Curiosities

February 26, 2015

One Darkness to Another 0

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“It’s the marriage of one kind of darkness to another… the black storm cloud of Neel’s pen is well suited to Dostoyevsky’s questions of God, reason, and doubt.” On Alice Neel‘s illustrations for The Brothers Karamazov, from The Paris Review.  Pair with our own Kevin Hartnett’s much lighter take on the novel, “Reading The Brothers […]

February 26, 2015

Plotting Genres 0

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This week in book-related infographics: “A Plotting of Fiction Genres” from Electric Lit.

February 26, 2015

“Tongue-in-Cheek Tocqueville” 0

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“‘So your idea is to drive across America and write about it without talking to a single American?’ ‘Yes.’” Karl Ove Knausgaard travels North America as “a tongue-in-cheek Tocqueville” for the New York Times Magazine.  Pair with his piece for The Millions, “The View from My Window is a Constant Reminder,” and with Jonathan Callahan‘s reading […]

February 26, 2015

Lydia’s Advice 0

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“Be patient – even with chaos.” Advice for the upcoming writer from Lydia Davis.

February 25, 2015

The Peripatetic 0

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Over the past fifteen years, Mohsin Hamid has moved from New York, to London, and to Lahore, Pakistan, with stints in Italy and Greece. His new book, which came out yesterday, is a series of essays about his odyssey across the world, chronicling his observations and experiences that led him to move. At Bookforum, a […]

February 25, 2015

“Queries are unacceptable” 0

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Recommended Reading: Willy Blackmore talking to Matthew J.X. Malady about the time he tried to be a literary agent.

February 25, 2015

Old Hand 0

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Edith Pearlman has been writing stories for a long time, but it’s only recently that she’s received widespread attention for them, as evidenced by this New Yorker piece on the author by James Wood. In it, Wood writes about the ways in which Pearlman is “a fabulist in realist’s clothing,” among other things. Pair with: […]

February 25, 2015

My Life, Abridged 0

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Chekhov never published an autobiography, but he did once write a letter in which, in Chekhovian fashion, he summed up his life in a paragraph. At The Paris Review Daily, you can read the Constance Garnett translation of this letter in full. You could also check out Brendan Mathews on reading Chekhov for self-improvement.

February 24, 2015

Keeping Tabs 0

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The F.B.I. had a massive file on James Baldwin in the fifties and sixties. Among other things, their notes featured passages of surprisingly adept criticism, including an oddly in-depth look at sexuality in his work. You could also read Justin Campbell on race, fatherhood and Baldwin’s fiction.

February 24, 2015

Wild America 0

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“In the six years that I wrote the book, I moved around a huge amount. I was in five or six different states, and spent a lot of time on the road. I think if you’re out in this country so much, you just see a lot of weird stuff. Weird, ominous stuff.” Talking with […]