Curiosities

August 30, 2014

A Lust for Lists 0

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“Why do we lust for lists?” Sandra M. Gilbert may not have an answer, but she does have a response to all those “100 Best American Novels” lists (and a list of her own). The Millions has a few lists too, of course – be sure to check out Janet Potter‘s “28 Books You Should […]

August 30, 2014

Moments of Being 0

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In an essay for TriQuarterly Lia Purpura writes about Virginia Woolf‘s “moments of being” and their importance for contemporary writing. “Woolf’s particular flavor of modernism is rooted in the drive to gather, hold, and deepen moments, to make the shimmering moment of perception the base upon which “reality” rests. Her sensibility honors the fleeting, fragile […]

August 30, 2014

Eyes to See 0

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“’These issues are constantly being brought to the surface in Roman literature, if you have eyes to see them,’ Beard said. ‘And, of course, having eyes to see them—that’s what the trick is.’” Rebecca Mead writes for the New Yorker about Mary Beard, the Cambridge classicist famous for her BBC programs on Roman life and for […]

August 29, 2014

Literature in Emojis 0

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Slate has translated famous first lines of literature into emojis, and they’re surprisingly coherent. Pair with Jonathan Russell Clark‘s essay on opening sentences.

August 29, 2014

52 Blue 0

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Recommended reading: Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams (which we covered here and here), writes again, this time about 52 Blue, “the loneliest whale in the world.” The full work is available at Atavist for $3.99, but an excerpt is available at Slate.

August 29, 2014

Notes from Eula Biss 0

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“I’m not convinced that the questions that have been raised for me by the writing I love the most could be answered by the authors themselves.” A new interview with Eula Biss, author of Notes from No Man’s Land, is up on NEA’s Art Works Blog.

August 29, 2014

Brickjest 0

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Infinite Jest may have “really taken on a foothold as the ‘novel of ideas’ of the late 20th and early 21st centuries” but now it’s also a “novel of legos,” courtesy of Kevin Griffith and his 11 year old son, Sebastian.

August 29, 2014

Feeling Fraudulent 0

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“Whenever I tried to invent a character or a situation, I felt a stab of guilt. I could hear my teacher’s quavering voice saying, Write what you know! Why had she insisted on this so vociferously?” Writing class mantras are easy to impart but they are also easily misinterpreted. A.X. Ahmad, author of The Last Taxi […]

August 28, 2014

City of Asylum 0

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A Pittsburgh-based nonprofit is offering free housing and stipends to “foreign-born scribes who endured imprisonment, or worse, in their home countries.”

August 28, 2014

Notes on Missouri and America. 0

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“We don’t have to look at Iraq for an analogue to Missouri,” writes Elif Batuman. “We can look instead at Missouri, or elsewhere in the United States.” Indeed for many ordinary Americans, as Jabari Asim echoes in his poem inspired by the recent events in Ferguson, “It’s more than time we had that talk / […]