zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Wes Anderson’s Worlds by Michael Chabon

One of the most interesting and exciting contemporary American novelists on one of the most interesting and exciting American filmmakers:

Wes Anderson’s Worlds by Michael Chabon

The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.”

read the rest on NYRblog | The New York Review of Books

Filed under: Movies, ,

Two great things that go great together: books and cities. The art (architecture?) is really appealing, but I also like the way it makes me think about the connections between cities and books—how you don’t get books until you have cities, and how cities have a powerful influence on the books that come out of them.


I’ll admit that I attended one TINY textbook fire as a teenager. It was somebody’s math book, and we just stuck it in a park barbecue and then melted some cups over it, nothing particularly Fahrenheit 451. But there are better ways to dispose of textbooks that you hate, or just don’t need anymore, but for whatever reason can’t sell back. Chinese artist Liu Wei, for instance, does it by making spectacular carved-book cityscapes.

View original post 58 more words

Filed under: Art,

World Book Night

What a terrific idea: on one night, people around the world go around giving books to strangers:

Become a Giver for World Book Night 2012 | DIESEL, A Bookstore.

World Book Night 2012!  The idea is that on one night, throughout America, 1 million books will be given away by hand by tens of thousands of people.  Authors and publishers have enthusiastically agreed to print over 30 thousand copies of 30 different titles, to be delivered to pick-up locations throughout the country — mostly independent bookstores and libraries.  Individual readers will sign up to be Givers who agree to hand deliver 20 copies of a title of their choice to strangers in locations outside of their homes, their bookstores, and their libraries.  It may be a park, a prison, a school, a hospital, an intersection, an airplane, a bus.

The first World Book Night was held in the UK last year, and the idea obviously really caught on:  this year it is being held in the UK, Ireland and the United States.  The goal is to have 50,000 people hand out 20 copies of a book – for a total of one million books given away in the one evening.

The process is simple: you sign up with your personal details, and pick the three books you would most like to hand out from the list of available titles, then say a bit about who you want to give them to and why you want to give out those books.  The teams behind World Book Night will select (somehow) from among the applicants, hopefully so as to maximize the spread of books.  Books will be delivered to local bookstores for pick-up by the selected applicants.

I picked as my three choices (in order) The Book Thief, The Hunger Games and Housekeeping with the goal of distributing these to street kids and young people in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood.  The Book Thief was just too obvious a title for a free book program to pass up – but fortunately it’s also a great read.

Go, sign up, pick your own top titles to give to strangers.  It could be the beginning of all sorts of things – a friendship, someone’s love of literature, a social movement…

Filed under: Literature, ,

Dumbledore: Alive… and on LinkedIn

Al Dumbledore | LinkedIn
Visionary leader of renowned academic institution. Proven adept at educating the young and leading the experienced.
Skilled in magic and lore.

All types of magic, keen understanding of the opportunitites and dangers of its use

Filed under: Pop Culture, , , ,

Separated at Birth: Matilda and Carrie

Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Stephen King’s Carrie

Two young girls, misunderstood and mistreated by their dysfunctional families. Abused at school, they suddenly discover they possess telekinetic powers, and use these powers to turn the tables on their tormentors.

Weird that I never noticed that before.

To refresh your memory of these two girls with dangerous powers…

Filed under: Separated at Birth, ,

Just how nerdy are Hitchhiker’s Guide fans?

Check out the Wikiquote entry for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – it’s broken down by chapters, and comes to around 8,500 words. That’s a lot of quotes. And that’s just from the first book in the Hitchhiker trilogy (of four books), mind you. Clearly, fans take their Hitchhiker quotes seriously. And despite that length, it still didn’t have the quote I was looking for, about Ford Prefect not actually being an out of work actor from Guilford as he usually claimed, but rather being from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse….

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Wikiquote.

Filed under: Pop Culture, ,

Book Launch: “Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962″

Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957 – 1962
By Megan Prelinger • Published April 2010 by Blast Books

“A brilliant tour through the iconography and literature of America’s grandest corporate dreamtime, the Space Age.” — William Gibson

Read about it at: Another Science Fiction.

The book launch will be held May 4, 2010, at The Booksmith in San Francisco. Other book tour appearances follow, including one at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

(thanks to Boing Boing for the hook-up)

Filed under: Art, Pop Culture, Tech, , ,

This is not a book.


It’s a shelf. And boxes.

I love books – the physical objects – as well as texts – the intellectual content. I love the feel of them, of a brand new hardback – stiff pages with still sharp ragged edges. The smell of them – even the slightly musty smell from an old paperback I’ve picked up at an op shop or garage sale. I love the look of them. I’ve been known to rearrange the books on my shelves, not by subject or in alphabetical order, but simply to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing balance of spines, of heights and colours.

And I have a special fondness for Penguins and Pelicans – nostalgic, almost erotic or fetishistic, springing not just from my love of books, but also from a particular relationship to intellectualism, the life of the mind, and the sense (part marketing fantasy, part high culture snobbery, part real) of those imprints as particularly worthy… All of which is to say, I want that shelf unit.

Filed under: Stuff, , ,



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh—and hello to Jason Isaacs.

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is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.



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