Saturday, October 29, 2011

The William Faulkner Foundation First Novel Award

In 1949, William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. With some of the money he was awarded, he set up the William Faulkner Foundation. One of the things the Foundation did was award an annual prize for Notable First Novel. Who won this prize, you ask? So did I. Most people know that Thomas Pynchon won it for V. But finding a list of all the winners? The Internet failed me. (I feel like Herbert Stencil or Oedipa Maas). I even came up empty from a search of the usually reliable New York Times archive.

Faulkner died in 1962, leaving his papers to the University of Virginia. The papers are in Charlottesville under the name "Linton Massey Papers" (Massey was a friend, archivist and biographer of Faulkner). UVA has a very useful guide to the Massey Papers online that lists the award-winning authors from 1960 (the first award) through 1968. (More on UVA's Faulkner collections here.)

Matthew Hunte, in a great 2010 blog post, 75 Notes For An Unwritten Essay on Literary Prizes, says the Faulkner Foundation Award "was discontinued in the by the [sic] early eighties when the foundation ran out of money." Seems like Hunte himself isn't sure when the Faulkner Award was ended. (Foundations are basically required by the IRS to give their money away).

In 1980, the Faulkner Award was revived in name as the PEN/Faulkner award. It was first awarded in 1981 to Walter Abish for How German Is It? and has been given annually ever since. A list of winners is here.... except for what looks like one inexplicable omission, Ha Jin's 2000 win for Waiting. (Oddly -- the U. of New Orleans web site says that Rick Barton won that year for A House Divided. Yes, it's another mystery.)

Okay, my dozen readers! Anyone know any of the other winners? Anyone near enough to Charlottesville to do some legwork and figure out the other winners?

William Faulkner Foundation Notable First Novel Award winners

1960 A Separate Peace - John Knowles
1961 Stowaway- Lawrence Hall
1962 A Long and Happy Life - Reynolds Price
1963 V. - Thomas Pynchon
1964 Powdered Eggs- Charles Simmons
1965 The Orchard Keeper- Cormac McCarthy
1966 The Origin of the Brunists - Robert Coover
1967 A Hall of Mirrors - Robert Stone
1968 A Fan's Notes - Frederick Exley
1969 ????
1970 What I'm Going to Do, I Think - Larry Woiwode
1971 ????
1972 Geronimo Rex - Barry Hannah
1973 ????
All other years????

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gödel, Escher, Bach: The movie trailer

In a world where a2 + b2 does not always equal c2, one man seeks to change this.
Will Escher confuse him with impossible geometry? Will Bach charm him with a moving symphony? Will Gödel do whatever it is he does? Will Harry Potter make a lame cameo appearance?
Coming this summer:
Megan Fox as the Girl of the Golden Braid of Eternal Youth
Leonardo DiCaprio as Kürt Godel
Stephen King as MC Escher
Donald Trump as Johnny Bach
And a surprise appearance by Tim Curry as Pythagorus the evil wizard in
Gödel Escher Bach -- the Quest for the Golden Braid

These voices are crying out...for vengeance.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Essential Logic "Popcorn Boy" lyrics,
or 32 Years is a Long Time to Wait


YouTube Video!
To commenter Mikey B: My most grateful and eternal thanks. I have emended your lyrics based on what I hear on the record.

You don't need to think about Popcorn anymore
Popcorn has gone to New York
And he said we had to stop and get some popcorn
And he said that this was right
This could be bright in his hipknifing whirl
So he claimed
So he claimed

Sometimes we mistake you for Iron
Iron raw and iron fast
Eyelined wallpaper, your pressurized frame
Your Epileptone game of lights
Lights sights and fads -- lights sights and fads
Pads of hypnotized lads
Gods of living
Giving you your worth, space and girth [some lyrics missing?]
Wow! You're such a lucky boy
Wow! You're such a lucky boy
Could it be man?
Could it be man?
Could it be mine?
Will you ever hit the forest
Can you never fight the fame?
Cherish your ways of excellence popcorn boy popcorn boy
Ravish your ways of excellence popcorn boy popcorn boy

Your girlie
She wears her woolen tights on so you can play the flirt
She wears a woolen dress too so you can see right through
She suffers your pressure your daring lack of dirt
She mutters her leisure which is your skin tight shirt
Love is lust is self is love is lust is self is love is lust is self is love is love is love

by Lora Logic (1979)

Lora Logic as a mom with 2 adorable kids!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

16 Must-Have Android Apps

I've been using Android for about six months now and I've tried out a lot of apps. Here are some I find essential and some that are just best in their class.
Apps that should've been included with Android

Probably my most-used app.
Allows you to sync your notes with the cloud!

Far, far better than the buggy included calendar app.

Orientation Lock widget
A necessity. The auto-orientation flipping can be annoying.

Advanced Task Killer
You need a task killer with Android to preserve the battery and to kill apps that are hung.

Google Voice
Attention voice mail haters - Google Voice transcribes your voice mail! Never listen to another message! It also makes amusing voice recognition mistakes.


Both of these are better than the awful stock music app.

It displays the lyrics of songs synchronized with the music! Awesome!

It plays songs in the order the musician intended, not alphabetically like the stock music app.

Social Networking

These probably don't need to be listed, but I do use both all the time.

Wonder if this quirky service will take off?

Doesn't work as well to identify places near your current location as the iPhone app, but still essential.

Password Management

For higher security, I choose a different password for every site. So I can't do without a password app.


Calorie Counter by FatSecret
Best thing about - You can point the phone's camera at a bar code, scan it and it identifies the food with full nutritional info. It's also easy to look up foods by keyword search or food type.

Cons - The app is a bit flaky. Sometimes it just refuses to work.
Also, you need access to the Internet to view your food diary.

Calendar Widget

Pure Calendar Widget
Great quick way to check today's appointments without opening the calendar app.

Maybe not must haves, but I like and use them a lot

Read books downloaded from Amazon. They have a lot of free public domain books, and of course some for sale. Syncs your place in the book with other Kindle apps you have.

Books on audio. Good for subway riders because it needs no net connection once the book is on your phone. (Note - the audio books are not free).

The best and fastest of the song ID apps.

Shakespeare (Kontent Design)
Puts all of Shakespeare (plays and poems) on your phone, so it's usable when offline.
Cons- no search.