30 de setembro de 2011

Conferência sobre "A Montanha Mágica" de Thomas Mann

Convidado: José Pacheco Pereira
Data: 4 de Outubro de 2011, pelas 18h30.
Entrada: Livre
  Livros difíceis são aqueles que nos atraem e nos resistem. Porque não conseguimos ainda lê-los (ou a páginas tantas desistimos), ou porque nos abrem caminhos de tal maneira novos que nos deixam perdidos. O embaraço é maior quando são obras que fazem parte do Cânone. Também em relação à literatura é preciso ler muito até se possuir humildade para reconhecer um fracasso ou uma lacuna. Só que, ao contrário de tantas outras coisas, os livros difíceis continuam lá, na expectativa de que as circunstâncias produzam novas ocasiões de leitura e compreensão. O ciclo de conferências LIVROS DIFÍCEIS, uma das novidades da programação da Casa Fernando Pessoa em 2011, traz a cada edição um leitor especial que procurará a boa circunstância: quando um desses livros de repente se ilumina para outros. Para si, por exemplo.

29 de setembro de 2011

Revistas Literárias do Século XXI

Moderador: António Guerreiro
Convidados: Ana Salomé (GOLPE D’ASA), Fernando Guerreiro (PIOLHO), Gastão Cruz (RELÂMPAGO), Luís Henriques (JORNAL DA OFICINA DO CEGO), Manuel de Freitas (TELHADOS DE VIDRO), Mariana Pinto dos Santos (INTERVALO), Paulo Tavares (ARTEFACTO), e Tatiana Faia (ÍTACA)
Data: 30 de Setembro de 2011
Local: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Edifício ID, 4º, Sala Multiusos
Entrada: Livre

28 de setembro de 2011

Stephen King apresenta capítulo da sequela de "The Shining"

Colóquio Internacional Gabriel García Márquez, "La bendita manía de contar"

Data: 12 e 13 de Julho de 2012
Entrada: 50€ (com comunicação); 10€ (assistência sem comunicação, com certificado); livre (assistência sem certificado).
  Em 2012, celebra-se o 85.º aniversário de Gabriel García Márquez, o 45.º aniversário da publicação de Cien años de soledad e o 30.º aniversário da atribuição do Prémio Nobel da Literatura a este autor colombiano. Como forma de assinalar a data, o Instituto de Estudos Ibéricos e Ibero-Americanos e o Centro de História da Cultura da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa organizam um Colóquio Internacional  sobre  Gabriel García Márquez, de carácter multidisciplinar, a realizar a 12 e 13 de Julho de 2012, com o apoio de várias instituições nacionais e internacionais. Os trabalhos serão desenvolvidos tendo em conta os seguintes eixos da obra do escritor:
- Gabriel García Márquez e a América Latina.
- Gabriel García Márquez e a Europa.
- História e ficção.
- Do jornalismo à ficção.
- Realismo mágico: uma carpintaria hipnótica?
- Biografia vs Ficção.
- Cultura e pensamento hispânico.
As propostas de comunicações devem ser enviadas para ibericos@fcsh.unl.pt até 30 de Novembro de 2011, com um resumo  com um máximo de 250 palavras  e uma nota biográfica do autor com o máximo de dez linhas. As comunicações não devem ultrapassar os  15 minutos. A organização responderá até 15 de Dezembro de 2011.

25 de setembro de 2011

Leituras Digitais (18 a 24 de Setembro)

Rubrica semanal de notícias e artigos relacionados com a edição de livros digitais.

Amazon’s strategy before agency was to aggressively discount the most high-profile books, the ones that the reading public would most often search for, in order to send the strong signal that their prices are the lowest and to force less-affluent competitors to engage in costly price competition. In this case, that strategy is being applied successfully, although both iBookstore and NOOK can respond. Whether one thinks it is a good thing or a bad thing that the deepest-pocketed retailer can spend $20 a copy on a big book to promote a price perception depends on your point of view but this clearly demonstrates what the publishers, the retailers, and the consumers face when a high-profile, high-demand book is sold without the price discipline of agency terms.
I don't think this is malicious, and I don't think it's something we're doing on purpose. I just think it's difficult for us, on this side of the digital divide, to remember that there are people standing on the other side of what can seem like an impassable gorge, wondering if they're going to be left behind. Right now, more than 20% of Americans do not have access to the internet. In case that seems like a low number, consider this: That's one person in five. One person in five doesn't have access to the internet. Of those who do have access, many have it via shared computers, or via public places like libraries, which allow public use of their machines. Not all of these people are living below the poverty line; some have voluntarily simplified their lives, and don't see the need to add internet into the mix. But those people are not likely to be the majority.
Now. How many of these people do you think have access to an ebook reader?
I grew up so far below the poverty line that you couldn't see it from my window, no matter how clear the day was. My bedroom was an ocean of books. Almost all of them were acquired second-hand, through used bookstores, garage sales, flea markets, and library booksales, which I viewed as being just this side of Heaven itself. There are still used book dealers in the Bay Area who remember me patiently paying off a tattered paperback a nickel at a time, because that was what I could afford. If books had required having access to a piece of technology—even a "cheap" piece of technology—I would never have been able to get them. That up-front cost would have put them out of my reach forever.
“It’s not just that journal prices keep going up without any evident relationship to costs,” said Robert Kiley, head of digital services at London’s Wellcome Library. “There is also a concern that so much research, which in many cases has been funded by the taxpayer, is locked behind publishers’ pay walls.”
A Game of Thrones author George R R Martin has become the latest author to sell one million copies of his books for the Amazon Kindle.
The Harper Voyager author joins Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins, Michael Connelly, John Locke, Janet Evanovich and Kathryn Stockett in hitting the digital milestone. Russ Grandinetti, vice-president of Kindle Content, said: "George R R Martin's series is simply epic."
It’s a Firefox plug-in that functions kinda like dotEpub, only it’s better. GrabMyBooks will not only get the content from a webpage, it will also let you combine several pages into one. And it gets better. You can also pause the conversion midstream and edit the content to fix the more annoying formatting errors and generally clean up the files. it will also accept RSS feeds as a source.
The art community has not always welcomed change. It venerates tradition, and art-enthusiasts of every era are reluctant to deem worthy works that do not conform to time-tested notions of beauty. Despite increasing acceptance of modern and contemporary art, the same resistance to change may exist today. The opera and ballet stubbornly adhere to their traditional performance methods, and that’s how their patrons like it. Sometimes, though—as publishing houses around the country have discovered this year—change cannot be ignored.
It took Google to get this going, and it shouldn’t have. Publishers could have taken the lead with tightly focused projects; they could have marked themselves as innovators instead of litigators; they could have probed the technology and economics of digitization at a time when all this was under their control.  They would not be fighting a rearguard action today, hoping to stuff the genie back into the bottle, praying for the retention of copyright.  Incidentally, there was in fact an online service called GEnie (General Electric Network for Information Exchange), which launched in 1985. Litigation is what happens in the absence of foresight.
Publishers have learned neither the lesson of the music industry nor of their own foray into agency pricing. The absolute worst thing that can happen as ebook reading expands geometrically, is for most of that expansion to occur at Amazon. The more dependant ebookers become on the Amazon eco system, the more power Amazon will be able to exert over pricing, taking us back to where we were before agency pricing. With the Harris results in front of them, publishers should be thinking about how to combat the Amazon eco system before they can’t.
That was the lesson that the music industry didn’t learn when it didn’t combat the iTunes eco system early enough, focusing instead on the Napsters of the world. Apple is really just a more sophisticated Napster, smart enough to throw some placating crumbs the music industry’s way. Now the music industry is at Apple’s mercy; soon publishers will be at Amazon’s mercy, at least in the United States, which remains the largest book market.
But today, e-books have made post-publication tinkering newly convenient. Amazon sends e-mails to customers to inform them when an updated text—with assorted typos and factual errors corrected—of a book they’ve purchased is available for download, as it has done with titles ranging from The Lord of the Rings to Stacey Schiff’s Cleopatra. Could the e-book become a mutable thing that evolves with its circumstances, independent of the book it descended from? And is this a sign that our expectation for a book is shifting from finished product to perpetual work-in-progress—or just the logical conclusion of a long tradition of multiple, unstable texts?
Key European stakeholders have approved a “ground-breaking” set of principles for digitising and making publicly available out-of-print books and journals. The accord could serve as a template for dealing with the vexing problem of orphan works, those for whom the copyright owner cannot be found, according to International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations CEO Olav Stokkmo.
According to my source, Barnes & Noble held a planning meeting last week. One of the topics discussed in the meeting was B&N’s marketing plans for their ebook readers and how they would be promoted next quarter.
I have, in my hot little hands, a slide that may have been used in that planning  meeting. It mentions that B&N will have 3 ebook readers next quarter, not 2. According to the slide, the NookColor will be getting a brother tablet.
On Demand Books’ Espresso Book Machine has had a difficult time gaining traction with just a couple of dozen booksellers using the printer, but the company hopes that will change now that it has reached an agreement with HarperCollins under which HC will make available over 5,000 trade paperback titles through the machine.
Harper will begin making its trade paperbacks, both children and adult titles, available starting in November. Titles from Zondervan and HarperCollins Canada will be available early next year. Titles will be sold under the agency model and prices will be the same as regularly-printed books. Authors will receive a regular print royalty. Booksellers must stock some HC print editions to qualify for what HC calls its “Comprehensive Backlist” program. The number of print editions a store must stock will be determined by the size of the outlet. HC estimated that depending on the size of the store, physical stores carry between 25% and 80% of its backlist.
The reason that I’m finally being truly critical about Amazon is two-fold. First, at this moment a huge number of book buyers are facing a choice. All the former Borders customers out there have to decide where they are going to get their books now that Borders is closed. There are three choices: 1) Barnes and Noble. 2) Amazon. 3) An independent bookstore. At first glance, it will seem that I’m trying to deter customers from shopping at Amazon (and, it won’t break my heart at all if you choose to avoid Amazon after reading this). But what is more important to me is that I provide you with information so you make as informed a choice as possible. Your dollars are your economic votes. Where, how and with whom you spend your money determines what businesses survive and thrive. Just like any election, I think an informed group tends to makes wiser choices.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the October 2, 2011 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending September 17, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
2.                      NEW YORK TO DALLAS, by J. D. Robb
3.                      THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, by Darcie Chan
4.                      KILL ME IF YOU CAN, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
5.                      THE ABBEY, by Chris Culver

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      THUNDER DOG, by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory
2.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      A STOLEN LIFE, by Jaycee Dugard

20 de setembro de 2011

Literatura Gótica: Yale digitaliza correspondência de Horace Walpole

A Biblioteca da Universidade de Yale anunciou recentemente a digitalização e disponibilização gratuita dos quarenta e oito volumes que constituem a correspondência do autor de The Castle of Otranto. Para consultar aqui.
  Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library has digitized the complete 48 volumes of “The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence” (Yale University Press, 1937-1983). This new digital resource provides free online access to the complete correspondence of Horace Walpole (1717-1797). An author and collector, Walpole is well known for his Gothic villa called Strawberry Hill, which was built along the Thames River and attracted so much attention that it was considered a "treasure house." Walpole was the youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, England's first prime minister. The digitization of this scholarly work coincides with the 294th anniversary of Walpole’s birthday in September.

Ler Mais Ler Melhor: Lídia Jorge Fala de William Faulkneur

19 de setembro de 2011

Literatura Gótica: The Monk

Este artigo revela uma parte considerável do enredo do livro.

Matthew Gregory Lewis nasceu em Londres, a 9 de Julho de 1775. Os seus pais separam-se quando tinha apenas 6 anos, acontecimento que marcou indelevelmente a sua vida; o talento para a escrita e a vontade em auxiliar financeiramente a sua mãe leva Lewis a traduzir poesia, peças de teatro e a escrever os seus próprios textos enquanto que o desejo de agradar o pai, que ambicionava uma carreira diplomática para o filho, induz o jovem autor a concluir os seus estudos em Oxford e a viajar pela Europa.
Em 1791, numa carta para a sua mãe, revela que se encontra a trabalhar num romance “ao estilo de O Castelo de Otranto”. Acaba, no entanto, por desistir da obra até 1794, ano em que a publicação de Os Mistérios de Udolpho de Ann Radcliffe, que Lewis considerou como “um dos mais interessantes livros jamais publicados”, o incentivou a prosseguir a sua escrita. Incapaz de terminar a história que tinha desenvolvido, e de modo a combater o aborrecimento inerente ao cargo que passou a ocupar na embaixada britânica na Holanda, Lewis resolve principiar um novo romance; em cerca de dez semanas escreve O Monge, terminando assim a obra que o iria tornar famoso com apenas 19 anos.
Após regressar a Londres, Lewis encontra sem grandes dificuldades um editor para o seu romance, sendo a primeira edição de O Monge publicada em Março de 1796.
“(...) The Monk is a romance, which if a parent saw in the hands of a son or daughter, he might reasonably turn pale.”
                                (Coleridge, 1797)
O anticatolicismo característico do romance gótico, manifesta-se também em O Monge, algo que, aliado à violência explícita nele descrita, causou uma enorme polémica, especialmente entre os críticos mais conservadores que catalogaram a obra como imoral e acusaram o autor de blasfémia. Tais acusações acabariam por resultar num processo em tribunal, o que obrigou Lewis a reeditar o seu trabalho, censurando algumas passagens. Apesar disso, nenhum crítico negou o génio de Lewis, e a recepção do público foi favorável, tendo sido publicadas cinco edições de O Monge até ao final do séc. XVIII.
  “He is now thirty years old, every hour of which period has been passed in study, total seclusion from the world, and mortification of the flesh. Till these last three weeks, when He was chosen superior of the Society to which He belongs, He had never been on the outside of the Abbey-walls: Even now He never quits them except on Thursdays, when He delivers a discourse in this Cathedral which all Madrid assembles to hear. His knowledge is said to be the most profound, his eloquence the most persuasive. In the whole course of his life He has never been known to transgress a single rule of his order; The smallest stain is not to be discovered upon his character; and He is reported to be so strict an observer of Chastity, that He knows not in what consists the difference of Man and Woman. The common People therefore esteem him to be a Saint.”
O enredo de O Monge divide-se em duas histórias que se vão alternando e cujos pontos de contacto se tornam evidentes à medida que nos aproximamos da sua conclusão. A história principal diz respeito ao monge Ambrosio, apresentado como um exemplo de virtude, figura admirada pela sua conduta irrepreensível e pelo seu conhecimento. Isolado da sociedade e dos seus vícios, Ambrosio coloca uma excessiva confiança na sua virtude, iludindo-se ao ponto de acreditar que as paixões que dominam o ser humano não têm qualquer poder sobre si. Cedo se torna evidente que foi o seu isolamento que permitiu ao monge reprimir essas paixões. Quando o seu estimado noviço revela ser, na verdade, uma mulher de nome Matilda, levada pelo seu amor ao monge a disfarçar-se de modo a poder permanecer a seu lado, Ambrosio é exposto pela primeira vez à tentação.
  “’Either your hand guides me to Paradise, or my own dooms me to perdition! Speak to me, Ambrosio! Tell me that you will conceal my story, that I shall remain your Friend and your Companion, or this poignard drinks my blood!’
As She uttered these last words, She lifted her arm, and made a motion as if to stab herself. The Friar’s eyes followed with dread the course of the dagger. She had torn open her habit, and her bosom was half exposed. The weapon’s point rested upon her left breast: And Oh! That was such a breast! The Moon-beams darting full upon it, enabled the Monk to observe its dazzling whiteness. His eye dwelt with insatiable avidity upon the beauteous Orb. A sensation till then unknown filled his heart with a mixture of anxiety and delight: A raging fire shot through every limb; The blood boiled in his veins, and a thousand wild wishes bewildered his imagination.
‘Hold!’ He cried in a hurried faultering voice; ‘I can resist no longer! Stay, then, Enchantress; Stay for my destruction!’”
Seduzido por Matilda, Ambrosio quebra os seus votos e desperta assim o apetite sexual que será responsável pela sua ruína moral, algo que o seu orgulho não lhe permite admitir. A sua queda torna-se inevitável devido à natureza dos seus desejos; apenas a pureza incita o seu apetite, só a beleza e a virgindade são capazes de o saciar. Satisfeito esse apetite, o seu objecto perde o encanto. É o que acontece com Matilda: desprovida da virgindade que a tornava tão atractiva aos olhos do monge, torna-se num espelho dos seus pecados, desvanecendo-se todo o seu interesse por ela. Assim, os desejos do monge direccionam-se para Antonia. Matilda, que demonstra ter conhecimentos de magia negra, convence o relutante Ambrosio a aceitar a sua ajuda sobrenatural, conseguindo graças a isso infiltrar-se na casa de Antonia. Apesar disso os seus planos não correm como esperado, e acaba por assassinar Elvira, mãe de Antonia. Recorrendo de novo ao auxílio de Matilda, consegue forjar a morte de Antonia e deslocá-la para uma cripta onde finalmente concretiza os seus intentos, violando a jovem rapariga.
  “For a time spare diet, frequent watching, and severe penance cooled and represt the natural warmth of his constitution: But no sooner did opportunity present itself, no sooner did He catch a glimpse of joys to which He was still a Stranger, than Religion’s barriers were to feeble to resist the over-whelming torrent of his desires. All impediments yielded before the force of his temperament, warm, sanguine, and voluptuous in the excess. As yet his other passions lay dormant; But they only needed to be once awakened, to display themselves with violence as great and irresistible.”
Para além da corrupção dos valores morais de Ambrósio, acompanhamos a história de amor de Raymond e Agnes. Contra a sua vontade, Agnes está destinada a viver num convento, e as suas tentativas para escapar aos desígnios familiares revelam-se infrutíferas, apesar do auxílio de Raymond. Este reencontra-a em Madrid e, sob disfarce, consegue infiltrar-se no convento, onde, num dos seus encontros, o casal cede à tentação e Agnes engravida. Tal situação torna-se do conhecimento da abadessa, que decide punir impiedosamente Agnes, encenando a sua morte e aprisionando-a. Lorenzo, irmão de Agnes, desconhecendo a situação da sua irmã, tenta prender a abadessa durante uma procissão, acusando-a de assassinato. A multidão revolta-se perante tamanha crueldade, o que resulta na morte da abadessa e de várias freiras inocentes, assim como na destruição do convento. Durante o caos, Lorenzo descobre não só a sua irmã, mas também a sua amada Antonia, à beira da morte após ter sido apunhalada por Ambrosio. O monge é capturado e interrogado pela inquisição; desesperado, vende a sua alma ao diabo em troca da sua liberdade. Tal sacrifício garante-lhe apenas a revelação de que Elvira era sua mãe e Antonia sua irmã, para além de uma horrível morte.

  “Universal silence prevailed through the Crowd, and every heart was filled with reverence for religion. Every heart but Lorenzo’s. Conscious that among those who chaunted the praises of their God so sweetly, there were some who cloaked with devotion the foulest sins, their hymns inspired him with detestation at their Hypocrisy.”
A importância de O Monge no panorama literário deve-se, sobretudo, à quebra de convenções que Lewis efectua no romance. Numa época em que o gótico era dominado pela suavizadora sensibilidade feminina, de que Ann Radcliffe é exemplo, Lewis não se deixa coibir pelas restrições que limitavam os seus precursores, recusando-se a atenuar a violência e a crueldade que as paixões humanas são capazes de desencadear. As típicas heroínas, devotas e virginais, podem ser encontradas em O Monge, mas, ao invés de escaparem das garras do vilão, perecem nas mãos deste. A intervenção divina que se manifesta em favor dos virtuosos, é substituída pela influência demoníaca que incita à corrupção. No fundo, Lewis adopta as convenções do género até determinado ponto, a partir do qual as inverte. Tal inversão, conjugada com as fortes descrições dos crimes perpetrados por Ambrosio, não poderia deixar de chocar os leitores da época.
O talento de Lewis como dramaturgo transparece também em O Monge, tanto pelas cenas curtas e dramáticas, muitas vezes associadas a sonhos ou circunstâncias sobrenaturais, desafiando constantemente as crenças do leitor, chocando-o com a exposição das falhas a que qualquer ser humano é susceptível. Também a nível de diálogo é evidente esta influência, levando por vezes a uma linguagem excessivamente teatral, adequada para um actor a representar num palco perante uma plateia, mas pouco verosímil quando aplicada a um romance. De resto, o autor opta quase sempre pelo espectáculo em detrimento da coerência do romance; a crítica à superstição é disso exemplo: por um lado, várias personagens consideram a superstição como o produto de uma mente fraca, enquanto que por outro, o sobrenatural se manifesta sem que exista uma explicação racional para o desmistificar, pelo que a referida crítica não só carece de suporte, como é contrariada pelos acontecimentos.
Independentemente dos seus exageros, compreensíveis tomando em conta a idade que o autor tinha quando finalizou o romance, O Monge é um inquietante retrato dos excessos que o ser humano comete quando dominado pelas suas paixões, e de como esses excessos muitas vezes são encobertos por uma enganadora aparência de virtude. Um importante marco da literatura gótica que influenciou significativamente a produção literária dentro do género.


The Monk encontra-se disponível integralmente no Project Gutenberg. A nível de versões impressas, tanto a edição da Oxford University Press como a edição da Penguin proporcionam uma interessante introdução, assim como notas explicativas. O romance encontra-se também traduzido para português, sendo as versões mais recentes editadas pela Bonecos Rebeldes e pela Modo de Ler Editores e Livreiros.


Birkhead, Edith. The Tale of Terror . Project Gutenberg, 2004. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14154

Bomarito, Jessica. Gothic Literature: A Gale Critical Companion. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2006.

Botting, Fred. Gothic. Londres: Routledge, 1996.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “A review of The Monk.The Critical Review 19. 1797.

Lewis, Matthew. The Monk. Nova Iorque: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Punter, David; Byron, Glennis. The Gothic. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

Smith, Andrew. Gothic Literature. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Sousa, Maria Leonor Machado. A Literatura “Negra” ou de Terror em Portugal (séculos XVIII e XIX). Lisboa: Editorial Novaera, 1978.

Summers, Montague. “Matthew Gregory Lewis.” The Gothic Quest. Nova Iorque: Russell & Russell, 1964.

Wright, Angela. “European Disruptions of the Idealized Woman: Matthew Lewis’s The Monk and the Marquis de Sade’s La Nouvelle Justine.” European Gothic: A Spirited Exchange, 1760-1960. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002.

18 de setembro de 2011

Leituras Digitais (11 a 17 de Setembro)

Rubrica semanal de notícias e artigos relacionados com a edição de livros digitais.

The details: Amazon is supposedly discussing with publishers a way to get books on the e-tailer’s digital platform so users could read an unlimited number for a subscription fee. The digital library reportedly would be part of Amazon’s growing Prime services, which put unlimited streaming video under its umbrella earlier this year, in addition to giving subscribers free two-day shipping for $79/year. Amazon’s digital books library, which would basically operate like a “Netflix for Books” (as a side note, it seems relevant to point out that Netflix has had problems since Amazon’s Prime Streaming Video feature was added), would, like every announcement Amazon makes, momentously affect others. This time, those “others” are libraries.
Na abertura da quinta conferência internacional do Plano Nacional de Leitura, em Lisboa, Marçal Grilo revelou que o serviço educativo e a Biblioteca de Arte da Fundação vão encetar a realização de um estudo intitulado «Novas ferramentas de leitura».
For those who enjoy visiting the public library, don’t fret. There is not much chance that libraries will be closing their doors anytime soon. The selection of eBooks compared to books on the shelves is limited, but new eBook titles are being added as the program becomes more popular. Still, some people appreciate the atmosphere of the library offering quiet reading areas, community rooms for local book clubs, computers with high speed internet, and more. However, people who previously thought the library was outdated will have a newfound respect for the updated technology. Downloadable eBooks are conveniently available online any time through selected locations, even when the library is closed for the day.
Google is close to launching an Australian version of its e-bookstore, the first time the digital company has expanded the service outside the United States.
The move raises speculation that a UK launch could be imminent. Australian technology website Smarthouse reports: "The company is believed to be planning near-simultaneous launches of the e-bookstore in Canada, the UK and Australia."
The self-pub platform Smashwords has reached a new milestone today. In what is probably a first for (the non-Amazon) self-publishing, Smashwords now has over 70 thousand books in its catalog from more than 28 thousand authors.
As Jeff Sonderman at Poynter points out, this is part of a growing trend of news organizations publishing e-books. HuffPost is joined by such venerable news organizations as The New York Times publishing an e-book about WikiLeaks, and The New Yorker publishing an e-book of 9/11 stories. Both are selling thousands of copies based on their own announcements or high Amazon rankings, and so far, The Huffington Post's first e-book seems to be on the same track.
This couldn't come at a better time for journalists who, thanks to the double-whammy of a weakening economic recovery and struggling news business models, are once again facing layoffs.
Amazon has launched a Spanish website, although Spanish readers will have to wait to get their hands on the Kindle.
The site, Amazon.es, went live today (14th September) and is offering books in Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque. Products have a minimum discount of 5% and there is free delivery for purchases above €19 (£16.49).
Sources told the Spanish press the Amazon Kindle and e-books will be made available before the end of the year.
Two Finnish universities and a Shanghai based reaserch group have formed a partnership last month. They plan to cooperate in the development of a new class of gadgets designed to solve a problems afflicting parts of rural areas of China. Not only do some areas lack reliable power, they also lack reliable communications. The new ebook reader will address this.
The Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Aalto University and the National Engineering Center of Digital Television (NERC-DTV) plan to make a low-power, reception only device based on an E-ink screen. The screen and general hardware design are expected to cheap and require minimal power, and that should make it possible to power the e-reader completely from a solar panel.
The Publishing Industry is undergoing a massive shift in revenue streams right now and its inability to understand it has already claimed its second largest book retailer and devalued the perceived value of a bestseller from $27.99 to $9.99.  Borders miscalculated the consumer’s readiness to adopt the format and had no stake in the game to offset the loss in print sales.
This new service is based on the technology developed by Discovereads, a company that was bought by Goodreads a few months back. Goodreads then fed all its member records into  the recommendation engine. That’s over 6 million members who have an average of 140 books on their shelves.
The recommendation engine measures over 20 billion data points. It tracks the reviews of a book, of course, but it also tracks when and where each book is read by each user. It also notes the relationship between books; for example, if a large number of users go from book A to B to C then a user who has already read A and B might want to read C.
The big buzz around e-books are devices, like Amazon's upcoming tablet, and apps such as Booktrack that take interacting with stories to a new level.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

A version of this list appears in the September 25, 2011 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending September 10, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
2.                      THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, by Darcie Chan
3.                      BLIND FAITH, by CJ Lyons
4.                      MILE 81, by Stephen King
5.                      KILL ME IF YOU CAN, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      BONHOEFFER, by Eric Metaxas
2.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
3.                      THAT USED TO BE US, by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      A STOLEN LIFE, by Jaycee Dugard


ePub3 sample

15 de setembro de 2011

Apresentação da Revista Cultura ENTRE Culturas n.º 3

Apresentadores: Miguel Real e António Cândido Franco
Data: 20 de Setembro de 2011 pelas 18h30
  Com o dobro das páginas, esta edição da Cultura ENTRE Culturas é dedicada a Fernando Pessoa, incluindo um dossiê especial de 72 páginas com muitos inéditos do espólio. Salientam-se Os Orientes de Fernando Pessoa, de Jerónimo Pizarro, Patricio Ferrari e Antonio Cardiello. Destaque ainda para um desenho inédito de António Ramos Rosa, poesia inédita de Casimiro de Brito e a fotografia de Mariis Capela, além de ensaios de António Cândido Franco, Luiz Pires dos Reys e Paulo Borges, entre muitas outras colaborações nacionais e internacionais.

13 de setembro de 2011

Livros para crianças ou livros que também podem ser lidos por crianças?

Livros para crianças ou livros que também podem ser lidos por crianças?
Moderação: Sara Figueiredo Costa
Convidados: Carla Maia de Almeida e Andreia Brites
Data: 15 de Setembro de 2011 pelas 18h30

Para Acabar de vez com a Leitura – “Cânone, ou a vã glória de ler e escrever”

Para Acabar de vez com a Leitura – “Cânone, ou a vã glória de ler e escrever”
Moderação: Eurídice Gomes
Convidados: Juva Batella, Maria do Rosário Pedreira, Miguel Real e Ricardo Duarte
Data: 14 de Setembro de 2011 pelas 21h30
Local: Chapitô
Melhor seria, talvez, que os poetas fossem anónimos, dizia aquele que não nos atrevemos sequer a não citar, não nos caia o céu em cima das cabeças.
O senhor Borges, por questões que se atêm à biologia da espécie, não poderá estar no tanque do Bartô para se defender, mas faremos os possíveis para continuar a citá-lo, com ou sem razão para tal.
Ulisses, Beatriz, Dom Quixote, Madame de Bovary, Gregory Samsa, Leopold Bloom... Água, oxigénio,carbono, hidrogénio, ficções: uns mais, outros menos, mas todos integramos na nossa constituição, na nossa humanidade, na nossa vitalidade, a necessidade da narrativa. Por ela fizeram-se guerras, revolucionaram-se sociedades, instituíram-se costumes, mudaram-se leis. O cânone literário integra o tecido vivo do legado imaterial da humanidade e ignorá-lo seria como rejeitar o oxigénio que nos dá vida.
Nesta sessão do PARA ACABAR DE VEZ COM A LEITURA, perguntamos aos nossos ilustres convidados, Maria do Rosário Pedreira, Miguel Real, Ricardo Duarte e Juva Batella, quem são, afinal, os santinhos da literatura? E como chegaram os ditos ao nosso altar? O que ler e porquê; como sobreviver nesta dupla ficção que é o cânone literário?

11 de setembro de 2011

Leituras Digitais (4 a 10 de Setembro)

Rubrica semanal de notícias e artigos relacionados com a edição de livros digitais.

  The more general question, however, is whether publishers like Amazon (and particularly Amazon) represent a threat to the older magazine model, in which a variety of articles are bundled together and sold for a price that, even on the newsstand, is lower than what a reader would expect to pay if buying everything piecemeal. Part of the reason readers buy magazines is because they are comfortable outsourcing some of the decision-making about content delivery, and welcome the fact that magazines curate the news.
  La guerra de tres colosos del mundo de la cultura digital ha acelerado la evolución y el desarrollo del negocio del libro impreso y digital, cuyas consecuencias están revolucionando un modelo editorial centenario. Un duelo en el ciberespacio con repercusiones en la tierra donde la penúltima conquista no se libra por un territorio sino por la lengua española, con un potencial de 500 millones de lectores.
  In short, it isn’t just the big publishers who are compelled to develop a digital strategy to adjust their businesses to changing times. Their smaller competitors, the agents they depend on to deliver their content, and even the authors that have always just depended on the publishers to handle the business of getting a book from a manuscript to a purchase, are all assessing the new landscape. They are considering what new approaches might reduce or eliminate their need for a publisher, or at least reduce the publisher’s share of the take.
  But so far the great e-book debate has barely touched on the most important feature that the codex introduced: the nonlinear reading that so impressed St. Augustine. If the fable of the scroll and codex has a moral, this is it. We usually associate digital technology with nonlinearity, the forking paths that Web surfers beat through the Internet’s underbrush as they click from link to link. But e-books and nonlinearity don’t turn out to be very compatible. Trying to jump from place to place in a long document like a novel is painfully awkward on an e-reader, like trying to play the piano with numb fingers. You either creep through the book incrementally, page by page, or leap wildly from point to point and search term to search term. It’s no wonder that the rise of e-reading has revived two words for classical-era reading technologies: scroll and tablet. That’s the kind of reading you do in an e-book.
  Publishers do not accept the idea that a book is a book is a book, regardless of whether it is electronic or print. In contrast, consumers like me have always thought that a book is a book is a book, regardless of form. We understand the difference between a hardcover and a paperback because we can both see and feel those differences; consequently, over decades we have become accustomed to paying more for a hardcover than for a paperback, perceiving — rightly or wrongly — greater value in a hardcover than in a paperback. (In fact, it was this perceived disparity that brought about the rise of the trade paperback. The trade paperback is perceived by consumers as offering less physical quality than a hardcover but more than a mass market paperback, and thus worth a price between the two.) But we continue to have difficulty wrapping our heads around the idea that, even though it lacks physicality, the ebook is worth more than the paperback and the hardcover (ever note how many times the ebook price is higher than the hardcover price or so close to it that there is little price differential?) at worst, and worth more than the paperback and only slightly less than the hardcover at best, or that it is worth the same as the trade paperback.
  But the Cloud Reader experience isn’t a dead end at all. It frees you from needing your dedicated e-reader or a constant connection to the Internet; by removing certain interactive options (like annotations or shopping) it allows you to connect directly with the text, giving you some of the best effects of Readibility and Instapaper for reading online. Best of all, it takes another step toward delivering to readers that “buy once, read anywhere” ability they’ve lost in the transition to digital books.
  Despite the hype, the fundamental rules of publishing have not really changed very much. Now, as before, the greatest challenge facing a new writer is to find readers, not to finish and print a book. If anything, self-publishing has made the shelves, both virtual and physical, even more crowded. The obstacles to being noticed are even more forbidding, not less. In a world where anyone can upload a Word doc and call it a book, it’s more valuable than ever to have experts curate the works that are really worthy of a reader’s attention.
  "They run good bookshops that command the loyalty and indeed love of their customers and their customers choose to buy their reading in both physical format through them—that makes perfect sense to me. We in Waterstone's need to offer you a digital reader which is at least as good and preferably substantially better than our internet rival and you will have a much better buying experience purchasing your books through us and that is physical books, digital books both, we don't mind which."
  TO SEE how profoundly the book business is changing, watch the shelves. Next month IKEA will introduce a new, deeper version of its ubiquitous “BILLY” bookcase. The flat-pack furniture giant is already promoting glass doors for its bookshelves. The firm reckons customers will increasingly use them for ornaments, tchotchkes and the odd coffee-table tome—anything, that is, except books that are actually read.
New York Times E-Book Best Sellers

  A version of this list appears in the September 18, 2011 issue of The New York Times Book Review. Rankings reflect sales for the week ending September 3, 2011.

E-Book Fiction

1.                      THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
2.                      KILL ME IF YOU CAN, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
3.                      BLIND FAITH, by CJ Lyons
4.                      THE MILL RIVER RECLUSE, by Darcie Chan
5.                      1105 YAKIMA STREET, by Debbie Macomber

E-Book Nonfiction

1.                      IN MY TIME, by Dick Cheney with Liz Cheney
2.                      HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
3.                      A STOLEN LIFE, by Jaycee Dugard
4.                      UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
5.                      IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS, by Erik Larson


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Livros digitais: O futuro?
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