Curiosities

September 26, 2011

“The decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes” 0

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In 1946, George Orwell wrote that political prose was formed “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

September 26, 2011

Green Whisky 2

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9,000 homes in Scotland are going to be powered by whisky. Could Maker’s Mark be bringing a similar idea to our side of the pond?

September 25, 2011

Tom Bissell Turns Pop 0

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How writer Tom Bissell has pulled up some literary roots (think The Father of All Things) to begin staking out territory in pop culture (Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter).

September 25, 2011

Life and Fate 0

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Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star in an eight-hour dramatization of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. Completed in 1960, and centered around the bloody battle of Stalingrad, the novel was deemed so dangerous by the KGB that the book itself was arrested. BBC’s excited, and all the episodes are available to download.

September 25, 2011

Odd Bits 0

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Pig-blood-flavored ice cream and Crispy Testicles anyone? Jennifer McLagan, Australian-born, Toronto-based author-chef, teaches us how to cook the rest of the animal in her new book, Odd Bits.

September 24, 2011

Betsy Lerner’s “Big” Story 0

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Editor Betsy Lerner (The Forest for the Trees) gives her take on what makes a story “big.”

September 24, 2011

Wisconsin Envy 1

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Chad Harbach and Bon Iver make this a big year for Wisconsin. It seems New York is slowly catching up.

September 24, 2011

Public Access Poetry 0

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In 1977-1978, a public access TV show called Public Access Poetry featured leading poets from across the country (Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, Eileen Myles, John Yau, Brad Gooch). Thirty-one episodes are now online, but the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s is seeking funding to post the remaining fifteen reels.

September 23, 2011

Élisabeth Gille Part Two 1

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In a recent article on Irène Némirovsky’s daughter Élisabeth Gille, Ruth Franklin picks up where our own Emily St. John Mandel left off.

September 23, 2011

Checking Out And Renting 1

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Kindle users can start borrowing e-books from their local libraries. This seems innocuous enough. But what about the proliferation of textbook rentals (e.g. the type on Chegg)? Some believe it may put us on the road to serfdom.