Recent Articles

November 4, 2011

A Small Gallery of Literary Giants 24

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Since I’m convinced that people tend to be more interesting once they’re dead, obituaries have always been my favorite part of the newspaper. So whenever a noteworthy writer died, I started drawing the picture that accompanied the obit, eventually adding drawings of noteworthy long-dead writers. Here, then, is a gallery of a few of those literary giants, along with brief explanations of what was going through my head as my pen was fashioning their heads.

November 3, 2011

And So It Goes 0

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Before he died, Kurt Vonnegut gave the go-ahead that has allowed Charles Shields to construct And So It Goes, an incisive, gossipy page-turner of a biography, even if it’s hard to tell just how authorized this book really is.

November 3, 2011

Grammatical Tweets 0

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Are birds’ tweets grammatical? According to a recent study by Kentaro Abe and Dai Watanabe of Kyoto University, songbirds may communicate using sophisticated grammar.

November 3, 2011

Dog Days in Tehran 0

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Azadeh Moaveni writes about what it was like to own her dog, named London, in Iran: “Most Turks, like most Iranians, recoiled from dogs as though they were grotesque vermin; only ‘guard’ dogs, charged with protecting humans and their goods, were deemed less offensive, though still repellent.” To Moaveni, it was like cultural rebellion.

November 3, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, the Coloring Book 0

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Wondering the best way to explain Occupy Wall Street to your 9-year-old? How about a coloring book? Out today, Occupy is a 36-page coloring book depicting the events and opinions surrounding the Occupy movement.

November 3, 2011

The Quality of No Qualities 0

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The new book Robert Musil and the NonModern offers David Winters a chance to revisit The Man Without Qualities. (While you’re at it, check out the essay on literary theory Winters wrote for us in September…and Matthew Gallaway‘s piece on Musil from January.)

November 3, 2011

On Rereading 0

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Are rereadings better readings? Nabakov thinks so. But Patricia Spacks, in her new memoir On Rereading grapples with the guilty pleasure.

November 3, 2011

Library in the Cloud 1

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Amazon has unveiled its Kindle Lending Library. Prime subscribers can now “choose from thousands of books to borrow for free including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.”

November 3, 2011

Robert Birnbaum in Conversation with Anne Enright 2

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“You have to sink in order to write a book. I don’t mean in a depressive sort of way. You have to diffuse as much as anything else. Just in those early days — to lose control of it and to be helpless and not know what you are doing. And then the focus comes sentence by sentence.”

November 2, 2011

Tintin Ruling 3

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Good news for Tintinologists, if not guards of political correctness: Tintin in the Congo has been deemed “not racist” by a Belgian judicial adviser.