In Memoriam Erich Zielinski

17 02 2012

PHOTO: Bert Nienhuis

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Erich Zielinski Died

17 02 2012

Writer and poet Erich Zielinski died last Wednesday February 15th, 2012 in Willemstad, Curaçao after a long illness.

In 2004 he made his debut with the novel De Engelenbron [Angel Source, ed.], that takes place in Otrobanda where life is dominated by the problems of survival and drugs. The main protagonist is the ex-police officer Monchín who tries to flee everyday reality when driving his Harley Davidson. The book was nominated for the Gouden Strop and received in 2007 the Cola Debrot-price.

Zielinski was born on Bonaire, but grew up in the old town of Otrobanda on Curaçao. After studying law in The Netherlands he went back to the Antilles and was employed as a teacher. At that time he was founder and editor of the magazine, Vitó, a ‘critical’ magazine against the establishment in the Antilles during the turbulent sixties. On Curaçao, he completed his law studies and he established himself as a lawyer. In the early 1970s, he was for a short time editor-in-Chief of the no longer existing newspaper Beurs- en Nieuwsberichten.

His novel Prijs van de zee (2008) [Price of the Sea, ed.] takes place on Bonaire, where the discovery of a car that fell into the sea almost leads to rivalry in a fishing village. The novel Scott Zuyderling (2009) is largely located in the Netherlands. Lawyer Scott Zuyderling goes to the funeral of Ronnie, Scott’s friend Armand’s son. Ronnie has committed suicide. Scott realizes that Armand never told him that he has begotten a child  with his own daughter-in-law (Ronnie’s wife). He is confronted with his own history and especially his relationship to his homosexual son.

Books by Erich Zielinski are available @ BookIsh Plaza





Books & the Internet Merging?

17 02 2012

Are books and the internet about to merge?

The difference between ebooks and the internet is minimal, and we should be glad the two are growing closer and closer

It’s easy to forget that the world wide web as we know it today evolved from an early attempt to put books on the internet. When Tim Berners-Lee envisaged what would become the world wide web, it was with the idea of making academic papers and other documents widely available. To this end he devised a simple way of laying out text and images on a page, inventing what we now call Hypertext Markup Language or HTML.

Early HTML could define pages and paragraphs, bold and italicise text, embed images and lay out tables. A little more than 20 years later, HTML 5 includes media playback and animation, and the web has now become so ubiquitous that for most users it is indistinguishable from the underlying framework of the internet itself, but at its core the technology of the web remains little changed. Every web page, however sophisticated it may seem, is basically a digital book that we read on our computer through our web browser.

So when Hugh McGuire, founder of PressBooks and LibriVox, stated today that the book and the internet will merge, he was in one sense simply reiterating what is already the case. But from the perspective of people without the technical knowledge to see how closely entwined the book and the internet already are, it has the whiff of yet another doom-monger proclaiming the death of the book as we know it.

McGuire’s argument hinges on the recent emergence of ebooks as a serious contender to the print book as the dominant artefact of the publishing industry, with some suggesting that ebooks will make up 50% of the book market by 2015 thanks to the Kindle, iPad and smartphones. Ebooks are deliberately packaged and marketed to appear as much like traditional print books as possible, so many readers will be surprised to discover that ebooks are built around much the same HTML structure that powers the web. Every ebook, no matter how much like a print book it may seem, is a web page that we read on the simplified browser embedded in our e-reader of choice.

Continue reading @ The Guardian





New Book on the Trans-Caribbean Literary Identity

17 02 2012

The newest book released here from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) is Haiti and Trans-Caribbean Literary Identity / Haití y la transcaribeñidad literaria by Emilio Jorge Rodríguez.

The English and Spanish title is “a remarkable collection of essays,” said Maximilien Laroche, noted Haitian author from Canada’s Université Laval.

The Dominican author and Syracuse University professor Silvio Torres-Saillant said that, “This work of Cuban colleague Emilio Jorge Rodríguez should be listed among the few books that can be said to truly advance the understanding of the subject they address.”

Topics covered are the Haitian novel in the 20th century and the search for Amerindian and African origins in the masterful work of Alejo Carpentier.

The subject of “Creole transgressions” between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is critically explored, and is sure to raise some eyebrows or even tempers but definitely imparting new intelligences, said Lasana M. Sekou, HNP projects director.

Then there’s an utterly rare and captivating discussion placing Cuba’s grand poet Nicolás Guillén on a visit to Haiti and at the “elite” center of the country’s debate on race and culture.

“The essential subject areas of Haiti and Trans-Caribbean Literary Identity are uniquely interpreted. I would dare say that this book is a missing link for most in our fuller knowledge and experiences of Caribbean literature and culture, of how we think and why we live as we do in this region,” said Sekou.

Continue reading @ Repeatings Islands





What’s the Future of Books, Nowadays?

17 02 2012

The future of books, today

There is much talk of bright tomorrows for publishing at New York’s Digital Book World expo, but how optimistic are readers?

While we’ve all been thinking about Andrew Miller and the Costa’s new enthusiasm short stories and Rushdie’s troubles in Jaipur, in New York, publishers have been looking to the future.

Many reports from the Digital Book World conference are brimming with positivity, with the independent publisher Dominique Raccah singing the praises of books created “at the end of a community-building process”, the author and futurist David Houle celebrating the astonishing fact that “more books [were] published this week than … in all of 1950” and Barnes and Noble’s James Hilt suggesting that the flood of data sweeping through an industry which is finally catching up with the digital age “helps us all”. But gloom isn’t that far behind – optimism “wanes” when executives are asked about the future for publishing and readers alike.

Continue reading @ The Guardian





New Book on Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature

17 02 2012

Danny Méndez’s Narratives of Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature was published this month (February 2012) by Routledge.

Establishing an interdisciplinary connection between Migration Studies, Post-Colonial Studies and Affect Theory, Méndez analyzes the symbolic interplay between emotions, cognitions, and displacement in the narratives written by and about Dominican and Dominican-Americans in the United States and Puerto Rico. He argues that given the historic place of creolization as a marker of national, cultural, and social development in the Caribbean and particularly the Dominican Republic, this cultural process is not magically annulled in Caribbean immigrations to the U.S. Instead, this book illustrates the numerous ways in which Dominicans’ subjective interpretation of their experiences of migration and incorporation into U.S. society, seen through the filter of multiple creolizations of the past, are woven into their written works as a series of variations on Americanness and Dominicanness.

Through close readings of selected writings by Pedro Henríquez Ureña, José Luis González, Junot Díaz, Josefina Báez, Loida Maritza Pérez among others, Méndez argues that emotional creolizations operate as a psychological parameter on immigrant populations as they negotiate their transcultural status against the ideological norms of assimilation in their new host country. Consequently, he proposes that this emotional creolization is dialectical — that is, it not only affects diasporic populations, but also changes the norms and terms of assimilation as well.

Continue reading @ Repeating Islands





The Joy of Books

17 02 2012

 

Watch & Enjoy! Books forever!