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5.10.08

In Brief: It's October?

LinksHere is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • "The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining." Horace Engdahl, secretary of the Swedish Academy, the organization that awards the Nobel Prizes, hit the nail on the head. There are plenty of accomplished American writers, but Americans are indeed far more likely to read American books than translations of foreign literature. The result is, as Engdahl quite correctly labels it, insularity. [Washington Post]

  • By the way, in case you are thinking of arguing that the U.S. literary world is not insular, read the rebuttal of all possible arguments from The Complete Review. Well said. [The Literary Saloon]

  • From Michael Lodico, this news about the ban on performances of Christian sacred music in China. My initial reaction was outrage, but when I learned that it resulted in the cancellation of a performance of Handel's Messiah, I thought about moving to China. [The Telegraph]

  • The Internet has forced archival institutions to rethink their role in the dissemination of information. The Library of Congress, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the British Library, and most recently the Smithsonian have been putting vast amounts of important documents and information online. Check out the photographs of the Scopes "Monkey" Trial. [Boing Boing]

  • James Bash speaks to Carlos Kalmar about the new season from the Oregon Symphony. Of a concert featuring Lang Lang playing Rachmaninov's second piano concerto, Kalmar said, "With a soloist like that you take what he offers!" [The Gathering Note]

  • Our favorite Finnish-Canadian blogger sounds off about cuts in the Canadian arts budget that will spell the end of the CBC Radio Orchestra. [Marja-Leena Rathje]

  • By now everyone has seen the video of Sarah Palin playing the flute in a beauty pageant some years ago. Mrs. Ionarts, a flutist, could not stop laughing when I sent it to her. Sadly, eighth blackbird flutist Tim Munro regrettably took the high road and decided not to comment on the sound in the video. Please let Tim know that we want him to dish. [Thirteen Ways]

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