Saturday, December 21, 2013
How to defend your creative vision against commercial pressure with graciousness, honor, and unflinching conviction.
“Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in,” beloved Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson famously admonished in his speech on creative integrity. “Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.”
In December of 1815, Jane Austen released her novel Emma (free download), followed closely by a second edition of her controversial 1814 novel Mansfield Park (free download) — the last two novels published during her lifetime. The former sold well, but the latter was a commercial failure — so much so that it nearly absorbed all of Austen’s profits from Emma. In the spring of 1816, less than a year before her death, she received a letter from Mr. Clarke, chaplain and private English secretary to Prince Leopold and the librarian at His Royal Highness’s Coburg House, who had come to admire Austen’s talents but also wanted to steer them in a certain direction. He suggested that “a historical romance illustrative of the august House of Coburg would just now be very interesting” — essentially a request for a publicity puff piece that would be at once more commercially successful for her and politically beneficial for the Prince. (A proposition tragically prescient and familiar amidst our day and age of churnalism and clickbait vacant of substance.) But in a letter from April 1 that year, found in A Memoir of Jane Austen (public library; public domain), the celebrated author stands her ground with equal parts integrity and elegance, articulating the supremacy of the creative impulse over the allure of commercial success and capturing the very essence of why writers write:
My dear Sir,
I am honoured by the Prince’s thanks and very much obliged to yourself for the kind manner in which you mention the work…. You are very kind in your hints as to the sort of composition which might recommend me at present, and I am fully sensible that an historical romance, founded on the House of Saxe-Coburg, might be much more to the purpose of profit or popularity than such pictures of domestic life in country villages as I deal in. But I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.
I remain, my dear Sir,
Your very much obliged,
and very sincere friend,
During that time, Austen had begun to write her final novel, which she titled The Elliots. She completed the draft mere months after her letter to Clarke. But she never lived to see it published, succumbing to fatal illness in July of 1817. It was posthumously published under the title Persuasion (free download) six months later.
A Memoir of Jane Austen, written by Austen’s nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh and originally published in 1869, is excellent in its entirety, offering an unprecedented, highly influential first-hand account of the elusive icon’s character and habits, and painting a dimensional portrait of the author whom Virginia Woolf called “the most perfect artist among women.”
Source : brainpickings.org
Source : brainpickings.org
The Pixies have parted ways with recently-added bassist Kim Shattuck.
"Super disappointed to learn that my time with the Pixies ended today," Shattuck wrote Friday on Facebook (via Pitchfork). "Amazing experience. Looking forward to focusing my attention back on the Muffs and our upcoming new album. All the best to everyone."
In July, the veteran punk band announced the addition of Shattuck (The Muffs, The Pandoras) to the line up as a bassist and backing vocalist prior to beginning a world tour.
A month prior, the Pixies had parted ways with founding bassist Kim Deal, who had made the decision to exit the band.
In January, the Pixies tour makes its way to North America for more than two dozen dates scheduled in Canada and the United States over two months.
This article originally appeared at THR.com.
History announced today that 10 all-new episodes of "Vikings" will premiere on Thursday, February 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The hit scripted drama series centers on Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a restless young warrior and family man who longs to find and conquer new lands across the sea and claim the spoils as his own. Now he is an Earl, allied with King Horrik (Donal Logue). With more power than ever before, his desire to sail west and explore new kingdoms remains unquenchable.
Yet there’s a heavy price to pay for Ragnar’s ascent to greatness. Season two brings crises of faith, of power, of relationships. Brothers rise up against one another. Loyalties shift from friend to foe, and unlikely alliances are formed in the name of supremacy. Ragnar’s indiscretions threaten his marriage to Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick), tearing him and his beloved son apart. Plots are hatched, scores are settled, blood is spilled…all under the watchful eyes of the gods.
New to the cast of "Vikings" are Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) as Bjorn, the intelligent and bold warrior son of Ragnar Lothbrok, and Linus Roache ("Law & Order") as Ecbert, King of Wessex, a man of strength, knowledge and undisguised ambition. They join Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok; Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha, a fierce shield maiden and Ragnar’s wife; Clive Standen as Rollo, Ragnar’s impulsive, wild, care-free brother; George Blagden as Athelstan, a young and not-so-innocent Monk; Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy, beautiful wife of the late Earl Haraldson; Donal Logue as King Horrik, who desires to make the increasingly famous Earl Ragnar an ally and supporter; Gustaf Skarsgard, a ship builder who designs the new generation of Vikings ships; and Alyssa Sutherland as Princess Aslaug, Ragnar’s new love interest.
Over its nine episode first season, "Vikings" became the #1 new cable series of the year, averaging 4.3 million total viewers, 2.0 million Adults 25-54 and 1.8 Adults 18-49. The show was created and written by Michael Hirst.
Another Ice Age is coming! 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios have set Ice Age 5 for release on July 15, 2016. That pushes their previously-announced Anubis a bit further down the line. It will now hit theaters on March 23, 2018.
Started in 2002 with the original Ice Age, the successful franchise also includes 2006's Ice Age: The Meltdown, 2009's Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and 2012's Ice Age: Continental Drift. Collectively, the four films have grossed more than $2.8 billion worldwide.
Anubis, meanwhile, is said to be loosely based on the novel "The Anubis Tapestry: Between Twilights" by Bruce Zick, which kicks off when a mummy's curse condemns Dr. George Henry's spirit to the Egyptian Underworld. While trying to free him, Henry's son Chance plumbs the depths of the Underworld and encounters a variety of monsters.
Although the 2018 date is currently free of any competition, Ice Age 5 will be hitting theaters just one week after a currently untitled Marvel Studios film.
Source : 20th Century Fox
Since the tragic death of Paul Walker many have speculated the initial cause of his death. Now it’s being reported that the L.A. County Coroner’s Office has completed their examination via dental records for both Walker, and his friend, Roger Rodas, who was driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT.
The L.A. County Coroner’s Office has released a statement in regards to the tragic crash that took the lives of actor Paul Walker, and his friend, Roger Rodas. Walker, 40, passed away due to a “combination of traumatic and thermal injuries.”
According to the statement, Walker did not die by the impact of the crash, and is believed to have been alive for a few seconds. It’s said that ultimately the fire caused by the impact was the cause of death. In the case of Roger Rodas, 38, the driver died on impact from severe injuries, and fire was not listed as a factor in his death.
It’s said that toxicology results will not be in for the two men until six to eight weeks, although the Medical Examiner has ruled that the deaths of Walker and his friend were accidental.
As for the event surrounding the accident, the two men were winding down after a charity event for Walker’s ROWW organization when they decided to take the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT out for a test drive. According to Walker and Rodas’ mutual friend, Jim Torp, the two were not drag racing and were testing out a problem with the car that the two were trying to diagnose.
Shortly they left the garage, tragedy struck. According to Torp, smoke was visible from Always Evolving Performance Motors, which was the shop Rodas owned, and is around the corner from the crash site. Although many of their friends tried to get them out of the car, there was nothing that could be done. In addition, initial reports that said Walker’s 15-year-old daughter Meadow was on site at the time are false.
Paul Walker’s family has made an official statement on his public Facebook that has amassed to 12 million likes:
“Paul Walker’s family appreciates the outpouring of love and goodwill from his many fans and friends. They have asked, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, that donations please be made to Paul’s charity Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW). Donations can easily be made through their website at http://www.ROWW.org/.”
Source : Hollywood.com