death of the author
"Thousands of men and women lived and died in this place, remembered in sepia-scored letters and postcards, and pictures taken by local photographers. Only a precious few, such as this album, survive to reclaim a site that was once world-famous. When Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes mystery, A Study in Scarlet, he told his readers that Dr Watson trained as an army doctor at Netley – its name was so well known that the author did not need to explain any further. The hospital was, after all, a town in itself, a 200-acre medicropolis with its own gasworks, reservoir, school, stables, bakery and prison. There was a grand officers’ mess, complete with ballroom, and modest married quarters for other ranks. There was even a salty swimming pool, fed by a windmill pumping water from the sea."
Jonnie Robinson, lead curator of sociolinguistics at the British Library, suggested to me that emoji shares some features with pidgin languages. Pidgins develop when two or more groups of people who don’t speak the same language have to find a way to communicate—on slave plantations, for example, where slaves from different parts of Africa would be working together. Pidgins typically have a limited vocabulary and lack nuance, a developed syntax, and the ability to convey register, i.e. to address your boss more formally than you would a friend.
Pidgin speakers, like emoji users, develop certain tactics to get around the constraints of their limited communication system, such as repeating a word to signify intensification: “big big” to mean “very big.” This is something which translates easily to emoji. Earlier this year Hogan, who monitors emoji use on Twitter, observed Justin Bieber fans tweeting rows of weeping emojis to signify their intense distress at his arrest.
Image: Simin Behbahani during an August 2007 news conference in Tehran. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)
One of Iran’s most vocal and outspoken poets died this morning in Tehran at the age of 87. Known as the “Lioness of Iran,” Simin Behbahani reportedly had been in a coma for more than two weeks.
NPR’s Davar Ardalan writes:
Born July 20, 1927, in Tehran, Behbahani was Iran’s nightingale, publishing 19 books of poetry over the course of six decades. Her first book, Setar-e Shekasteh, which translates as Broken Lute, was published in 1951. She was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Although Behbahani had been barred from leaving Iran for the past four years or so, her words continued to permeate and enlighten beyond the borders of her homeland. In March 2011, President Obama recited one of her poems as part of a Persian New Year greeting to the Iranian people: … “Old, I may be, but, given the chance, I will learn. I will begin a second youth alongside my progeny. I will recite the Hadith of love of country with such fervor as to make each word bear life.”
Ferguson, MO, by Chris Lee for the Saint Louis Times Dispatch
Andrea DenHoed speaks with the obsessive collector behind “Letters of Note”: http://nyr.kr/1hEzNTq
“The idea behind the Letters of Note project—that correspondence holds a rare communicative and aesthetic power—also happens to be well calibrated for the Internet. It hits on a juncture of Pinterest-style object nostalgia, an appetite for emotive but bite-size reading, and a mild voyeurism.”
Letters from Letters of Note, written by (from left to right) Annie Oakley, Elvis Presley, and Jack the Ripper. Courtesy Chronicle Books.