Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World

Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World

Life Inc: How Corporatism Conquered the World, and How We Can Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff
2011 | EPUB | 2.17MB

Now includes “The Life Inc. Guide to Reclaiming the Value You Create”

In Life Inc, award-winning writer Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from being convenient legal fictions to being the dominant fact of contemporary life. The resulting ideology, corporatism, has infiltrated all aspects of civics, commerce, and culture—from the founding of the first chartered monopoly to the branding of the self, from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking, from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of Facebook.

Life Inc explains why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401(k) plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business. Most important, Rushkoff illuminates both how we’ve become disconnected from our world and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and, mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight [Audiobook]

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight [Audiobook]

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight [Audiobook] by Vladimir Nabokov
2011 | MP3@64 kbps | 6 hrs 05 mins | 167.48MB

"I am very happy that you liked that little book," wrote Vladimir Nabokov to Edmund Wilson in 1941. "As I think I told you, I wrote it five years ago, in Paris, on the implement called bidet as a writing desk--because we lived in one room and I had to use our small bathroom as a study." The book in question was The Real Life of Sebastian Knight. And despite its humble origins, Nabokov's first novel in English showed him to be in absolute command of his adopted language.

Like many of the author's later triumphs, this one revolves around a question of identity. The late Sebastian Knight, we discover, was a transplanted Russian novelist whose taste for linguistic trickery bears a certain resemblance to Nabokov's. Now his half-brother is attempting to reconstruct the existence of this elusive figure. As he readily admits, the raw material isn't exactly the stuff of melodrama: "Sebastian's life, though far from being dull, lacked the terrific vigour of his literary style." But even the most mundane facts prove difficult for the narrator to nail down. He does, on the other hand, describe Sebastian's creative processes in exquisite and accurate detail:

His struggle with words was usually painful and this for two reasons. One was the common one with writers of his type: the bridging of the abyss lying between expression and thought; the maddening feeling that the right words, the only words are awaiting you on the opposite bank in the misty distance, and the shudderings of the still unclothed thought clamouring for them on this side of the abyss.

Sebastian's real life--or anybody's, for that matter--refuses to yield up a verbal equivalent. Still, the narrator manages a kind of fraternal fusion with his subject on the book's final page, which suggests a fluid and very Nabokovian view of identity itself. For this reason, and for the splendors of its prose, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is a necessary read. It's also safe to say that it's the very best novel ever written on a bidet.

Laughter in the Dark [Audiobook]

Laughter in the Dark [Audiobook]

Laughter in the Dark [Audiobook] by Vladimir Nabokov
2011 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 23 mins | 148.25MB

The classic novel from the author of Lolita, brilliantly portraying one man's ruin through love and betrayal.

"Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster."

Thus begins Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark; this, the author tells us, is the whole story—except that he starts from here, with his characteristic dazzling skill and irony, and brilliantly turns a fable into a chilling, original novel of folly and destruction. Amidst a Weimar-era milieu of silent film stars, artists, and aspirants, Nabokov creates a merciless masterpiece as Albinus, an aging critic, falls prey to his own desires, to his teenage mistress, and to Axel Rex, the scheming rival for her affections who finds his greatest joy in the downfall of others.

Published first in Russian as Kamera Obskura in 1932, this book appeared in Nabokov's own English translation six years later.



EPUB

Despair [Audiobook]

Despair [Audiobook]

Despair [Audiobook] by Vladimir Nabokov
2011 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 23 mins | 203.03MB

With deliberate reference to Dostoyevsky, and sideways glances at Poe and Kafka, Nabokov's Despair takes on the classic literary theme of `the double' with gruesome, and often hilarious, results. Hermann, a failed businessman and aspiring writer, relates his story of one day coming by chance upon a tramp in the woods who bears a striking resemblance to himself. Alternatively repulsed, fascinated, and obsessed by his `twin,' he concocts a plan to commit the perfect murder...the criminal equivalent of the perfect novel.

Nabokov draws out the metaphor between murder and art all the way to the eerie conclusion of Despair and his self-conscious narrator is the perfect mouthpiece for expounding the central theme: the art of crime and the crime of art. Vain, egotistical, insecure, capricious...Hermann is the quintessential unreliable narrator, a self-admitted liar from childhood who lies simply for the pure creative joy of it. An artist, in other words...and, in this case, an author. Hermann creates fictions and his murder plot will be his `masterpiece,' except there are always a few flaws in any masterpiece and critics aplenty to point them out. In the case of murder, the critics are the police and a bad review means arrest, imprisonment, and possibly a death sentence.

Despair, in spite of its title, is a lot of fun, poking fun as it does at the conventions of the novel even as it exploits each and every one of them. In a sense, it's a book about writing as much, if not more than, the murder that is actually being written about. Nabokov thus adroitly turns an otherwise relatively conventional crime story into an existential commentary on the absurdity of the human condition and the ultimate failure of the artist to apprehend an entirely satisfactory expression of this absurdity. The question is: Can an artist get away with murder? Is any crime ((art)) perfect?

Whether as an extended and metaphoric meditation on art and personal identity or as a nifty, twisted tale of a mind unraveling into psychosis and murder, Despair is an impeccably written, entertaining, and intelligent novel by one of the 20th century's greatest writers.



EPUB

Pnin [Audiobook]

Pnin [Audiobook]

Pnin [Audiobook] by Vladimir Nabokov
2010 | MP3@56 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 41 mins | 136.97MB

One of the best-loved of Nabokov’s novels, Pnin features his funniest and most heart-rending character. Professor Timofey Pnin is a haplessly disoriented Russian émigré precariously employed on an American college campus in the 1950s. Pnin struggles to maintain his dignity through a series of comic and sad misunder-standings, all the while falling victim both to subtle academic conspiracies and to the manipulations of a deliberately unreliable narrator.

Initially an almost grotesquely comic figure, Pnin gradually grows in stature by contrast with those who laugh at him. Whether taking the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he has not mastered or throwing a faculty party during which he learns he is losing his job, the gently preposterous hero of this enchanting novel evokes the reader’s deepest protective instinct.

Serialized in The New Yorker and published in book form in 1957, Pnin brought Nabokov both his first National Book Award nomination and hitherto unprecedented popularity.



EPUB

Lolita [Audiobook]

Lolita [Audiobook]

Lolita [Audiobook] by Vladimir Nabokov
2005 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 11 hrs 29 mins | 757.65MB

Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover.

Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition. Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion:

She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock.

Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido.



EPUB

The Inner Voice of Trading

The Inner Voice of Trading

The Inner Voice of Trading: Eliminate the Noise, and Profit from the Strategies That Are Right for You by Michael Martin
2011 | EPUB | 1.07MB

Want to be a successful trader? It's not enough to master generic trading strategies: you must first know yourself. You must understand your own emotional predilections and psychological tendencies. You must learn how to match your strategies to your own personality. You must choose strategies that are sustainable over the long haul, that you can tolerate–and execute.

Michael Martin's The Inner Voice of Trading explains why deep self-knowledge is so crucial to successful trading, helps you gain that self-knowledge, and guides you in applying it. Drawing on interviews and discussions with great traders like Michael Marcus and Ed Seykota, he shows how to quiet your mind, develop an "inner voice" you can rely on, and make it your most important trading ally.

Sticks and Stones [Audiobook]

Sticks and Stones [Audiobook]

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy [Audiobook] by Emily Bazelon
2013 | MP3 | 10 hrs 59 mins | 150.98MB

Being a teenager has never been easy, but in recent years, with the rise of the Internet and social media, it has become exponentially more challenging. Bullying, once thought of as the province of queen bees and goons, has taken on new, complex, and insidious forms, as parents and educators know all too well.

No writer is better poised to explore this territory than Emily Bazelon, who has established herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. In Sticks and Stones, she brings readers on a deeply researched, clear-eyed journey into the ever-shifting landscape of teenage meanness and its sometimes devastating consequences. The result is an indispensable book that takes us from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds.

Along the way, Bazelon defines what bullying is and, just as important, what it is not. She explores when intervention is essential and when kids should be given the freedom to fend for themselves. She also dispels persistent myths: that girls bully more than boys, that online and in-person bullying are entirely distinct, that bullying is a common cause of suicide, and that harsh criminal penalties are an effective deterrent. Above all, she believes that to deal with the problem, we must first understand it.

Blending keen journalistic and narrative skills, Bazelon explores different facets of bullying through the stories of three young people who found themselves caught in the thick of it. Thirteen-year-old Monique endured months of harassment and exclusion before her mother finally pulled her out of school. Jacob was threatened and physically attacked over his sexuality in eighth grade—and then sued to protect himself and change the culture of his school. Flannery was one of six teens who faced criminal charges after a fellow student’s suicide was blamed on bullying and made international headlines. With grace and authority, Bazelon chronicles how these kids’ predicaments escalated, to no one’s benefit, into community-wide wars. Cutting through the noise, misinformation, and sensationalism, she takes us into schools that have succeeded in reducing bullying and examines their successful strategies. The result is a groundbreaking book that will help parents, educators, and teens themselves better understand what kids are going through today and what can be done to help them through it.

The Art of Suicide

The Art of Suicide

The Art of Suicide by Ron Brown
2004 | PDF | 9.56MB

The Art of Suicide is a history of the visual representation of suicide from the ancient world to its decriminalization in the 20th century. After looking at instances of voluntary death in ancient Greece, Ron Brown discusses the contrast between the extraordinary absence of such events in early Christianity and the proliferation of images of biblical suicides in the late medieval era. He emphasizes how differing attitudes to suicide in the early modern world slowly merged, and pays particular attention to the one-time chasm between so-called heroic suicide and self-destruction as a "crying crime".

Brown tracks the changes surrounding the perception of suicide into the pivotal Romantic era, with its notions of the "man of feeling", ready to hurl himself into the abyss over a woman or an unfinishable poem. After the First World War, the meaning of death and attitudes towards suicide changed radically, and in time this led to its decriminalization. The 20th century in fact witnessed a growing ambivalence towards suicidal acts, which today are widely regarded either as expressions of a death-wish or as cries for help. Brown concludes with Warhol's picture of Marilyn Monroe and the videos taken by the notorious Dr Kevorkian.

Men in Black

Men in Black

Men in Black by John Harvey
2012 | PDF | 13.79MB
Mr. Pink:
"Why can't we pick out our own color?"
Joe:
"I tried that once, it don't work. You get four guys fighting over who's gonna be Mr. Black."
~ Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs

Men's clothes went black in the nineteenth century. Dickens, Ruskin and Baudelaire all asked why it was, in an age of supreme wealth and power, that men wanted to dress as if going to a funeral. The answer is in this history of the color black. Over the last 1000 years there have been successive expansions in the wearing of black—from the Church to the Court, from the Court to the merchant class. Though black as fashion was often smart and elegant, its growth as a cultural marker was fed by several currents in Europe's history—in politics, asceticism, religious warfare. Only in the nineteenth century, however, did black fully come into its own as fashion, the most telling witnesses constantly saw connections between the taste for black and the forms of constraint with which European society regimented itself.

Concentrating on the general shift away from color that began around 1800, Harvey traces the transition to black from the court of Burgundy in the 15th century, through 16th-century Venice, 17th-century Spain and the Netherlands. He uses paintings from Van Eyck and Degas to Francis Bacon, religious art, period lithographs, wood engravings, costume books, newsphotos, movie stills and related sources in his compelling study of the meaning of color and clothes.

Although in the twentieth century tastes have moved toward new colors, black has retained its authority as well as its associations with strength and cruelty. At the same time black is still smart, and fashion keeps returning to black. It is, perhaps, the color that has come to acquire the greatest, most significant range of meaning in history.

Lives of Images

Lives of Images

Lives of Images by Peter Mason
2004 | PDF | 3.35MB

In The Lives of Images, Peter Mason examines the history of European representations of non-European peoples, using four striking case-studies and a wide range of source material, including paintings, medals, murals, frescoes, monuments, engravings and contemporary photographs. Mason focuses on early photographs of native Teira del Fuego; 18th-century portraits of Formosan islanders; images from Mexican religious manuscripts; and possibly the earliest visual representation of a Native American in European art.

Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China

Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China

Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China by Craig Clunas
2006 | PDF | 15.89MB

Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China is not simply a survey of sixteenth-century images, but rather, a thorough and thoughtful examination of visual culture in China's Ming Dynasty, one that considers images wherever they appeared—not only paintings, but also illustrated books, maps, ceramic bowls, lacquered boxes, painted fans, and even clothing and tomb pictures.

Clunas's theory of visuality incorporates not only the image and the object upon which it is placed but also the culture which produced and purchased it. Economic changes in sixteenth-century China—the rapid expansion of trade routes and a growing class of consumers—are thus intricately bound up with the evolution of the image itself. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China will be a touchstone for students of Chinese history, art, and culture.

Watching Hannah

Watching Hannah

Watching Hannah: Sex, Horror and Bodily De-Formation in Victorian England by Barry Reay
2002 | PDF | 13.34MB

Based on a vast untapped archive of documents, photographs and sketches, Watching Hannah describes and sets into context the obsession of Arthur Munby, a Victorian gentleman and civil servant, with the bodies and behaviours of working women, most especially his maidservant (later his wife) Hannah Cullwick. Munby's fixations with hands, dirtiness, blackness and various kinds of physical deformity are analyzed in relation to changing definitions of gender, sexual identity and class in 19th- and 20th-century England.