Annals of Japery

August 26, 2014

Nook (Kindle) and Cranny: Literary Travel Suggestions for a 400 Square Foot Apartment 1

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If you can get used to my roommate, I promise it will be an incredible experience.

August 19, 2014

Back to School: Six Strategies for Effective Close Reading 1

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Close reading produces knowledge, and knowledge can be painful.

July 23, 2014

Viral Professors 0

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How would fictional professors, heroes of those quaint works known as campus novels, fare in the world of online education?

May 21, 2014

Epitaphs for the Novel 7

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“Who would not sing for Lycidas?” asks Milton in his famous elegy. And who, indeed, would not sing for the Novel, which has once again been declared dead?

May 9, 2014

The Worst Book Review Ever 22

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While professional duty compels me to deliver judgment on the work at hand, I cannot in good conscience reveal the title, author or any identifying details about its plot for fear that some perverse soul might be tempted to go out and buy it.

March 18, 2014

There Are Two Kinds of Novelists… 21

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Owing to the vagaries of evolution and animal husbandry, there are lactose intolerant novelists (Dostoyevsky) and those blessed few for whom a latte does not ruin an afternoon (Marguerite Duras).

February 11, 2014

How to Tweet Like Boris from The Goldfinch 10

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Apply nicknames to anyone at any time. They should come from references to your life, rather than theirs. Spend time convincing others of things with an exclamation point, especially when you know to opposite to be true. Remember that the weather is always against you. It singles you out.

February 10, 2014

One Stay in the Life of an Olympics Journalist 0

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I’ve found myself subconsciously pairing Sochi’s absurdities with their analogues from the canon of Russian literature. And as I’ve come to learn, the Russian masters saw the writing on the wall well before the Olympic torch made its way to the Black Sea’s coast.

January 21, 2014

Read Me! Please!: Book Titles Rewritten to Get More Clicks 66

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As Upworthy-style headlines sweep the internet, aiming to snag as many clicks as possible by pandering to as many whims and obsessions as possible, the dignified mystery of the great book title stands in stark contrast.

January 13, 2014

“Dumbest Thing Ever”: Scribbling in the Margins of Dan Brown’s Inferno 54

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WARNING: There are probably Dan Brown spoilers here, but come on, seriously.