Curiosities

September 20, 2014

“Your brain on metaphors” 0

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“What’s emerging from these studies isn’t just a theory of language or of metaphor. It’s a nascent theory of consciousness.” Michael Chorost writes about the importance of metaphors in literature and the brain.

September 20, 2014

Jamison on Lila 0

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“Robinson resists the notion of love as an easy antidote to a lifetime of suffering or solitude, suggesting that intimacy can’t intrude on loneliness without some measure of pain.” Leslie Jamison reviews Marilynne Robinson‘s latest novel, Lila, which was recently longlisted for the National Book Award.

September 19, 2014

Shakespeare in Asia 0

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“It’s fair to say Shakespeare is having a cultural moment in Asia, with a “boom” of new film adaptations and dramatic stagings,” and the Royal Shakespeare Company just received 1.5 million pounds to keep that boom going by translating all of the Bard’s plays into Mandarin. Melville House has the full story, and it pairs […]

September 19, 2014

“The product of countless books” 0

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“I am not influenced by books. Instead, I am shaped by them. I am made of flesh and bone and blood. I am also made of books. ” Roxane Gay, author of An Untamed State, which we reviewed here, and Bad Feminist, takes a new, thoughtful spin on a Facebook trend in an essay for BuzzFeed.

September 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, W.C.W. 0

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William Carlos Williams‘s birthday was this last week, and Adam Kirsch writes about the poet for New York Review of Books. Though he argues that “today it would be hard to find a reader of poetry who would not acknowledge William Carlos Williams as one of the major American modernists” Kirsch still has to face […]

September 19, 2014

The Book Report, Episode 1 0

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Our own Janet Potter has teamed with Michael Shaub to launch The Book Report, an online weekly literary talk show. The first episode, which focuses on David Pearce‘s Red or Dead, is now available on YouTube. Pair their video with Mark Lane‘s Millions review of Pearce’s novel.

September 18, 2014

The Oldest Joke 0

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This week in book-related graphics: The New Yorker takes a poll and ranks the funniest jokes from the world’s oldest joke book, the Philogelos.

September 18, 2014

“The Soul of the Censor” 0

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Recommended reading: Robert Darnton writes for The New York Review of Books blog about the history and politics of censorship.

September 18, 2014

New Bechdel Memoir 0

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Yesterday we learned Alison Bechdel won a MacArthur grant, and we thought we couldn’t be happier. Then we heard there’s a new Bechdel graphic memoir in the works, The Secret to Superhuman Strength.

September 18, 2014

Ashbery Goes Digital 0

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“Of all the literary genres, poetry has proved the most resistant to digital technology, not for stodgy cultural reasons but for tricky mechanical ones.” Looks like that might be changing, however, as Open Road releases Flow Chart, Your Name Here and 15 other John Ashbery digital poetry collections.