Curiosities

March 27, 2015

Up South 0

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“Young black fiction writers in the U.S. often face a strange obstacle as they try to figure out who they are — it’s called American literature. A high number of pre-civil-rights-era novels by white American writers are likely to include tossed-off racial slurs and/or stock black characters, some of which make racially conscious readers want to […]

March 27, 2015

Moonshoot 0

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“Much has been made of the seemingly prophetic nature of Verne’s lunar stories: elements such as the distance and time to reach the moon, and even the launch and landing sites for the mission fall very closely to what actually happened during NASA’s Apollo program.” On the prophetic and historical power of Jules Verne‘s science […]

March 27, 2015

Pulp Saint 0

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From The Atlantic comes the case for canonizing G.K. Chesterton, the “Catholic convert and an oracular man of letters, a pneumatic cultural presence, an aphorist with the production rate of a pulp novelist.”

March 26, 2015

Dr. Seuss Museum 0

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We just got a new Dr. Seuss book; now we get a full Dr. Seuss museum, and it’s probably safe to bet it won’t look like just another children’s center.

March 26, 2015

“Adams” 1

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From The Rumpus, a new short (short) story by George Saunders, excerpted from Life is Short – Art is Shorter: In Praise of Brevity, with an introduction by David Shields and Elizabeth Cooperman.

March 26, 2015

“I hate literature” 0

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Recommended reading: The Guardian reports on Varlam Shalamov, a Russian author who spent 17 years in the harsh camps of the Kolyma gulag, wrote more than 140 short stories, and still claimed ““I hate literature. I do not write memoirs; nor do I write short stories. That is, I try to write not a short story […]

March 26, 2015

A Nation of Poets 0

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“Mr. Walt Whitman has imagined that a certain amount of violent sympathy with the great deeds and sufferings of our soldiers, and of admiration for our national energy, together with a ready command of picturesque language, are sufficient inspiration for a poet. If this were the case, we had been a nation of poets.” A […]

March 25, 2015

Chum Lit 0

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Some of the best novels out there — Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men — deal largely with fictional friendships. Yet depictions of close friends that are central to the plot are considerably rare in modern novels. At The Guardian, AD Miller notes this isn’t the case for movies and TV shows, and suggests a […]

March 25, 2015

“This big, tangled thing” 0

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Recommended Reading: “Another Tuesday” by Tanya Knox.

March 25, 2015

The Spy Who Saved Me 0

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How did Ian Fleming come up with James Bond? It’s easy to think, considering the political context of his era, that Fleming tailored his superspy to be the ideal hero of the Cold War. Yet there’s another, more prosaic explanation — was the author simply having a midlife crisis?