in english departments when professors discovered it was first an inspiration to 1984 and, second, wonderful. However it was read in Russian, Mirra Ginsburg anglicized We into buttermilk. 

I am less certain about Clarence Brown. I suspect (with no solid evidence) his translation may be more literal, academic, and subsequently less substantial – but that isn’t fair.

The reality is that I have done my damnedest to avoid ordering paperbacks, simply because in a public library these books yellow and tatter and dust away with only a handful of reads. Unfortunately, Mirra Ginsburg’s edition is only available (if only through Ingrams) in paperback; my loyalty yellows and tatters because of aesthetics.

Anyway, so Scott Friesner — professor at Western Michigan University — taught me We twice, initially as part of my first course in Lit., and then again (and this is kind of nifty) years later as part of my last. He talked The Odyssey as Homer playing a stratocaster, and filled me all up with paranoia (and morbid interest in dystopian lit.) in an hour-long lecture easily summarized

Dostoevsky: 2+2=5, you can never account for the human spirit.
Zamyatin: 2+2=4, there is no human spirit to account for.
Orwell: 2+2=4, 2+2=5,  …, 2+2=whatever the hell they tell you it is.

which refers to Dostoevsky’s (Notes From Undergroundresponse to  utilitarianism, Zamyatin’s parodic ideal-future-thereof, and Orwell’s inevitable reality resulting of it. The greater good.

Poignant jargon, huh?

So here’s the skinny: I am preparing my library for YALSA‘s Teen Tech Week, making it – this time around – thematically dystopian. Reliance on and trust in technology is, I suppose, a more stimulating bent rather than hosting a few gaming events (which I’m doing, I love gaming), and I want to pair 1984, Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, and We in a month-long contemplation of dystopia.

Of course, the library hasn’t a copy of the latter, so I’ve gone an-ordering. Her translation is Awfully Good, though ….