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Spiders on Drugs – CollegeHumor video This is the funniest video ever. Yes. Ever.

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Violette LeDuc was born in Arras, Pas de Calais, France, the illegitimate daughter of a servant girl, Berthe. In Valenciennes, the young Violette spent most of her childhood suffering from poor self-esteem, exacerbated by her mother’s hostility and overprotectiveness. She developed tender friendships with her grandmother Fideline and her maternal aunt Laure.

Her formal education, begun in 1913, was interrupted by World War I. After the war, she went to a boarding school, the Collège de Douai, where she experienced lesbian affairs with a classmate and a music instructor who was fired over the incident.[1]

In 1926, Leduc moved to Paris and enrolled in the Lycée Racine. That same year, she failed her baccalaureate exam and began working as a telephone operator and secretary at Plon publishers.

In 1932 she met Maurice Sachs and Simone de Beauvoir, who encouraged her to write. Her first novel L’Asphyxie (In the Prison of Her Skin) was published by Albert Camus for Éditions Gallimard and earned her praise from Jean-Paul Sartre, Jean Cocteau and Jean Genet.

Leduc’s best-known book, the memoir La Bâtarde, was published in 1964. It nearly won the Prix Goncourt and quickly became a bestseller.

 

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WILLS POINT, Tex., Aug. 29 — Most spiders are solitary creatures. So the discovery of a vast web crawling with millions of spiders that is spreading across several acres of a North Texas park is causing a stir among scientists, and park visitors.

Sheets of web have encased several mature oak trees and are thick enough in places to block out the sun along a nature trail at Lake Tawakoni State Park, near this town about 50 miles east of Dallas.

The gossamer strands, slowly overtaking a lakefront peninsula, emit a fetid odor, perhaps from the dead insects entwined in the silk. The web whines with the sound of countless mosquitoes and flies trapped in its folds.

Read the entire article here: Got Arachnophobia? Here’s Your Worst Nightmare – New York Times

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Bush condoms! yay!

Bush condoms: for the fuckers who don’t know when to pull out.  :p

More weird stuff…condom dresses?

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“…[0]…a fine and wonderful refuge of the divine spirit–almost an amphibian between being and non-being.” Gottfried Leibniz Check out this *amazing* book that takes a holistic approach to the study of 0. Interestingly, the Fool in tarot is represented by 0…

 

Picture Gallery Pop-Up A gallery of Jane Eyre book covers.

‘Satyagraha’ at the Met: The Fanciful in Service of the Spiritual – New York Times Here’s an AWESOME link to an article on Philip Glass’ opera ‘Satyagraha.’ My professor introduced this in class today and asked us why this opera? and now? I offered a connection to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but on deeper reflection I think Gandhi’s message can be applied to the struggle for independence everywhere… Currently, Glass’ ‘Satyagraha’ is playing at the Metropolitan Opera.

 

 

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I bought this book because I admit with a shade of shame that I don’t own enough books written by women… so I thought a Nobel laureate would be a good place to start! Only the 10th woman to be awarded, Elfriede Jelinek won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2004. Here is a description of the controversial themes Jelinek targeted:

“Prevalent topics in her prose and dramatic works are female sexuality, its abuse and the battle of the sexes in general. Texts such as Wir sind Lockvögel, Baby! (We are Decoys, Baby!), Die Liebhaberinnen (Women as Lovers) and Die Klavierspielerin (The Piano Teacher) showcase the brutality and power play inherent in human relations in a style that is at times ironically formal and tightly controlled. According to Jelinek, power and aggression are often the principal driving forces of relationships.”

Because of the sexually explicit nature of her books and, she would say her gender, she received the prize somewhat ambivalently. Here is the continuation of the Wiki article on Jelinek:

“Commenting on the Nobel Prize, she said she felt very happy to receive the Prize, but also felt despair: “despair for becoming a known, a person of the public”. Paradigmatic for her modesty and subtle self-irony, she – a reputed feminist writer – wondered if she had not been awarded the prize mainly for “being a woman” and suggested that among authors writing in German, Peter Handke whom she praises as a “living classic”, would have been a more worthy recipient.”

“Jelinek was criticized for not accepting the prize in person; instead, a video message was presented at the ceremony. Others appreciated that Jelinek openly disclosed that she suffers from agoraphobia and social phobia, anxiety disorders which can be highly disruptive to everyday functioning yet are often concealed by those affected out of shame or feeling of inadequacy. Jelinek has said that her anxiety disorders make it impossible for her even to go to the cinema or to board an airplane (in an interview she wished to be able to fly to New York to see the skyscrapers one day before dying), and she felt incapable of taking part in any ceremony. However, in her own words as stated in another tape message: “I would also very much like to be in Stockholm, but I cannot move as fast and far as my language.””

“In 2005, Knut Ahnlund left the Swedish Academy in protest, describing Jelinek’s work as “whining, unenjoyable public pornography” as well as “a mass of text shoveled together without artistic structure”. He said later her selection for the prize “has not only done irreparable damage to all progressive forces, it has also confused the general view of literature as an art”.

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Greetings!

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Welcome to my blog! Hopefully it’ll have something for everyone – book reviews, art, news, historical minutiae, quotes and bunches of fun stuff sandwiched in between. Enjoy!

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