Notable Articles

March 16, 2010

Reading War and Peace: The Effects of Great Art on an Ordinary Life 45

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One somewhat disquieting effect of reading War and Peace is that the more your own thoughts show up in its pages, the less original your life begins to feel.

March 3, 2010

Judging Books by Their Covers: U.S. Vs. U.K. 44

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There are all sorts of marketing considerations behind these designs, and it’s interesting to see how designing for these two similar markets can result in very different looks.

February 25, 2010

In Our Parents’ Bookshelves 38

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Even a megabyte seems bulky compared to what can be conveyed in the few cubic feet of a bookshelf. What other vessel is able to hold with such precision, intricacy, and economy, all the facets of your life

February 22, 2010

Long Live Fiction: A Guide to Fiction Online 33

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I went in search of the new fiction. I wanted to see its extent, the borders of its world. I wanted to do a little cartography to glimpse the map of our conversation with ourselves.

February 17, 2010

Draft Dave: Why Eggers Should Edit The Paris Review 19

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As absurd as it may sound, I’d like to propose that Dave Eggers is the best candidate for editorship of The Paris Review. And, somewhat counterintuitively, that hiring him for the job might be as good for Eggers as for the magazine.

February 5, 2010

Deckle Edge in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 40

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The deckle edge dates back to a time when you used to need a knife to read a book. Those rough edges simulate the look of pages that have been sliced open by the reader.

February 2, 2010

The Magisterial Goal 27

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Soccer broadcaster Ray Hudson values hyperbole over precision. His quips, spontaneous and unedited, conflating science and art, have gained him a reputation as one of the most notorious announcers in all of sports.

January 26, 2010

Nobody Wants to Go Home: A Unified Theory of Reality TV 10

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The Real World may be the most important show of a generation. Its first two seasons contain the seeds of all reality television, as well some elements that would find their way into today’s most successful scripted programming.

January 25, 2010

Confessions of a Book Pirate 270

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“TRC” is a self-described bibliophile who has “pirated” thousands of books. How and why does he do it, and what does he think the publishing industry should do to curb the looming ebook piracy threat?

January 12, 2010

Sex, Seriously: James Salter Trumps the Great Male Novelists 26

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It’s been said that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” The same might be said for sex, and even more aptly when it comes to writing about writing about sex.