¶ We like very much what Tony Judt wrote on The Glory of the Rails (NYRB).
¶ "DropMocks is the easiest way to create and share beautiful image galleries online" (HTML5, sharing, photographs, free)
"Can you tell a whole story in 25 words or fewer? Inspired by the six-word novel attributed to Ernest Hemingway — "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" — Robert Swartwood has compiled a new anthology of bite-sized fiction. The stories in Hint Fiction are short enough to be text messages, but the genre isn't defined only by its length. It's characterized by the way the form forces readers to fill in the blanks, Swartwood tells NPR's Scott Simon. Most fiction hints at a larger story, he says, but the brevity of these stories really challenges the reader's imagination."
¶ How I got lost in translation and found my true calling (Maureen Freely translates Orhan Pamuk in English - The Observer) :
Outside the Anglophone world, it is not unusual for novelists and poets to work at some point in their lives as translators. Though most will say that they did so mainly to subsidise their own writing, it is often clear, when you look at that writing, that it has been enriched by the imaginary conversations they've had with the poets and novelists whose words they have translated. If there is such a thing as world literature, it is because today's most interesting writers are also well‑travelled readers and a lot of what they read is in translation. An up-and-coming Colombian novelist might be inspired not just by Borges, Conrad and Faulkner, but by contemporary novelists from Asia, Africa and Europe; his literary response to their work will go on to influence what his contemporaries on the other side of the world write next. These complex patterns of cross-fertilisation would end overnight if it were not for literary translators and the publishers who support them. So you'd think people would thank us, wouldn't you?
¶ Sad as Hell (Okay review of Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story) :
Shteyngart says the first thing that happened when he bought an iPhone “was that New York fell away . . . It disappeared. Poof.” That’s the first thing I noticed too: the city disappeared, along with any will to experience. New York, so densely populated and supposedly sleepless, must be the most efficient place to hone observational powers. But those powers are now dulled in me. I find myself preferring the blogs of remote strangers to my own observations of present ones. Gone are the tacit alliances with fellow subway riders, the brief evolution of sympathy with pedestrians. That predictable progress of unspoken affinity is now interrupted by an impulse to either refresh a page or to take a website-worthy photo. I have the nervous hand-tics of a junkie.
¶ Transcripts from NASA missions written as tweets (sort of, very readable) : Spacelog: space exploration stories from the original transcripts. (Jim Lovell : "Houston, we've had a problem" Apollo 13).