Curiosities

May 1, 2015

Romance Incarnate 0

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The best way to celebrate May Day? Read Tennyson‘s “The May Queen,” become “Romance Incarnate.”

May 1, 2015

The Trollope Trend 0

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Why is Trollope trending? Adam Gopnik argues it’s because “Trollope is right here where we are. His subject is always politics and his material is always gossip.” Pair his piece in the New Yorker with Sarah Henary‘s look at “Trollope at 200.”

May 1, 2015

Writing Literary Twitter 0

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“Reading Literary Twitter is to witness brief, terse glimpses into the writerly psyche, and how insecure and unsure and thin-skinned we tend to be. As writers, we want to be validated. We want to matter. The published stories and poems and essays, the books we sell, the magazines we edit: all this output, this paper […]

April 30, 2015

“Madness and Meaning” 0

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From Nebuchadnezzar to Hippocrates to the Victorian asylum: The Paris Review takes a look at mental illness and its treatments across the centuries.

April 30, 2015

Stevenson as Kurtz 0

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“Since the middle of the 20th century, the academy has conditioned us to stay grounded within texts and steer clear of writers’ biographies for insights while biographers are often timid about the kind of playful speculation that we can undertake here in Slate. Readers, myself included, tend to wonder about the sources for characters the likes of […]

April 30, 2015

Against “Continental Categories” 0

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“I don’t divide my friendships into continental categories. I don’t think: Today I’ll have lunch with my European friend, and tomorrow I will invite my Asian friend to the park. It would be silly of me to think of the authors I read in those terms. End of topic.” The (still relatively) new Literary Hub […]

April 30, 2015

An Animated Bradbury 2

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“You write to please yourself. You write for the joy of writing. … The enthusiasm, the joy itself draws me. So that means every day of my life I’ve written. When the joy stops, I’ll stop writing.” Recommended viewing: an animated interview with Ray Bradbury.

April 29, 2015

Wild Thing 0

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Lord of the Flies is perhaps the best example of a book that forces readers to confront how wild we are. But there’s a whole corpus of books that accomplish the same thing. In The New Statesman, Erica Wagner writes about Melissa Harrison’s At Hawthorn Time and Sarah Hall’s The Wolf Border.

April 29, 2015

“Bleeding beautiful streams” 0

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“It’s easy to attribute genius to a dead man, a legendary philanderer, liar and self-mythologizer who died beautiful and curly-haired. But ‘What About This’ is an authentic outpouring like a warm river in full flood; you get swept off the bank and its languid physicality destroys you.” On Frank Stanford’s Collected Poems.

April 29, 2015

Will to No Power 0

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Freudians know that Eros and Thanatos are opposites in the human psyche. The former, the love instinct, pushes us to survive, while the latter, the death instinct, pushes us to destruction. In an essay for Bookslut, Jelena Markovic explores the importance of Thanatos in daily life, using as an example a man she knew with […]