Monday, April 30, 2007

What a weekend...Post the First. Willesden.

Vanessa Gebbie's News

"First then, Willesden. The Herald. The launch of the best anthology since the big bang."

That's true. I like that picture of a distinguished-looking gent reading this week's copy of the Herald.

Here's another review courtesy of Exitainment, the best thing since Entertainment.

Ossian

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Letter from Liberia

The Observer Magazine

"The street scene in Monrovia is post-apocalyptic: people occupy the shell of a previous existence." (Zadie Smith)

Ossian

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Review of "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 1"

Authortrek.com

Come to Willesden Library centre tomorrow night 7:30 p.m. and meet all the young dudes, and have a drink on us. There will be reading. I know some of you launch-goers just want the wine and nibbles, but believe me, these readings are going to be one of the best parts of your life. There will be more talent than you can shake a stick at, try though you might. You may see a still-wet poster outside that says, "Willesden Library Centre: For One Night Only — The New Short Stories".

Ossian

I think that I shall never see / Potato trees on 581-c

To the People of New Earth

"...a special instrument that splits light to find wobbles in different wave lengths, revealing the possible existence of other worlds..." (Discovery of Gliese 581-C)

We of the smaller planet,
who make our dwellings from wood
and burn oil to drive our cars,
send greetings to the people of New Earth.

If choosing a landing place in future
please beware regions in dispute,
for your own safety, in case you're mistaken
for one of us, and shot.

We long to hear your poems of purple moon
and three-legged gazellaroos dancing
to the songcrows of midnight.

We crave Monster Munch that looks like us
and moon-dried tomatofig ice cream.

We're dying to know if your poets opine
Two girls in silk kimonos, both
Beautiful, one a Ferengi.


A special plea: don't diss the old culture.
Don't watch us on your "Vanishing World",
march in our uniforms into extinction.

Even if we believe in an impotent god,
get sloshed on firewater and fight in the town,
we are not completely without worth.

We have — we have Shakespeare! Listen
"If music be the food of love, play on":
Does it mean nothing to you? That's just one.

We have — we have Salinger!
"Pretty mouth, and green my eyes":
Surely you must have some idea what it means?

We have — we have Einstein!
"Nothing can travel faster than light":
Our cleverest fellow. Ok, he made one mistake.

Dear people of New Earth,
we have only just met, but
please let us live in peace and,
if possible, bring us precious stones.

Ganache

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Doubt is faith

The word faith relates to its counterpart, doubt. Doubt is not disbelief, doubt is merely a condition of less faith. Whoever talks about doubt necessarily talks about faith, in small quantities. To say "I doubt something" is to say "I have little faith in it", not the same as saying it is indubitably false. Faith is therefore a scale upon which doubt is measured. Doubt is, in effect, a sub-set of faith in the lower degrees. Faith therefore includes doubt, and doubt is a degree of faith. In this way, faith contains doubt, and doubt is a lesser part of faith. The future of religion could well be to appropriate doubt, to co-opt the agnostic. Not for me though.

Ossian

Metrowords

Festival highlights

click to view brochure

Don't forget the Willesden Herald "New Short Stories" event, this Friday, April 27th 7:30 p.m. at The Space, Willesden Library Centre, London NW10. Admission: Free

Jacintha Pucka's all-time favourite music video



If the above video is no longer available, you should still be able to view it here.

Musicians featured in U2's "Window in the Skies": Frank Zappa, Billie Holiday, Simon & Garfunkel, Roy Orbison, Bjork, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Marley, Charles Mingus, Louis Armstrong, David Bowie, Roger Daltrey?, Lou Reed?, Frank Sinatra, don't know 1, don't know 2, don't know 3 (Joe Strummer?), Nat King Cole, don't know 4, Keith Moon, Mick Jagger, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye?, Marvin Gaye, Joe Cocker?, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles?, Charlene Spiteri/Texas, Elvis Costello, don't know 5, Jimi Hendrix, don't know 6, don't know 7, don't know 8, don't know 9, Johnny Cash, Iggy Pop, Paul McCartney?, Maria Carey?, don't know 10, Elvis Presley, Al Green?, Morrissey, don't know 10 (looks familiar), Beyonce?, Elton John, don't know 11, don't know 12 (rapper), The Corrs?, Talking Heads?, Miracles again?, Charlene Spiteri again, Corrs drummer, and the song is still less than halfway through.

It goes on to include George Harrison playing euphorically, Chrissie Hynde, Ray Charles, Vladimir Horowitz on the piano, and several more people whose names I would really like to know. Can you identify any more?

Jacintha Pucka

Friday, April 20, 2007

Easy come, easy go

Iconic Banksy image painted over

"London transport workers have painted over an iconic mural by 'guerrilla artist' Banksy estimated to be worth more than £300,000. " (BBC)

Michelangelo never had this problem.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Survey: literary prejudices

YouNewdle™ surveyed a random selection of person about faults perceived in literature from various nations. The result were as follows:

English: finicky

Irish: clownish

Scottish: provincial

Welsh: timid

Indian: snobbish

Chinese: naive

Japanese: trivial

American: complacent

Australian: trying to hard

New Zealand: not trying hard enough

French: conceited

German: all work and no play

Italian: all play and no work

Any more? YouNewdle™ would like to hear from you.

Wreuters

Wolfowitz: neo-conman hypocrite

Do as I say, not as I do

"Since taking over as president of the World Bank, Mr Wolfowitz has redirected the bank's priorities towards fighting corruption and encouraging good governance"

From the brain that brought you the invasion of Iraq, loser Wolfowitz, now caught misappropriating jobs and salaries for his ladyfriend.

Zoz

Monday, April 16, 2007

A short story by Primo Levi

The Death of Marinese

Previously unpublished in English, an early work by Primo Levi on the 20th anniversary of his death (The Guardian Online | Books)

Ossian

Gordon Brown on Aung San Suu Kyi

A woman of courage

"On April 5 1989, Suu Kyi and her colleagues confronted an army unit whose rifles were raised and aimed at them. She motioned for her colleagues to step aside while she walked on alone towards the soldiers, offering herself as an easy target. An army major finally intervened and the rifles were lowered. This poignant scene, of an unarmed solitary figure advancing towards the aimed weapons of a paranoid military dictatorship, can be seen as an allegory of her struggle for freedom in her land." (Gordon Brown, Guardian Online)

Good show all round. One always suspected Jeeves to be one of those still waters that run deep. And sure enough he's only gone and written a sequel to J. F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage", called "Courage: Eight Profiles".

Peregrine Tweedy

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stories event



It's either going to be a a great party or a disaster.

Ossian

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Willies: special award

WRMC announces a special award on the occasion of his 75th birthday to Cheeta, the star of the Tarzan films.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to acting and the movies, the WRMC hereby appoints Cheeta its inaugural fellow, and awards this special Golden Willy for Lifetime Achievement. His thrilling adventures together with his humorous ape companion, Johnny Weissmuller, will continue to bring joy to future generations as they have in the past.

Alma Dinnerjacket

London Metrowords 2007

Unofficial website

"A literary extravaganza, London Metrowords (formerly Westwords) is one of the largest festivals of the written and spoken word. (Source: Shot from the Lip)"

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 1 (out now)

The best of the international Willesden Herald short story prize* with writing from Britain, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and the US. A feast of new short stories from these award-winning and brilliant writers: Willie Davis, Steve Finbow, James Lawless, Lee Joans, Nicholas Hogg, Wes Lee, Vanessa Gebbie, Jonathan Attrill, Laura Solomon, Shakti Bhatt, Laura Heggie, Olesya Mishechkina, Arthur Allan (in order of appearance).

Underground classics: look cool while missing your stop. Click to read excerpts and more:
NewShortStories.com.

U.K. & Ireland

Amazon.co.uk

U.S.

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Other countries

Amazon international sites

All online and independent high street bookshops

Now available to order. Ref. "Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 1", editor Stephen Moran. ISBN 0977852628

P O'Toole

* From the International Willesden Herald. "Arse gratia artis". Royalties to Comic Relief.

Adverts by Gombeen™ Blow your own trumpet

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stop what you're doing

Shouting CCTV camera scheme extended

"Government spends £500,000 to install cameras with loudspeakers which let security staff berate people in public for littering and fighting." (ITPro)

Do you think they can see me typing this, if I sit over in the corner and keep the keyboard on my lap under the desk?

Steve Allen

Monday, April 02, 2007

At a loss

Obit for Shakti Bhatt (Saja Forum)

Hard to believe and terribly sad. I corresponded with Shakti by email not long ago about her short story in the new anthology and all was well. She had rewritten it and was pleased with the result. It seems she was a fine young woman with a brilliant career in progress and in prospect, and dear to many, as can be seen from some of the messages online today:

For Shakti

good bye, sweet friend

kitabakhana

Amitava Kumar

Goodbye Shakti

Blogbharti

Ossian

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Titter palace opens



This is the impressive new Willesden Herald Museum of Comedy, opened today by Eddie "Red" Woodward in a ceremony attended by the Prince and Princess of Monaco.