Daily Archives: May 3, 2008

Memory and Knowledge

“Once you get the snippets you need,” Wozniak says, “your books disappear. They gradually evaporate. They have been translated into knowledge.”

Want to Remember Everything You’ll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm

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Maybe It is Just the Invisibility Cloak At Work?

It had to happen sometime — and, lo, an era has ended. After a 10-year run, and less than a year after the seventh and final book in J. K. Rowling’s series was published, the Harry Potter books have fallen — as of the May 11 issue of the Book Review, which went to press last night — off The Times’s best-seller list.

Ten Years Later, Harry Potter Vanishes From the Best-Seller List – Paper Cuts – Books – New York Times Blog


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Illustrating Gaiman for Kids

Chris Riddell is doing illustrations for the British children’s edition of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book while Dave McKean is doing an adult version. And now Neil has posted a few of Riddell’s illustration on his blog here and I must say, they creep me out. But then I also find Dave McKean‘s illustrations for Coraline too scary for my students and don’t show them when I read the book aloud.

For that matter, the forthcoming graphic novel of Coraline with illustrations by P. Craig Russell is also problematic for me because Coraline looks way too old in it for me. I guess I had always imagined Coraline to be around the same age as Alice — eight or nine, close to the age of my students. But the graphic novel makes her look several years older. Closer to the girl in Mirrormask than my imagined image of Coraline.

What strikes me about this is that kids eight to ten are getting a bit squeezed out here. I mean, there are the more sophisticated picture books that they love such as Gaiman and Grimley’s Dangerous Alphabet, but then there is a BIG leap upward to Coraline and The Graveyard Book in terms of illustration. Sure, some of my students will go for both, but many will not. And I think that is too bad because I think Coraline is very much for them. I’ve read it aloud many times with great success. But those illustrations are scary, scary, scary!

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Coraline, the Musical

World Premiere
May 6-June 20, 2009
Music and Lyrics by Book by
Stephin Merritt David Greenspan
Based on the Novel by
Neil Gaiman
Directed by Leigh Silverman

Poor bored Coraline. She’s left to rattle round her perpetually distracted parents’ house all by her lonesome. Then one day, her dreams of a better reality are answered as she steps through an old oak doorway and passes into a perfected replica of her own world. Greeted there by a vastly loving Other Mother and kindly Other Father, she’s thrilled! But, as the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for…

A musical like no other, Coraline sprang from the minds of three of the most wildly popular cult heroes of our time. Adapted from the truly terrifying children’s book by Neil Gaiman (author of the international sensation Sandman), this tale of menace and mayhem is set to music and lyrics by smart-rock iconoclast Stephin Merritt (of The Magnetic Fields), and boasts a book by celebrated downtown actor-cum-auteur, David Greenspan, who serves double-duty as the villain, Coraline’s suspiciously nurturing Other Mother.

At the MCC Theater at The Lucille Lortel Theatre :: New York City

From Neil Gaiman, natch.

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