McEwan recounts his missteps

first_imgIt would be hard to find a more witty, urbane, and insightful literary guest at Harvard than British writer Ian McEwan, whose novel “Amsterdam” (1998) won the Man Booker Prize, and whose “Atonement” (2001) was made into an Oscar-winning film.McEwan held an audience in thrall at Paine Hall Tuesday during an exploration of realism and its pitfalls in the creative process.McEwan has avoided magical realism in his work, saying, “All my writing life, I have refused to give my characters wings.” But hewing to realism can sometimes trip up a writer who delves, without true expertise perhaps, into the arcana of medicine, astronomy, and even auto mechanics.His lecture, “The Lever: Where Novelists Stand to Move the World,” was the inaugural event in a new series funded by the Rita E. Hauser Forum at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard.The lever, McEwan explained, is one of the six “simple machines” revered by Renaissance science. (The others are the screw, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and wheel and axle.) But the lever, described by the Greek scientist Archimedes in the third century BCE, seems to have special resonance for writers of modern realism. “Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth,” Archimedes said. And where else is the fact-bound novelist to stand, McEwan said, if not on the Earth?But facts are the rub. They may find their way into novels slightly askew, and readers with special expertise lead hapless writers back to reality. The Harvard lecture, McEwan promised, would be an accounting of “all the mistakes I have ever made in fiction” — including the letters from readers eager to correct him.He read passages from his fiction, evocations of places and people that seemed like dreams borne along on a carpet of facts. McEwan interleaved these selections with the dry, droll, detailed — and occasionally scolding — responses they elicited from expert readers.In “The Comfort of Strangers” (1981), he related, one character gazes out at a summer night sky in Venice and muses about the constellation Orion. After the novel was published, McEwan got a letter from the euphoniously named Felicity Belfield, an amateur astronomer from the Isle of Sark. “If you want to see Orion in the summer,” she wrote, “you must go to New Zealand.” He was chagrined, McEwan said. “I never knew I was turning the heavens around.”Some modernist writers avoid even little mistakes by doing deep research, said McEwan, including James Joyce, who obsessed over tidal charts, train schedules, and “every last detail.”Then again, he added, some mistakes should never be changed. Alfred Lord Tennyson, who had never seen a train before, described his first nighttime ride as “ringing down the grooves of change.” It is musical and symbolically apt but technically wrong. (Trains ride on the top of rails and not in grooves.)Other writers couldn’t care less, said McEwan. He cited a poem that mistakenly located penguins on a South African shoreline. “In my poem,” the poet said, “those penguins are there.”Then there was British writer William Golding, a Nobel laureate who was badgered for decades — often by schoolboys — regarding Piggy’s glasses in his celebrated novel “Lord of the Flies” (1954). If the spectacles corrected for farsightedness, and were therefore concave and spread light, how could they be used to start a fire? That hectoring science question, said McEwan, “was the burden of Golding’s life.”After McEwan wrote “Atonement,” a miffed artillery veteran of World War II wrote to point out that “on the double” was an Americanism, and that British soldiers of his day would have said “at the double.” Other mistakes can be “driven by sheer desire,” said McEwan. In a draft passage of his novel “Saturday” (2005), he had a neurosurgeon use a paintbrush, artistlike, to apply Betadine on a shaven skull. The fanciful image — off-key since you can’t autoclave a paintbrush — earned the novelist a reproving response from the physician-expert he had spent two years observing.Still other mistakes can lead to friendships of a sort, said McEwan. In “Saturday” he described a Mercedes Benz S500 as having a clutch, which it does not. That gaffe prompted a detailed reply from a “motoring journalist,” who characterized a mechanical gearbox as a “crude proletarian device” that would never appear in a car of this stature. A correspondence ensued. In the end, McEwan — then driving a 17-year-old car — knew just what to buy next.Over time, his interchanges with fact-sensitive readers became “a high form of engagement,” he said. The writers might be professional fact checkers, schoolboys, or just scolds, said McEwan, but “they knew the air of reality, the solidity of specification, is among the supreme virtues of the novel.”This contact with readers also reminded him of the human desire to break out of fiction’s collectivization of experience. “When Felicity Belfield writes me,” said McEwan tenderly, “she’s offering to add her own weight to my lever … and help me move the world by means of the high artifice of realism.”last_img read more

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane… It’s Barbra!

first_imgAfter getting a tour of her basement in Buyer & Cellar, you might think there isn’t a new way Barbra Streisand could spark one’s imagination. You’d be wrong. Female Force: Barbra Streisand is telling the iconic performer’s life story in comic book form. Female Force: Barbra Streisand delves into all things Babs: her acting, singing, writing, activism, awards and multitudinous hairstyles are all in there. Get your copy and count yourself among the luckiest people…in…the…WORLD. Written by Melissa Seymour, the 32-page comic book features art by Manuel Diaz and is being released this week by Bluewater Productions. The company has also showcased such luminaries as Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Angelina Jolie and the cast of Glee in comic book format. The Female Force series aims to examine “strong and influential women who are shaping modern history and culture.”center_img View Commentslast_img read more

CIESAS Evaluation of ALSO

first_imgPosted on December 10, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following is part of a series of project updates from the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia (CIESAS). MHTF is supporting their project, Evaluation of ALSO Program. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.Written by: CIESASIn the last 3 months, the CIESAS team made an important decision in the design of the ALSO evaluation. The evaluation site was changed from the General Hospital in the coastal city of Pochutla, Oaxaca to the much bigger Civil Hospital Dr. Aurelio Valdivieso in the capital city of Oaxaca. CIESAS made this decision because, unlike we were previously told, this latter hospital does meet basic methodological requirements to carry out the evaluation, and it also is the largest hospital with the greatest load of obstetric emergencies throughout the State of Oaxaca.CIESAS hired four field-workers, all of them recent graduates from medical school and trained them in the correct implementation of observation checklists and patients’ interviews, as well as in basic hospital research bioethics. All instruments were designed for this particular evaluation and were tested and reviewed before being fully implemented. Since the end of September, fieldworkers have been rotating during the night and the morning shifts in the ER and in the Ob/Gyn Unit of the Valdivieso Hospital, observing and registering the actual management of obstetric hemorrhage and preeclampsia/eclampsia, as well as observing and registering how Ob/Gyns manage normal hospital deliveries.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

2011 New South Wales Junior State Cup Results

first_imgIn the 18’s Girls division, Penrith started strongly, taking the early lead, before Wagga hit back to trail by just one touchdown. But it was too little too late with Penrith taking the match 7-6. In the 18’s Boys division, Parramatta dominated for the majority of the game, and won convincingly, 7-2. Under 10’s Boys – McCall CupNewcastle City 7 defeated Parramatta 4Player of the Final – Kurt Donohue (Newcastle)Under 12’s Boys – Zabielo CupNewcastle 0 – Orange 0Newcastle and Orange are joint winners of the 12’s Boys division. Player of the Final – Matt Smith (Newcastle)Under 14’s Boys – Yiangou CupRyde Eastwood 5 defeated Penrith 2Under 16’s Boys – Wall CupPeninsula 11 defeated Wests 4Player of the Final – Ben NicholsUnder 18’s Boys – Galea CupParramatta 7 defeated Manly 2Player of the Final – Wesley Sefuiva (Parramatta)Under 18’s Girls – Rose CupPenrith 7 defeated Wagga Wagga 6Player of the Final – Madison Absolum (Wagga Wagga)Under 16’s Girls – Toohey CupNewcastle City 13 defeated Taren Point 4Player of the Final – Lily Goodchild (Newcastle)Under 14’s Girls – Taylor CupManly 11 defeated Newcastle 4Player of the Final – Georgia Toovey (Manly)Under 12’s Girls – Vassallo CupBerkeley Vale 5 defeated Manly Sea Eagles 2Player of the Final – Aliyah Paki (Manly)Under 10’s Girls – Tirado CupManly 13 defeated Ryde 0Player of the Final – Monique Mortimer (Manly)Club ChampionshipsFirst – Manly Sea Eagles Second – Newcastle CityThird – Parramatta Eels Fourth – Penrith PanthersFifth – Wagga WaggaStay tuned to the website for all highlights of the grand finals at the 2011 New South Wales Junior State Cup. For all of the results from the Junior State Cup, please visit the event website:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=0-857-0-0-0last_img read more

Environment Canada issued Severe Thunderstorm Warning

first_imgSee the full warning below.Issued at 2019-07-11 21:52 UTC by Environment Canada:Severe thunderstorm warning issued for:B.C. North Peace River, B.C. (087320)Current details:At 2:48pm PDT, Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain.The thunderstorm is located 20 km north of Peejay and is moving eastward at 20 km/h towards Milligan Creek Rd. Heavy downpours are likely to cause flash floods and water pooling on roads. Large hail can damage property and cause injury. Strong wind gusts can toss loose objects, damage weak buildings, break branches off trees and overturn large vehicles.Lightning kills and injures Canadians every year. Remember, when thunder roars, go indoors!Severe thunderstorm warnings are issued when imminent or occurring thunderstorms are likely to produce or are producing one or more of the following: large hail, damaging winds, torrential rainfall.Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. To report severe weather, send an email to [email protected] or tweet reports using #BCStorm. One thunderstorm is located 20 km north of Peejay and is moving eastward at 20 km/h towards Milligan Creek Rd.The other thunderstorm is located 25 km north of Wonowon and is moving eastward at 20 km/h.ORIGINAL STORYFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the North Peace.The warning says meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain.The thunderstorm is located 20 km north of Peejay and is moving eastward at 20 km/h towards Milligan Creek Rd.center_img UPDATE – As of 3:55 p.m. – Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain.  The thunderstorm is located just north of Doig River and is moving eastward at 20 km/h.UPDATE – As of 3:25 p.m. the severe thunderstorm warning has ended.UPDATE – At 2:53 pm PDT, Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking two severe thunderstorms capable of producing very strong wind gusts, up to nickel size hail and heavy rain.last_img read more

Cong Working Presidents appreciate party manifesto

first_imgNEW DELHI: Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee Working Presidents on Tuesday appreciated the Party Manifesto ” Ham Nibhayenge” released by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. It is clearly spelt out the demands and aspirations of the people of the country and how to fulfill them.The Working President Haroon Yusuf said that the manifesto has given full attention to the needs of all sections in respective of category, caste, religion and believes of the people, as well as that of the common people, poor, labour, farmers, women, youth, students and the unemployed. Another Congress working President Rajesh Lilothia said that the manifesto clearly shows that the Congress party works for the interest and welfare of the people, and nothing has been left out for the fully integrated developments and progress of the country. The Congress senior leader Mangat Ram Singhal said that the manifesto has also noted that to give relief to the traders, the GST would be simplified, 33 per cent quota would be reserved for women in Parliament and State Assemblies to protect their interest.last_img read more

SAT scraps 2017 NSE order against OPG in colocation case

first_imgNew Delhi: Securities Appellate Tribunal has set aside the NSE’s 2017 order banning OPG Securities for six months and has asked the exchange to pass a fresh order in the matter. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) had suspended stock broker OPG Securities for six months in September 2017 as a trading member on all segments after it found that OPG had used the secondary server instead of primary server without any valid reason in co-location facility. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe NSE had introduced co-location server at its premises in 2009 and OPG had subscribed the facility, according to Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) order. The use of secondary server was permitted only in case of failure of primary server and the NSE had already issued such directions, the SAT order said. It conducted the forensic investigation by Deliotte Touche Tohmatsu LLP and the forensic report brought adverse findings against OPG, following which the exchange had passed the order in September 2017. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysHowever, another forensic report by EY LLP in the same issue was submitted and OPG argued that the report depicts a different picture, the order said. “In view of the fact that another forensic investigation report has come up it would be in the interest of justice that the impugned order be quashed and set aside and the matter be remanded to the respondent Stock Exchange to have a fresh look in the matter,” SAT said in an order on Wednesday. Besides, it directed the NSE to pass the order in six week after giving an opportunity to OPG Securities for hearing.last_img read more

Opinion 5 keys to Ohio States matchup with the Nittany Lions

(Left) Sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg makes a pass during a Sept. 6 game against Akron in State College, Pa. Penn State won, 21-3.Credit: Courtesy of TNS(Right) Redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. barrett carries the ball during a game against Rutgers on Oct. 18 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 56-17.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorIn 2013, the Ohio State football team beat a reeling Penn State squad, 63-14, at Ohio Stadium.About a year later, the Buckeyes (5-1, 2-0) and Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2) are set to face off again. But this time around, Penn State is free of NCAA sanctions including a revoked postseason ban and likely looking to avenge its big loss last season.The Lantern sports editors picked five keys to the matchup that could either spark the Buckeyes or help the Nittany Lions turn around their season.1. J.T. Barrett vs. Christian HackenbergBarrett is OSU’s redshirt-freshman phenomenon while Hackenberg is a true sophomore with all-world potential.The two are set to go head-to-head under center when their teams meet this weekend, and the game could easily come down to which one plays better. Based off production so far this season, Barrett might be more likely to have the better day, but both have put up big numbers at times.OSU’s quarterback is the Big Ten’s most efficient passer — checking in with a 182.1 efficiency rating so far — while Hackenberg is averaging more passing yards per game than any other quarterback in the conference. That being said, the second-year Penn State starter is averaging less than four yards more than Barrett.Outside of yards per game, the Buckeyes look to have a huge statistical advantage as Barrett has thrown 20 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions, while Hackenberg has thrown seven picks to just five scoring tosses.If the Buckeyes’ defense can get after Hackenberg and force him to make more mistakes — and if Barrett comes out firing once again — it could be another long day for the Nittany Lions.2. Strength vs. StrengthBeyond two young guns at quarterback, the matchup between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions is set to feature the Big Ten’s top statistical defense against the conference’s best offense.Penn State ranks first in the conference in total defense, giving up 283.3 yards per game, but OSU is first in total offense at a whopping 533.8 yards per game. The Nittany Lions are also first in scoring defense, giving up just 15.2 points per game this season, while the Buckeyes are No. 2 in the Big Ten with 46.5 points for per game this season.The deciding factor in this game could be on the flip side of the field when the Buckeyes’ defense comes up against Penn State’s offense.While the Nittany Lions’ defense has been strong throughout the year, their offense is all the way down at No. 10 in the conference with just 375.5 yards per game. They’ll be going up against an OSU defense that ranks fifth in the Big Ten for total defense.If the numbers hold true, the Buckeye offense will be put to the test against Penn State, but the Nittany Lions might struggle to move the ball against a statistically superior OSU defense.3. Will sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott find space to run?Forget their total defensive numbers, the Nittany Lions’ defense has been simply dominant when it comes to the running game in 2014.So far, they’re giving up just 60.8 yards per game, which puts them up more than 30 yards against the No. 2 team in the conference: Michigan.But Penn State hasn’t had to face Elliott yet this season.He’s not the best running back in the world right now, but he’s been breaking out over the past few weeks to spark the OSU offense on the ground. Overall, the Buckeyes are fifth in the Big Ten in rushing offense, but if Elliott continues to improve, they should climb the rankings.Elliott will be up against a stiff test when he takes on the Penn State defensive front, but if he can find a way to match his season numbers — he’s averaging 88.5 yards per game — the Buckeyes will benefit greatly and likely find themselves in a position to win the game.4. Will the Penn State crowd affect a young Buckeye team?The last time OSU played a game in State College, Pa., nine current Buckeye starters weren’t even Buckeyes.The crowd at Beaver Stadium is notorious for being loud and sporting the white-out look for prime-time games against ranked opponents. This time, the game means a little more as well. The last time the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions squared off in Beaver Stadium, neither team was eligible for the postseason because of NCAA violations. Now, the tables are turned and the stakes are higher, which will likely result in a sell-out crowd from the Penn State faithful.Despite having the second-largest college venue in the country, Penn State ranked seventh in average home attendance as of Oct. 1. with an average of 99,806.Expect that number to drastically rise Saturday night.5. Could an OSU win give it a rise in the AP poll?Let’s be honest, the Buckeye schedule is not very strong.However, not many teams go into Beaver Stadium on a Saturday night and come out with a victory, except for the Buckeyes.OSU has won its last three games when visiting the Nittany Lions and three of the last four night games overall against Penn State.With that being said, will a win in a historically hostile environment be enough to impress the voters? Or will the Buckeyes have to blow out their division rival in order to get back into the top 10?Only time will tell as the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions are scheduled to meet Saturday at Beaver Stadium in State College. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. read more