Hungry Hollow Book Tank: A Lexiconigraphic Omnibus Digitalis

"By lack of understanding they remained sane." -Orwell.................. Our door lies open to all lovers of language. May words enrich your lives and grant you the power to affect physical change upon the universe. This site is staunchly dedicated to the freedom of information, the power of language, the history of literature and the beauty of poetry in the hopes that some turning of the earth will result of our utopian discord. By naming things we remember.

Monday, November 28, 2005

LitBlogs and LitCasting will shake the foundations of the empire of books

and hopefully rattle corporate publishers and reviewers off their pedestal. Anyone interested in this new wave of knowledge spreading or the freedom of information should check out the following:

LibriVox - accoustical liberation of books in the public domain

Edward Champion's Ultimate List of Literary Podcast - this one includes an excellent links list of audiolit projects and litcasts

info courtesy of:

Ancient Texts as "Fossils": How They Survive

"Through the ages, ancient texts have survived wars, fires, theft, and neglect.

But so far scholars have only been able to draw upon anecdotal evidence to estimate how many handwritten texts created before the advent of the printing press in the 15th century have survived.

A new study, however, uses population biology to calculate the likelihood that an ancient text has survived from the eighth or ninth century to the present..." Read More

link courtesy of the apparently and unfortunately defunct Reading Room

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Herbert Huncke interviewed by Johnny Strike back in the 80s

the father of the beat generation.
link courtesy of Reality Studio: William S. Burroughs News

Friday, November 25, 2005

Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things, an Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas

This sounds like a topic which deserves more attention than Gary Geddes was able to give it, judging form the tone of several reviews online, but hey, it's hard to write a frickin' book.

"Geddes is tracking fifth-century Buddhist monk Huishen, who, according to the Liang Shu, the records of the Liang Dynasty, was “a monk from Kabul with a strange tale of adventure, a fantastical voyage to and a forty-year sojourn in lands beyond the eastern sea.” The record says nothing about his missionary work beyond the suggestion that he spread the Word. Some, like Geddes, believe that the lands he lived and maybe proselytized in were the Americas."

by Gary Geddes, Harper Collins, 2005 Hardcover, $34.95 ISBN 0-00-200100-4

reviewed by John Harris of Dooney's Cafe, a phenomenal site and story you should invest some time in checking out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Badass Republican Poet Dana Gioia Scores Dream Job as Head of National Endowment for the Arts

A little old poetry news from 2003: This could turn out very well or very ugly...he did already score the Arts another 10 mil but who are we kidding... some of this crap is like the National Book Awards: elitest bullshit back patting sessions for the upper-tier literati and art hounds. Please do write this gentleman a letter (I'm sure he could stand to hear form more radicals, anarchists, and liberals) regarding your personal views of poetry and art and how $132 million dollars should be spent on them! Check out his books Can Poetry Matter and Disappearing Ink, they're quite good. Dana Gioia's pretty cool personal site is here.

"For 15 years, Dana Gioia was a man whose heart was pulled in two directions. As he rose through the marketing ranks at General Foods, resurrecting the Jell-O brand and ultimately reaching the position of vice-president, he also was writing serious poetry. His first collection was published in 1986, and in 1991, when his controversial essay "Can Poetry Matter?" ran in The Atlantic Monthly -- the essay argued that current poetry, trapped in the "intellectual ghetto" of academia, needed to have its "vulgar vitality" restored and made available to all -- it elicited 400 letters from readers and a flurry of media attention." Read More...

Again, thanks Bookslut!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

When a library closes, who gets the books?

Thanks Bookslut Blog!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Random Things of Literary Interest #1

Cool little article: A Space for the Future - Library Buildings in the 21st Century

and some humor for a dark, dark age:The Ambrose Bierce Appreciation Society author of the world-renowned
Devil's Dictionary.

From the Devil's Dictionary:
DICTIONARY, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.


LEXICOGRAPHER, n. A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statue. Let the dictionary (for example) mark a good word as "obsolete" or "obsolescent" and few men thereafter venture to use it, whatever their need of it and however desirable its restoration to favor — whereby the process of improverishment is accelerated and speech decays. On the contrary, recognizing the truth that language must grow by innovation if it grow at all, makes new words and uses the old in an unfamiliar sense, has no following and is tartly reminded that "it isn't in the dictionary" — although down to the time of the first lexicographer (Heaven forgive him!) no author ever had used a word that was in the dictionary. In the golden prime and high noon of English speech; when from the lips of the great Elizabethans fell words that made their own meaning and carried it in their very sound; when a Shakespeare and a Bacon were possible, and the language now rapidly perishing at one end and slowly renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and hardy preservation — sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion — the lexicographer was a person unknown, the dictionary a creation which his Creator had not created him to create.

God said: "Let Spirit perish into Form,"
And lexicographers arose, a swarm!
Thought fled and left her clothing, which they took,
And catalogued each garment in a book.
Now, from her leafy covert when she cries:
"Give me my clothes and I'll return," they rise
And scan the list, and say without compassion:
"Excuse us — they are mostly out of fashion."
—Sigismund Smith

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sons of god: Darice Moore on Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys

Excellent review of Gaiman's new book.

"Neil Gaiman’s new novel Anansi Boys is set in the same universe as his 2001 novel American Gods, but where Gods is sprawling, taking on multiple mythologies and creating new ones, Boys is tightly focused. Here we have only one god to deal with, the spider god Anansi, and Gaiman takes advantage of the limited scope to thoroughly explore the ramifications of the trickster-storyteller through a cast of characters who are all, in different ways, finding their voices."

link courtesy of Maud Newton

Friday, November 18, 2005

Establishment Cronyism in the "Independent" Literary Scene

King Wenclas of Attacking the Demi-Puppets makes some keen insights on the literary industry and its interrelationship with education and government. I enjoy his blog very much, even though he tears David Berman a new one, a poet I hitherto liked the work of. King Wenclas also acts as Publicity Director for the controversial watchdog group Underground Literary Alliance.

Check out these posts for a scathing indictment of Harpers, David Berman of Open City Books, the NY upper-crust overclass writing cliques and the literary industry as a whole as he poses the question Who Owns Literature?: Ben Marcus and Establishment Cronyism and Ben Marcus and Test Tube Literature and the conclusion is here. Enjoy!

The Antipodes; or, a place to Think Upside Down

This deserves more attention. As does this: Arts and Letters Daily and this blog: Cartoon Brew. Boring commentary, I know, but it's 3:48 in the freakin' morning and I just got done working Geoduck night-tides so I can be a man of few words if it pleases me.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A book should serve as the axe for the frozen sea within us.

-Franz Kafka

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Cartoon Virtual Museum

A side project of the Portuguese Printing Press Museum (also badass).

check out their phenomenal cartoon collection and forgive the faulty english, i'd like to see you get by in Portugal you monolingual ape. There's some other pretty amazing stuff on this server if you dig around a bit. Like this site on 9-11 Cartoons.

"This museum exists in the ambit of the International Cartoon Gallery and aims the global dissemination of a set of references to point out the importance of the humour drawing worldwide.

It is still on an experimental phases. This Virtual Cartoon Museum must be seen as a dynamic space which will be extended with personalities, themes, galleries, etc., as time goes by.

Its intention is to valorise the universal language of the cartoon, always aiming at the humour excellence. From the past to the present. Being certain that the human capacity of laughing and making laugh will never end and it is older than the signs that had been left in the pre-historical caverns."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Amazon, My Private Library

by James Stegall

"I'm greedy. I want to walk into my local library and have every type of media available, from vinyl to MP3, Betamax to DVD, hardback to trade paper. I want the media at my command to originate from when it first started getting made, and since I'm also lazy, I want the library to recommend the media best suited to my tastes (based also on my current mood would be outstanding, but that's asking a lot). Once my library presents me with a list of potential, long-tailed media for my consumption, I also want to know whether other people liked it or not – because I put a lot of credence in what others think, and I don't want to get caught listening to unhip music, even if the library thinks I'll like it. If the requirements I just laid down almost sound like a certain online retailer, it's because I'm trying to think of all the ways that Amazon is not like a library. The biggest argument would be They charge for their stuff and that's true – but libraries aren't completely free either, especially when you figure the cost of traveling to them, paying late fees, donating to their underfunded existence, paying taxes, etc..." Read More

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Home is also a public library - illiterate man seeks books so poor can read

By Henry Chu
Los Angeles Times
Posted November 12 2005

SAO GONCALO, Brazil · Carlos Leite can barely read a word, but books revolutionized his life.

Two years ago, he was doing construction work for a man who was about to toss out six thick, red encyclopedias. Leite asked if he could have them instead. Thus, a dream was born.

Within days, he hit the pavement, knocking on doors, begging people for more unwanted books. No contribution was too small, too big or too arcane. Skeptical members of Leite's bicycling club were dragooned into helping him collect donations.

His texts quickly multiplied. The original six volumes turned into 100, then 1,000. Soon, his humble home was bursting with 5,000 books of all types, worn classics, chemistry textbooks, dog-eared thrillers.

To Leite, though, nearly all the books are mysteries. Born into a poor family, he dropped out of school after third grade and, at 51, is functionally illiterate.

But books, he knows, are the gateway to a life of greater possibility and more promise than his own. It might be too late for me, a working man, he reasoned, but not for more

link courtesy of Maud Newton

Googlization and You

An excellent article by Christopher Allen Waldrop on the legality of Google Print and some unexpected outcomes that may not have been thought through all the way... or maybe they were. Waldrop's shrewd book sense comes through in his poignant, studied prose, check out his other writings, also available through Moby Lives.

link via Moby Lives: News & Commentary About Books & Writers

Against Civilization - Feral House

The best anarchist thought from the king of neo-primitivism himself, John Zerzan. For more anarcho-primitivist philosophy visit Green Anarchy(edited by Zerzan and others & free to prisoners!)

With mass poisonings, global warming and other tidings of contemporary civilization threatening the planet, shouldn’t we begin to reconsider our unthinking attachment to it?

Feral House’s new expanded edition of Against Civilization adds 18 new essays and feral illustrations by R.L. Tubbesing to the contemporary classic that provides 67 thought-provoking looks into the dehumanizing core of modern civilization, and the ideas that have given rise to the anarcho-primitivist movement. The editor of this compelling anthology is John Zerzan, author of Running on Emptiness (Feral House) and Future Primitive.

“I celebrate John Zerzan’s anthology harboring the best of civilized people’s critiques of civilization. Herein the reader will discover the questions that need to be asked and the insights that beg to be nurtured if humankind and the natural world as we know it are to thrive into the future. This book is that important.” — Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization