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"Can only have been painted by a madman."

Words by Edvard Munch in tiny letters in the most famous version of "The Scream," The Art Newspaper reports. Can we be sure that the artist wrote these words? Mai Britt Guleng, the curator of Old Masters and modern paintings at the National Museum of Norway, says yes. First, the handwriting matches up to other samples of Munch's handwriting. Second, the writing is tiny: “Had this been an act of vandalism by another person, the size of the letters would probably have been larger and the whole tex...
Tags: Art, Writing, Law, Munch, Edvard Munch, Reuters, Don, Kiki, Ann Althouse, Insanity, Mai Britt Guleng, Guleng, The Scream, Destruction Of Art, National Museum of Norway


"Each novel takes him around five years: a long build-up of research and thinking, followed by a speedy first draft, a process he compares to a samurai sword fight."

"'You stare at each other silently for ages, usually with tall grass blowing away and moody sky. You are thinking all the time, and then in a split second it happens. The swords are drawn: Wham! Wham! Wham! And one of them falls,' he explains, wielding an imaginary sword at the screen. 'You had to get your mind absolutely right and then when you drew that sword you just did it: Wham! It had to be the perfect cut.' As a child, he was mystified by swashbuckling Errol Flynn films when he first came...
Tags: UK, Writing, Law, Errol Flynn, Kazuo Ishiguro, Dostoevsky, Ishiguro, Ann Althouse, Analogies


"He will obsessively listen to one song while working."

"He wrote one of his first plays to Leadbelly’s 'Ol’ Riley.' He listened to Bob Dylan’s 'Like a Rolling Stone' and 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' while writing 'Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,' and John Lennon’s 'Mother' while writing the play 'Jumpers.'... [Tom Stoppard thinks] that art arises from difficulty and talent. 'Skill without imagination,' one of his characters says, 'is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us m...
Tags: Death, Writing, Law, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Bob, Rolling Stone, Beatles, Emotion, Tom Stoppard, Dylan, Rolling Stones, Rosencrantz, Ann Althouse, Leadbelly


We're just going to be boring until you stop looking.

 That's what I said out loud after reading the passage that begins "Biden embraces order and routine in his first week. How will that fit this moment of crisis?" (WaPo):Almost every day of his young tenure, President Biden has entered the State Dining Room, a portrait of Abraham Lincoln looking down and wood burning in the fireplace. He speaks on the planned topic of the day. He sits at an undersized desk and searches for a pen to sign his latest stack of executive orders. Within 30 minutes of e...
Tags: Writing, Law, White House, George Carlin, Grammar, Biden, Abraham Lincoln, Ann Althouse, I'm for Boring


"Telling Didion that 'having a pretty place to work is important to a man,' Nancy Reagan fills an apothecary jar with hard candies for his desk..."

"... carpets the floors of the State Capitol 'in a pleasing shade of green,' Didion writes. (What green carpet, Didion’s deadpan delivery invites us to ask, has ever been 'pleasing'?) Didion’s understated tone registers the nuances obscured by the quotidian: the stiff neutrality between mother and son ('The Skipper’s arrival is, I have been told, the pivotal point of Nancy Reagan’s day'), Nancy’s preference for little choreographies... As [Didion] puts it in her 1976 essay 'Why I Write': 'I writ...
Tags: Books, Writing, Law, Reagan, Joan Didion, Nancy, State Capitol, Nancy Reagan, Durga, Didion, Ann Althouse, Interior Decoration, Greenness


How to write a book.

  Photographed by me, just now, from a book that appears in my earliest childhood memories. I've never read the book, but I saw it and played with it before I could read, and when I could read, I read and puzzled over the title. I knew my parents loved the author, a radio comedian who died, too young, in 1956. The book is  © 1956.  I kept the book for my own library after my parents were gone, and I knew exactly where to find it in my disorganized shelves when the author's name came up in...
Tags: 1950s, Books, Censorship, Comedy, Fred Allen, John Steinbeck, Louis CK, Nice, Nothing, Radio, Red Skelton, TV, Writing, Young Althouse


I don’t believe in blind idealism: An interview with Katarzyna Boni

Is it possible to bring a utopia to life? When searching for an ideal world, do we part with reality or maybe give it a new shape? And is creating alternative realities something only cult leaders do? Stasia Budzisz discussed these and other questions with Katarzyna Boni, whose reportage Auroville: The City Made of Dreams was published in Polish in June 2020.Stasia Budzisz: You came across one of the communities of Auroville, the city of the future, by accident in 2009. You knew nothing about it...
Tags: Songdo, South Korea, Japan, Writing, India, Society, Unesco, Sociology, Innovation, Mother, Himalayas, University of Cambridge, Christiania, John Paul II, Jurgen, Kasia


"Successfully making art requires accepting yourself, in Mr. Koons’s philosophy, so that you can pursue your interests without shame."

"'Everything about your past is perfect,' he says. 'Everything up to this moment about you is spectacular.' ... I found myself mindlessly nodding along, as he compares an ashtray that he remembers loving as a child, with a reclining woman holding her legs aloft, to Michelangelo’s 'Pietà.' 'How can that be any less than this masterpiece by Michelangelo?' he says. 'It’s equal.'... He asks himself, 'What have I been pulled to? What have the interests been lately?' He believes this will work for you...
Tags: Art, Education, Writing, Law, Jeff Koons, David Sedaris, Koons, Michelangelo, Ann Althouse, Bobbie Brown, David Mamet Both Davids


"I’ve honestly started wondering if this is just how men’s minds actually work in real life and now instead of being uncomfortable about passages like these, I’m uncomfortable about life."

 A comment at the subreddit menwritingwomen.The commenter is reacting in general to snippets of writing that have been posted in that group and specifically to this one: [Author: [email protected] (Ann Althouse)]
Tags: Writing, Law, Breasts, Ann Althouse, Gender Difference


"If you can’t annoy somebody … there’s little point in writing" —Kingsley Amis/"Whatever they criticize you for, intensify it" —Jean Cocteau.

A couple quotes that jumped out at me from "Garner's Quotations: A Modern Miscellany," a book I'm enjoying immensely. Garner is Dwight Garner, a NYT book critic. It's a very smart sequence of quotations.  Just a few more: "I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it."—William S. Burroughs  "Thank God for books as an alternative to conversation" —W. H. Auden  "Almost nobody dances sober, u...
Tags: Writing, Law, Reading, Dancing, New York Times, Property, Rain, God, Monsters, Samuel Beckett, Raymond Chandler, Jean Cocteau, Dante, Garner, William S. Burroughs, Gary Snyder


"I think the riskiest kind of novel is the one that tries to rescue us from mundane existence—by taking a closer look at mundane existence."

"If the tone falls flat, than the action is simply a series of discrete encounters, recreated on the page. In the best of these novels—from the work of Haruki Murakami to Albert Camus—the writer finds a tiny gap between the simple nature of things, and how they appear to us." From "In Praise of Sayaka Murata/John Freeman on a Young Japanese Writer We Should All Be Reading."  That review — in Literary Hub — was written 3 years ago, when the current Murata book was "Convenience Store Woman," wh...
Tags: Writing, Law, Haruki Murakami, Albert Camus, Sayaka Murata, Murata, Ann Althouse, Sayaka Murata John Freeman, Factory Anyone


"If you’re comfortable saying that it’s fine for politicians to be politically pragmatic in their approach to alcohol regulation, but that guns..."

"... are such a transcendent question of conscience that you can’t stomach it, I think you should examine where that’s coming from. I suspect that you drink alcohol yourself and that alcohol consumption is common in your social circle and in fact it’s woven into the rituals of communal life. And I can relate! That’s me too. Indeed a lot of people like me don’t realize that drinking is much less common among working class people. The point is that guns are just like this for a lot of other people...
Tags: Guns, Writing, Law, Drinking, Editing, Matt Yglesias, Yglesias, Ann Althouse


"Morris lived for many years with her gravestone standing in the corner of her library, the ne plus ultra of memento moris."

"She was an inveterate traveler but also prized her house in the Welsh village of Llanystumdwy; she wrote often about its snuggly, hyggelig qualities. Death for her may be something akin to merely being in, to borrow the words of the novelist Joshua Cohen, a bed with a lid. 'I am attracted to decline, to the melancholy spectacle of things that get old and die,' Morris told Leo Lerman in a Paris Review interview. She also joked that when she departed, the headlines would read, 'Sex Change Author ...
Tags: Travel, Death, Writing, Law, Wales, Aging, Looks, Transgender, Canada, Language, William Shakespeare, Lincoln, John, Times, Jan Morris, James


Useful and Helpful Information When It Comes to Custom Law Essays

Do you need help with law articles? Are among those classified as understudies in the UK? Well, you are in the right place. Paper Writer’s Custom Law Essays is here for you. Understudies may not be so familiar with custom law essays, and therefore they are here to cater to your needs. These articles call for in-depth law research. It requires you to think of adequate law components and be familiar with UK laws, standards, law speculations, and regulations. Following 2001, the article writer ha...
Tags: UK, Writing, Law, Jazz, Custom Law Essay, Uni Tutor, Uni Tutor Custom, Conclusion Uni Tutors


The NYT mishandles a metaphor: "Democrats’ ‘Blue Wave’ Crashed in Statehouses Across the Country."

It matters more than usual which party controls the state legislatures, because 2020 was a census year, and it's time once again for the partisan game of redistricting. Even if you think you only care about Congress, the House of Representatives is at stake as these lines are drawn, creating safe districts and competitive districts for Republicans and Democrats.  I hadn't noticed any reports about the state legislatures, so I did a search. What came up first was this headline in the NYT:  "De...
Tags: Writing, Law, Senate, Pennsylvania, George Orwell, House, Arizona, Redistricting, Michigan, North Carolina, Orwell, Democratic Party, Legislature, Iowa House, Ohio Supreme Court, Storey


"But, of all the pleasures that first year in the White House would deliver, none quite compared to the mid-April arrival of Bo, a huggable, four-legged black bundle of fur..."

"... with a snowy-white chest and front paws. Malia and Sasha, who’d been lobbying for a puppy since before the campaign, squealed with delight upon seeing him for the first time, letting him lick their ears and faces as the three of them rolled around on the floor. With Bo, I got what someone once described as the only reliable friend a politician can have in Washington. He also gave me an added excuse to put off my evening paperwork and join my family on meandering after-dinner walks around th...
Tags: Writing, Law, Obama, Obama Administration, Dogs, Washington, White House, Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Michelle, Sasha, Malia, Bo, South Lawn, Michelle Goldberg, Ann Althouse


"Wow. Not a word about Dilbert. I thought I could return to Althouse for the straight skinny on the bizarre Scott Adams meltdown. Guess there’s a lid on Dilbert."

Wrote jacksonjay, in last night's Sunrise Café.It's more work to pick up an issue that is presented in audio. Am I supposed to transcribe and explain? It's not like blogging the written word, where I can cut and paste and edit down to what's important. When people speak in podcasts, they expand and repeat themselves, so even if I were willing to transcribe, I wouldn't get the kind of text I can get from the written word. So there's a big disincentive to blog.As for this recent thing — which I ta...
Tags: Podcast, Writing, Law, Blogging, Metaphor, Language, Donald Trump, Trump, Adams, Scott Adams, Ralph, Popeye, Meade, Ann Althouse, Partisanship, Althouse


What can I do with my English degree?

It’s a difficult time to be a student or graduate. The current pandemic has brought around economic uncertainty and there are fewer jobs out there. However, it’s important to remember that this will pass. A successful career is still very much achievable.   If you studied English at university, it can be difficult to know what career to pursue. While you learn and develop a number of useful skills studying English, your career path might not be as obvious as someone studying business or medicine...
Tags: Business, Writing, Law, Life, Sales, Teaching, How To, English degree


"Publishers Fret Over Obama’s ‘Failure to Perform’/Michelle finished her book. Why is Obama having trouble living up to his part of their lucrative contract?"

Headline at American Spectator.Contracts that come with a reported $65 million advance, such as the one signed by Barack and Michelle Obama in February 2017 with Penguin Random House (PRH), will inevitably include [a "failure to perform" clause].... At the time the Obama deal was made in early 2017, insiders were telling Publishers Weekly that books by both Michelle and Barack would be released in fall 2018. Michelle’s book, Becoming, was released by PRH’s Crown division on schedule in November ...
Tags: Amazon, Writing, Law, Obama, Bali, White House, Barack Obama, Chicago, New York Times, Michelle Obama, University Of Chicago, Penguin Random House, Random House, Contracts, Barack, Michelle


Can you tell whether it's elevating and not racist to compare Black Lives Matter artists to cavemen?

I'm trying to read "New York’s Sidewalk Prophets Are Heirs of the Lascaux Cave Artisans/What street art adorning boarded-up storefronts tells us about our shared political realities and the ways our stories are connected. A critic’s tour deciphers the signs and symbols" in the New York Times.Maybe to answer my question you need to know more about the racial identification of the writer, whose name is Seph Rodney. I'm just going to give you a sample of the prose:What became apparent to me is that...
Tags: Art, New York, Writing, Law, Wikipedia, Religion, Earth, United States, New York Times, Hugh Hefner, Playboy, Intellectual Property, Mars, Smith, Black Lives Matter, King


It's been a while since I've stumbled across a sentence that called out to me to challenge you to diagram it.

But I ran into one today:One could pass from heavy-set young men with a full chop of beard and a fifty-pound pack on their back to young adolescent poetesses, pale as Ophelia, prim as Florence Nightingale, from college boys in sweaters with hints of Hippie allegiance, to Madison Avenue types in sideburns, straw hats, and a species of pill-taking panache; through decent, mildly fanatic ranks of middle-class professionals—suggestion of vitiated blood in their complexion—to that part of theater and...
Tags: Writing, Law, Police, History, Chicago, Protests, Miami, Norman Mailer, Madison Avenue, Ophelia, Florence Nightingale, Eugene McCarthy, Mailer, Gene McCarthy, Ann Althouse, Gender Politics


"There's never been a film before about a family that home educates its kids. Very few people in the movie world have had that experience..."

"... so I don't think it's a subject that would be treated objectively. It's a runaway, underground, counter-culture kind of thing - that's why it hasn't been done," said Charles Webb, quoted in "What happened next? (the author will let you know after he dies)," a 2005 article in The Guardian, which I'm reading this morning after blogging the NYT obituary for Charles Webb yesterday. Webb, the author of the novel "The Graduate," signed away the rights to the characters in his story when he sold t...
Tags: Amazon, UK, Hollywood, Writing, Law, US, Los Angeles, David, Paris, John, The Graduate, Contracts, Webb, Pessimism, Charles Webb, Ann Althouse


"The difference between a vacation and an adventure is..."

Well, you tell me before I complete that quote for you. I'm listening to a Master Class from David Mamet. He's teaching "Dramatic Writing" and the lesson is on "Structuring the Plot":"The difference between a vacation and an adventure is on an adventure you always wish you were at home."You can imagine what's going on in this lesson. In a plot, the hero needs to get from Point A to Point B, and everything that happens has to be part of that journey. It's not a vacation. It's an adventure.It's on...
Tags: Travel, Writing, Law, Metaphor, David Mamet, Ann Althouse


What I wanted to learn.

I wanted to take the "Master Class" from David Sedaris, but I couldn't bring myself to pay $99 for a subscription to the app until I saw that they also had a class from Billy Collins, a poet I've liked ever since I randomly picked a book off a high shelf at Paul's Books and read one poem.Both Sedaris and Collins, I see now, begin their writing by noticing some little thing that is present in their own life. Both teach that you ought to carry a notebook with you everywhere and jot down these litt...
Tags: Writing, Law, Masks, Poem, Neil Young, Lipstick, Msnbc, Collins, Joe Scarborough, PAUL, David Sedaris, Bobbi Brown, Alice Waters, Billy Collins, Sedaris, Ann Althouse


Blogger is talking like a robot.

Here's a message that's been appearing lately on the pages I'm seeing as I work on Blogger:In late June, the new Blogger interface will become the default for all users. The legacy interface will still be optionally available. We recommend trying the new interface by clicking “Try the New Blogger” in the left-hand navigation. Please file any critical issues encountered.Please file any critical issues encountered? Is that any way to talk to a human being? It sounds like they're saying if you don'...
Tags: Science Fiction, Writing, Law, Joe Biden, Blogging, Reading, Computers, Robots, The Matrix, Ambiguity, Ann Althouse


"Some farmers are injecting pregnant sows to cause abortions. Others are forced to euthanize their animals..."

"... often by gassing or shooting them. It’s gotten bad enough that Senator Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has asked the Trump administration to provide mental health resources to hog farmers. Despite this grisly reality — and the widely reported effects of the factory-farm industry on America’s lands, communities, animals and human health long before this pandemic hit — only around half of Americans say they are trying to reduce their meat consumption. Meat is embedded in our culture and p...
Tags: Meat, Writing, Law, Suicide, Wikipedia, America, Ethics, Iowa, Chuck Grassley, Abortion, Euthanasia, Pigs, Jonathan Safran Foer, Irony, Vegetarian, Trump


"I am from provincial people, though some were academics and scientists and musicians. There was very little money, some religion..."

"... much education, some unrealized talent, some actualized talent, and a strong sense that the world was simultaneously beautiful and unwelcoming. My strongest memories of childhood are of quiet interior spaces as well as the outdoors, full of mud and bugs and us kids running everywhere. I miss running everywhere. It was flight in both senses."From a New Yorker interview with the writer Lorrie Moore.The last question in the interview is about something Moore wrote in the New Yorker last month ...
Tags: Twitter, Writing, Law, Editing, The New Yorker, Speaking, Trump, Moore, Mel Torme, Merv Griffin, Lorrie Moore, Ann Althouse, Deborah Treisman, Misreadings, Trump styles, Eric (the Commenter


April linkfest

This month’s book recommendation is The Plague and I, published by Betty MacDonald in 1948. The book is a lightly fictionalized account of MacDonald’s nine-month stay in a Seattle tuberculosis sanatorium in the late 1930s, when TB was known as “the white plague”; there were no effective vaccines; and treatment entailed rigorous bedrest, hearty meals, and an occasional session of artificial pneumothorax, in which gas was injected into the pleural cavity. Survival was far from certain and recover...
Tags: Europe, Books, Hollywood, Medicine, Writing, Sports, Radio, Britain, Military, Linguistics, San Diego, Chargers, Football League, Words, British, Seattle


The surprising news is that he had a greeting card.

"After Page Six reported that the Yankee legend [Mickey Mantle] once slipped a female journalist a greeting card mid-interview, that read 'Wanna f– k?,' we’re told that he also once thew up while having sex with Angie Dickinson" (NY Post).ADDED: He "thew up." He talked like that while drunk.AND: I think I have the explanation for why Mantle had a greeting card. I think women slipped him notes, and it was a woman who wrote "Wanna fuck?" in a greeting card. He had it in his pocket and thought it w...
Tags: Writing, Law, Sex, Baseball, Mantle, Spelling, Vomit, Yankee, Angie Dickinson, Mickey Mantle, Ann Althouse, Misreadings


"Pick up anything and start sketching. Your iPhone - take all those ridiculous pictures you took - all of that is a form of drawing."

"All the funny little songs you thought, oh, that's got a great lyric, those are the beginning of ideas. Every dream you have is a possible little bit of an idea. And all of that can be put into use - all of your obsessions. Yes, you like to watch dog videos. Well, maybe you might want to make one. So what if it's not that good? I'm telling you the lessons I've learned in a lifetime of doing it and being terrified of doing it and a lifetime of talking to real artists. The only way to take the cu...
Tags: Art, Writing, Law, Drawing, Jerry Saltz, Ann Althouse



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