January 28, 2013 |
SEVARE, Mali - French-led forces entered Mali's legendary desert city of Timbuktu on Monday as Al Qaeda-linked fighters fled amid fresh reports of a population terrorized and prized ancient artifacts destroyed during their nine-month occupation. The French troops blocked access to the Saharan city while Malian troops worked to flush out any remaining rebels, French military spokesman Thierry Burkhard told reporters in Paris. He said Timbuktu was not fully under control, though a Malian colonel was quoted later by Agence France-Presse as saying the city had fallen.
January 28, 2013 |
The fate of tens of thousands ancient manuscripts in Mali remained uncertain Monday as French troops liberated the city of Timbuktu from Islamic insurgents who were said to have set fire to the library there. Timbuktu is the last major city occupied by the insurgents, who have held sway there for 10 months, imposing the strict Islamic version of religious law, including carrying out public executions and amputations for crimes. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was an especially vibrant center of Islamic thought in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
December 29, 2012 |
Before iPads, smart phones and even computers, there was the page: a tangible place to jot down thoughts, work out ideas, write a novel, love letter, thesis or equation. "Pages," an exhibition at the Williamson Gallery at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, focuses on the simple piece of refined pulp as a place for formal and finished ideas and a space for creativity. "It's a way of celebrating the page as our human external memory of choice for the last two millennial," said co-curator and gallery director Stephen Nowlin.
December 6, 2012 |
Timothy Potts has made his first major purchase as the new Getty Museum director: He bought Lieven van Lathem's illuminated manuscript Roman de Gillion de Trazegnies for $6.2 million at Sotheby's Wednesday night in London. The manuscript includes eight half-page miniatures, like the one shown in detail above. There are only three other manuscripts containing this story of a nobleman's adventures in Egypt. In a statement, Potts called it a “richly illustrated manuscript by the greatest illuminator of the Flemish High Renaissance.” In an interview with the L.A. Times for a story in the Dec. 9 Arts & Books section, he described manuscripts as a potential growth area for the Getty, while praising the current collection.
December 3, 2012 |
National Novel Writing Month is over. Let National Novel Re-Writing Month begin! Actually, there is no official, organized Revising-Your-Novel month. But if there were, and if everyone did the truly writerly thing and revised their novels obsessively, I'm not sure there's an Internet big enough to contain all the words it would produce. As it is, National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short) produced 3.3 billion words, according to its website , and probably more than 35,000 drafts of novels that are at least 50,000 words each (the final count won't be in for a week or so)
November 1, 2012 |
In the December issue of Vanity Fair, which hits shelves this week, readers can get a taste of a missing chapter from Truman Capote's famously unfinished novel, "Answered Prayers. " In Vanity Fair's table of contents, look for the piece by Capote titled "Yachts and Things. " Capote was at work on "Answered Prayers" for almost 20 years. He signed the contract in 1966, which was postponed, renewed and recalculated for larger and larger advances. It is rumored that he was offered $1 million to finally complete his manuscript -- but he couldn't meet the deadline.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2012 |
Nonsense was big business for Larry Sloan, who co-founded a Los Angeles publishing company in the 1960s to print books that were blueprints for silliness. The series of word-game books, "Mad Libs," became absurdly popular and marked its 50th anniversary in 2008. More than 110 million of the slim paperbacks have reportedly been sold. Sloan, the last survivor of the trio of founders of Price Stern Sloan publishing, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief illness, said his daughter, Claudia Sloan.
September 6, 2012 |
I like that Bradley Cooper has used his recent success to choose projects with an intellectual bent, ones that should give us more to chew over than whether "Hangover 3" will be even remotely funny. Some day he's going to find the right mind-game match. But today is not that day and "The Words" is not that movie. It's a snooze. Like a bedtime story for adults, much of the film is framed by scenes of wildly popular author Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) as he reads excerpts from his latest bestseller, titled "The Words.
April 26, 2012 |
Over at the Getty Villa, a fantastic hybrid sculpture is holding court in a powerful exhibition that explores the ancient Mediterranean goddess Aphrodite. Based on a lost Greek original, a 1st century Roman carving of an exquisite hermaphrodite, part man and part woman, seductively writhes in a self-possessed erotic dream. Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art recently opened a similarly dazzling show centered on another ancient hybrid being -- this one a plumed serpent.