Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Week in Links (The Culture Shock Edition)

My favorite link this week is an open letter in which a translator explains why spreadsheets are not part of the translator's toolkit. It's a cogent, beautiful argument for translation and for art and for independence. There's a full English translation after the original, which was written in Catalan:

Translator Joan Sellent Writes a Letter to Edward Albee

Apropos(ish) of critical thinking, literature and artistic autonomy, I came across this via a combination of the Times Higher Ed supplement page and Twitter. It's kind of interesting to think that there might be a more liberal arts type of education available in the UK; this sounds like it was based on a specific, identifiable model, though, that I really seriously don't think was the best available option:

Liberal Arts

This is my second-favorite link of the week. A much better way to save a library than the one that the NYPL has proposed. Total brilliance and good humor:

Threats of Book Burning Save a Library

More ways to destroy books in a good cause:

Octogenarian Hunts for Rare Hebrew Manuscripts Hidden in Book Bindings

Sculptures/dioramas made out of books:

Book Sculptures

"I wish there were more articles headlined 'Thorough, Accurate Cataloging Pays Off!' " Well, yes and no. Sometimes we discover things that have been catalogued excellently and carefully, and sometimes we find things that the cataloguers have missed, neglected or misidentified, and sometimes we find things, through incredibly careful and hard shoe-leather work in spite of them having been actively lost in modernity:

If you discover something in an archive it's not a discovery


And more news in the book boycott department: I think what bugs me about this one is that it's a completely meaningless gesture. The book already exists in Hebrew and is available in Israel, a country where the vast majority of people also speak and read English really well. So a lack of a second Hebrew-langauge edition of The Color Purple will be what breaks the backbone of the Israeli government? It'll have about as much impact as people posting viral status messages or changing their profile pictures for the sake of a cause on Facebook. If that's what makes Alice Walker feel like she can hold her head high, well...:

Alice Walker Declines Request to Publish Israeli Edition of The Color Purple

I don't know that I'd be able to get my hands on a Hebrew-langauge copy, but if anybody in Israel needs or wants a copy of that book and can't locate one, I'll gladly pop one in the post. Let me know.


Ha! You see? My goal for this coming year has basis in science!:

Take Breaks Regularly to Stay on Schedule

Alternative creation myths. Out of the mouths of babes. SpanishProf reads an essay with a much better origins story for Facebook than the one that involves Mark Zuckerberg (scroll about halfway down the post):

New Knowledge...

Check out the knight in shining armor:

The Middle Ages in the Modern World

And in further medieval-made-modern, I think this should be done for more major European monuments. In all seriousness, though, the idea of actually recreating a sacred site in a way that compels people to take off their shoes is interesting. But maybe I'm overthinking. Overthinking the inflatable, bouncy Stonehenge, that is:

Sacrilege 2012

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