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Blog Profile / Literary Kicks

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:1071
Posts / Week:3.2
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Philosophy Weekend: Kierkegaard's Birthday

What do you buy a morose Danish philosopher who invented Existentialism for his 200th birthday? It doesn't really matter anymore, since Soren Aabye Kierkegaard is dead. He died at the young age of 42, already at this time a mostly broken man, an obsessive writer, a lonely bachelor, and a frequent subject of popular ridicule. Show More Summary

April 1993: CERN Opens the Web

All this spring and summer, we'll be hovering over the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web's breakthrough into mass popularity. This week presents another possible "birthday" date for the WWW craze: it was on April 30, 1993 that CERN...Show More Summary

The Vortex: Beats and Rock and Punk

Two excellent new books remind me of the vortex of interests that's always coursed beneath the surface here at Litkicks -- a vortex, in fact, that is central to the literary/artistic sensibility that has fascinated and informed me through my whole life. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Derek Jarman's Ludwig Wittgenstein

I don't have much of a Philosophy Weekend post for you this weekend. I'm working on some technical improvements to the website, and I'm also pondering some big themes for the next few weekends. But all I've got to show you today is a...Show More Summary

Jackson and Bukowski: Drunken Literature

Recently, I’ve been thinking about drunks. Specifically, I've been thinking about literature written by drunks and/or about drinking. The positive reaction to a piece on this topic called Ten Best Books by Drunks that I posted on Legs...Show More Summary

Huxley, De Quincey, Baudelaire, Bowles, Ginsberg, Burroughs: Literature of Substance

In his essay The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley describes his experiences after taking a dose of mescaline. At the end of the book, he makes this observation: That humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises seems very unlikely. Show More Summary

E. L. Konigsburg's Mixed-Up Files

E. L. Konigsburg, author of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has died at the age of 83. This book had the best concept of pretty much any children's novel I remember ever reading: two spirited tweens (12-year-old Claudia and 9-year-old Jamie) decide to run away from their boring posh suburban home and hide out in the Metropolitan...

Philosophy Weekend: Denial of Death

(A few months ago, I received an email from an Australian writer named Tim Hawken who had a few article ideas for Litkicks. I published his Kant on Beauty and Heidegger on Art, and it was only after this that Tim revealed to me that he was writing these pieces under the stress of a family health calamity. Show More Summary

Dusklands: Coetzee's Essential Debut Novel

Because the enigmatic South African novelist J. M. Coetzee's first novel Dusklands is out of print, I always figured the book must have been a weak start to a great career. Dusklands was published in 1974, years before Coetzee started hitting his powerful stride with The Life and Times of Michael K. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Can We Reinvent Our Money System?

There have been big headlines this week about an Internet phenomenon called Bitcoin. Bitcoin is an open source peer-to-peer virtual money system, unsupported by any government or bank or underground vault stacked with gold bars. It works on the basis of simplicity and transparency, and is backed only by the fact of its own existence. Show More Summary

The Clock Exploded: A Taste of Richard Hell

If proof is ever needed that some of our most talented creative geniuses keep a low profile, we only need to look to Richard Hell, an experimental poet, ex-punk star, novelist and now memoirist, who lives a humble but glorious life around downtown New York City and graces us with a new book every few years. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: What is the Meaning of Scientology?

(Here's another guest Philosophy Weekend post by Alan Bisbort, a scholar of the Beat Generation and American culture). Religious faith is not something one can rationalize, or shove into a semantic corner, or elaborate in words. It's about the mystery of existence, our place in the cosmos, the nature of life, the inevitability of physical death. Show More Summary

Why Watergate Happened: The Awkward Truth About the Mysterious Motive

Despite the enormous impact of the Watergate scandal, the actual purpose of the break-in of the Democratic National Committee offices has never been conclusively established.-- Wikipedia, The Watergate Scandal. I was thinking about this...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Heidegger on Art

(A few weeks ago, guest blogger Tim Hawken wrote about Immanuel Kant's aesthetic theory. Here's his second Philosophy Weekend piece, on a related subject. Hawken lives in Australia and is the author of 'I Am Satan' and 'Hellbound...

Thomas Mallon's Comedy of Watergate

Watergate is not a very distinctive title for a novel about the 1972-74 USA presidential scandal by Thomas Mallon. It was, however, a great name for the scandal. The term "Watergate" originally referred to the office-hotel complex in downtown Washington D.C. where, on a quiet day in June 1972, a gang of hapless spies with indirect connections to the...

Four Covers of 'Things Fall Apart'

The Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has died. We've written about Achebe on Litkicks before: Juliana Harris wrote a brief biography, and I had a chance to hear him read at a PEN World Voices festival in 2006. Images of his dignified elderly face have been splashed around since the announcement of his death. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Two Videos

I've just learned that Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park/Book of Mormon fame have been animating some passages from seminal Western Buddhist author Alan Watts. The videos are excellent! Here's Music and Life, with a message well...Show More Summary

Action Poetry: Spring 2013

It's springtime! How about writing a poem? This page is open for anyone to contribute a short or long poem, on any subject or idea, in any style, or to respond to anyone else's poem. Please use the comment form below to post a poem.

The Great Lost Rock Memoir: The Autobiography by Chuck Berry

(Since literature and music are two of my biggest passions, I am naturally fascinated by rock memoirs. I find much significance within these books, and in the shadows that surround them. The Great Lost Rock Memoir is a new Literary Kicks...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Stuck In An Elevator With Rand Paul and John McCain

A few months ago, we discussed the disturbing suggestion that there could ever be a rulebook for drone warfare. Most of us are horrified by the fact that remote-control killer aircraft is now a "thing", and we should be. But we should also be horrified by the thought of non-remote-controlled killer aircraft. Show More Summary

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