Pynchon and ebooks

This morning began with a link provided from Sarah T. of Girls Like Giants to this New York Times story about Thomas Pynchon’s decision to go ahead to let his books be sold as ebooks. This is usually the point where the Pynchon scholar (me – and yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say scholar. Maybe it’s the new PhD getting to me, but what the hell) rails against the electronic format and sings the virtues of paper.

Except I think this is a great idea. Continue reading “Pynchon and ebooks”

RIP Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury died this morning at the age of 91. I had the pleasure of teaching Fahrenheit 451 last year and this passage from the end of the book came to mind when I read the news:

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die”

By your own words Mr. Bradbury, I think you’re set.

Light to Matter

I wanted to post a few links I’ve come across today. Sadly (due to lack of equipment and a fairly cloudy day) I’ll be watching this online. Still, I’m endlessly fascinated by this sort of thing. In another life (one where I was actually decent at math) I’d be an astronomer.

Everything you need to know about the transit according to Io9

Everything you need to know about the transit according to Bad Astronomy

A look back at the 1882 transit at Bad Astronomy

Also, because I’m a fan of Thomas Pynchon, I couldn’t help but turn to this passage from Mason & Dixon this morning:

“ – You’ve seen her in the Evening Sky, you’ve wish’d upon her, and now for a short time will she be seen in the Day-light, crossing the Disk of the Sun, – and do make a Wish then, if you think it will help. – For  Astromers, who usually work at night, ‘twill give us a chance to be up in the Day-time. Thro’ our whole gazing-lives, Venus has been a tiny Dot of Light, going through phases like the Moon, ever against the black face of Eternity. But on the day of this Transit, all shall suddenly reverse, – as she is caught, dark, embodied, solid, against the face of the Sun, – a goddess descended from light to Matter.”

Charles Mason in Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon