Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

The Future of Fiction
by multiple authors

The Future of Fiction
by multiple authors

7

[...] I think this is because the stuff that's truly interesting about religion is inarticulable.** Plus the truth is that there's nothing about I really know, and nothing about it that anybody, I don't think, really knows; and so when I hear some person try to articulate or persuade me of some specific point about religious stuff I find myself looking at my watch or shifting my feet, immediately and deeply bored. But--each time--this boredom always lasts exactly as long as it takes me to realize that what this person who's trying to talk about religion is really talking about is herself. This happens each time. I'm glazed and scanning for the exit until I get the real gist: though these heartfelt utterances present themselves as assuasive or argumentative, what they really are are--truly, deeply--expressive--expressive of a self's heart's special tangle, of a knowing and verbal self's particular tortured relation to what is unknow- and -sayable. Then it gets interesting again.

**(Which of course paradoxically is a big part of what makes it so interesting, so it all gets really tangled.)

Quo Vadis--Introduction (7) default author 10 months ago

[...] I think this is because the stuff that's truly interesting about religion is inarticulable.** Plus the truth is that there's nothing about I really know, and nothing about it that anybody, I don't think, really knows; and so when I hear some person try to articulate or persuade me of some specific point about religious stuff I find myself looking at my watch or shifting my feet, immediately and deeply bored. But--each time--this boredom always lasts exactly as long as it takes me to realize that what this person who's trying to talk about religion is really talking about is herself. This happens each time. I'm glazed and scanning for the exit until I get the real gist: though these heartfelt utterances present themselves as assuasive or argumentative, what they really are are--truly, deeply--expressive--expressive of a self's heart's special tangle, of a knowing and verbal self's particular tortured relation to what is unknow- and -sayable. Then it gets interesting again.

**(Which of course paradoxically is a big part of what makes it so interesting, so it all gets really tangled.)

—p.7 Quo Vadis--Introduction (7) default author 10 months ago
10

I would argue, then, that the contemporary novelist who is not in any way addressing the changed reality of the present may yet be serving an important function. For the reader, that is--not necessarily for the genre itself. A crucial distinction. Through his deployment of the language, through giving expression to his vision, the writer may be creating a self-contained alternate order--a place where the ambitious reader can go to counter the centrifuge of late modernity, where he can, at least for a time, possess the aesthetic illusion of focus and sustain a single-minded immersion in circumstance no longer so generally available. that this is vicarious does not undermine its validity: it is a mode of surrogate living which most closely approximates what living felt like before technologies began to divide us from ourselves.

I like the centrifuge metaphor

Second Thoughts (9) default author 10 months ago

I would argue, then, that the contemporary novelist who is not in any way addressing the changed reality of the present may yet be serving an important function. For the reader, that is--not necessarily for the genre itself. A crucial distinction. Through his deployment of the language, through giving expression to his vision, the writer may be creating a self-contained alternate order--a place where the ambitious reader can go to counter the centrifuge of late modernity, where he can, at least for a time, possess the aesthetic illusion of focus and sustain a single-minded immersion in circumstance no longer so generally available. that this is vicarious does not undermine its validity: it is a mode of surrogate living which most closely approximates what living felt like before technologies began to divide us from ourselves.

I like the centrifuge metaphor

—p.10 Second Thoughts (9) default author 10 months ago
41

Now, if you think Art is fundamentally important to human beings--not as a notion but as a practical reality--the present anti-artistic (i.e., anti-humanist) thrust of the present party-political climate has to be worrying. Art is not decoration, or something pretty by someone dead. It's not escapism or entertainment. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of these things but they're not Art. Art is more even than ideas. Art is the exploration of ideas: an attempt, I think, to make sense of the experience of being human through a process of creative skepticism. This in turn means Art is best at work when it's being prickly, querulous, and hostile to complacency of thought. It is obvious how Art itself is a problem for the new right: too may questions do not sit well with the smug face of an apparently immovable government. [...]

Bad Times (39) default author 10 months ago

Now, if you think Art is fundamentally important to human beings--not as a notion but as a practical reality--the present anti-artistic (i.e., anti-humanist) thrust of the present party-political climate has to be worrying. Art is not decoration, or something pretty by someone dead. It's not escapism or entertainment. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of these things but they're not Art. Art is more even than ideas. Art is the exploration of ideas: an attempt, I think, to make sense of the experience of being human through a process of creative skepticism. This in turn means Art is best at work when it's being prickly, querulous, and hostile to complacency of thought. It is obvious how Art itself is a problem for the new right: too may questions do not sit well with the smug face of an apparently immovable government. [...]

—p.41 Bad Times (39) default author 10 months ago
71

[...] Whosoever has let in one genuine sentence, one paragraph, has felt that seduction like a golden thread being pulled slowly through one. . . .

Rupture, Verge, and Precipice (54) default author 10 months ago

[...] Whosoever has let in one genuine sentence, one paragraph, has felt that seduction like a golden thread being pulled slowly through one. . . .

—p.71 Rupture, Verge, and Precipice (54) default author 10 months ago
72

The future will be gorgeous and reckless, and words, those luminous charms, will set us free again. If only for a moment.

Rupture, Verge, and Precipice (54) default author 10 months ago

The future will be gorgeous and reckless, and words, those luminous charms, will set us free again. If only for a moment.

—p.72 Rupture, Verge, and Precipice (54) default author 10 months ago
83

[...] Why must we now pay $25 for a book? Not because of the cost of producing the book; we pay $25 so that everyone along the way can get his cut, as inadequate as that cut may be. No one wants to consider what the actual costs are; no one, especially the publisher, wants to consider this because it raises the question of what need there is, or isn't, for all the middlemen, including--as presently constituted--the publisher.

on ebooks

31 Questions and Statements about the Future of Literary Publishing, Bookstores, Writers, Readres, and Other Matters (83) default author 10 months ago

[...] Why must we now pay $25 for a book? Not because of the cost of producing the book; we pay $25 so that everyone along the way can get his cut, as inadequate as that cut may be. No one wants to consider what the actual costs are; no one, especially the publisher, wants to consider this because it raises the question of what need there is, or isn't, for all the middlemen, including--as presently constituted--the publisher.

on ebooks

—p.83 31 Questions and Statements about the Future of Literary Publishing, Bookstores, Writers, Readres, and Other Matters (83) default author 10 months ago
87

Does it make any difference whether literature survives? Maybe not, but only in the sense that to people alive right now, it may not make any difference whether the environment survives; they won't be around to choke on the water or to breathe in pure CO. Both literature and the environment have to do with the quality of life, as do music, ballet, museums. We can, of course, survive without ballet, but survive to do what?

31 Questions and Statements about the Future of Literary Publishing, Bookstores, Writers, Readres, and Other Matters (83) default author 10 months ago

Does it make any difference whether literature survives? Maybe not, but only in the sense that to people alive right now, it may not make any difference whether the environment survives; they won't be around to choke on the water or to breathe in pure CO. Both literature and the environment have to do with the quality of life, as do music, ballet, museums. We can, of course, survive without ballet, but survive to do what?

—p.87 31 Questions and Statements about the Future of Literary Publishing, Bookstores, Writers, Readres, and Other Matters (83) default author 10 months ago
88

[...] No one will agree with this and I don't want to spend the time arguing it. Or: Hemingway's fiction created the American male. Again, I don't have the time. [...]

thought this was funny

31 Questions and Statements about the Future of Literary Publishing, Bookstores, Writers, Readres, and Other Matters (83) default author 10 months ago

[...] No one will agree with this and I don't want to spend the time arguing it. Or: Hemingway's fiction created the American male. Again, I don't have the time. [...]

thought this was funny

—p.88 31 Questions and Statements about the Future of Literary Publishing, Bookstores, Writers, Readres, and Other Matters (83) default author 10 months ago
92

There's also the possibility that in a society as deracinated and stripped of tradition and continuity [...] as our own, the void that emptily exists where common experience would ordinarily repose is filled by elements of popular culture so anchored to a specific time that they become part of the lingua franca, staples of the manufactured conversation, endlessly in medias res, that takes the place of shared heritage. In effect, trends in television, movies and popular music and fake nostalgia for their various incarnations are our shared conscious heritage (in other words, Nick at Nite is not kidding), in a way that literature can never be, since fiction blasts aside most temporal restrictions with its persistent availability, as opposed to the unavoidability of popular culture [...]

Specially Marked Packages (91) default author 10 months ago

There's also the possibility that in a society as deracinated and stripped of tradition and continuity [...] as our own, the void that emptily exists where common experience would ordinarily repose is filled by elements of popular culture so anchored to a specific time that they become part of the lingua franca, staples of the manufactured conversation, endlessly in medias res, that takes the place of shared heritage. In effect, trends in television, movies and popular music and fake nostalgia for their various incarnations are our shared conscious heritage (in other words, Nick at Nite is not kidding), in a way that literature can never be, since fiction blasts aside most temporal restrictions with its persistent availability, as opposed to the unavoidability of popular culture [...]

—p.92 Specially Marked Packages (91) default author 10 months ago
95

[...] Many of the books currently being manufactured as part of a "Generation X" "movement" have at their dead cold centers the vacillating heart of the advertising executive. Kept aloft--that is, "relevant"--by a constant barrage of moronic platitudes concerning the meaninglessness of life (as if this were a new discovery), the emptiness of the sexual relationship (the latter-day democratization of whose romantic aspects is a dwindling luxury afforded by high capitalism's temporary redistribution of wealth), the absence of God [...] the narrator immediately reveals that what the second-person protagonist--implicitly the reader--really desires is re-entry into the world of middlebrow pleasures: a Ralph Lauren Sunday brunch of croissants, the Times, and a nice clean girl. [...]

Specially Marked Packages (91) default author 10 months ago

[...] Many of the books currently being manufactured as part of a "Generation X" "movement" have at their dead cold centers the vacillating heart of the advertising executive. Kept aloft--that is, "relevant"--by a constant barrage of moronic platitudes concerning the meaninglessness of life (as if this were a new discovery), the emptiness of the sexual relationship (the latter-day democratization of whose romantic aspects is a dwindling luxury afforded by high capitalism's temporary redistribution of wealth), the absence of God [...] the narrator immediately reveals that what the second-person protagonist--implicitly the reader--really desires is re-entry into the world of middlebrow pleasures: a Ralph Lauren Sunday brunch of croissants, the Times, and a nice clean girl. [...]

—p.95 Specially Marked Packages (91) default author 10 months ago