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What we can learn from tragedy

June 2020 marked the third anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster, when 72 people died as a result of a fire in a block of flats in one of the poorest parts of the richest parts of London. Before and since the fire, in recent years the United Kingdom’s most marginalised and vulnerable communities have endured other disasters, including austerity, the Windrush scandal, and, most recently, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. What do the fire and the pandemic have in common? Lots. We can understand ...
Tags: Europe, Books, UK, London, Featured, Williams, United Kingdom, Literature, William Shakespeare, Parliament, Hero, Aristotle, Sadiq Khan, Oedipus, Jacob Rees Mogg, Grenfell


Five things to know about F. Scott Fitzgerald

Synonymous with the Jazz Age of the American 1920s which his novels did so much to define, F. Scott Fitzgerald hardly needs any introduction. Reading The Great Gatsby in school has become as much a rite of passage as first kisses and the furtive adolescent rebellion of drinking alcohol before coming of age. Much of Fitzgerald’s reputation is linked to Gatsby, his third novel. To limit his career and his achievement only to Gatsby, however, is to miss so much about what defines Fitzgerald as an a...
Tags: Books, Featured, Washington, World, United States, Treasury, Literature, Black Lives Matter, Princeton, US Army, John Keats, Capitol, Scott Fitzgerald, Gatsby, Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis


How beards put a brave face on threatened masculinity

In the West, for many centuries, shaving has identified a good man properly oriented to a higher order, whether divine or political. Defying this regulation meant being ostracised. But on occasion, a general reorganisation of masculine norms has interrupted the shaving-respectability regime.Alexander the Great established shaving as the ideal in Greco-Roman civilisation when he imitated classical depictions of eternally youthful gods. Though there was a brief resurgence of beards inspired by Rom...
Tags: Europe, Gender, London, Church, West, Atlantic, United States, Innovation, David Beckham, Literature, Men, Body Language, Self, Greco Roman, Whitman, Walt Whitman


Raymond Chandler’s 36 Great Unused Titles: From “The Man With the Shredded Ear,” to “Quick, Hide the Body”

For Chandler's birthday today. He was born on this day in 1888. via Chris Power Related Content: Raymond Chandler’s Ten Commandments for Writing a Detective Novel Hear Raymond Chandler & Ian Fleming–Two Masters of Suspense–Talk with One Another in Rare 1958 Audio Watch Raymond Chandler’s Long-Unnoticed Cameo in Double Indemnity   Raymond Chandler’s 36 Great Unused Titles: From “The Man With the Shredded Ear,” to “Quick, Hide the Body” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitte...
Tags: Google, College, Literature, Raymond Chandler, Facebook Twitter, Chandler, Chris Power Related Content, Raymond Chandler Ian Fleming


Raymond Chandler’s 36 Great Unused Titles: From “The Man With the Shredded Ear,” to “The Black-Eyed Blonde”

For Chandler's birthday today. He was born on this day in 1888. via Chris Power Related Content: Raymond Chandler’s Ten Commandments for Writing a Detective Novel Hear Raymond Chandler & Ian Fleming–Two Masters of Suspense–Talk with One Another in Rare 1958 Audio Watch Raymond Chandler’s Long-Unnoticed Cameo in Double Indemnity   Raymond Chandler’s 36 Great Unused Titles: From “The Man With the Shredded Ear,” to “The Black-Eyed Blonde” is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitt...
Tags: Google, College, Literature, Raymond Chandler, Facebook Twitter, Chandler, Chris Power Related Content, Raymond Chandler Ian Fleming


How Vladimir Nabokov Wrote Lolita, “My Most Difficult Book”: A 1989 Documentary

How many of us could write a book with the impact of Lolita? The task, as revealed in the BBC Omnibus documentary above, lay almost beyond even the formidable literary powers of Vladimir Nabokov — almost, but obviously not quite. It did push him into new aesthetic, cultural, and compositional realms, as evidenced by his memories of drafting the novel on index cards in roadside motels (and when faced with especially noisy or drafty accommodations, in the backseat of the parked car) while ...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Books, Television, College, America, Bbc, United States, Ferrari, Literature, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Amis, Seoul, Vladimir Nabokov, Facebook Twitter, Byatt


Dr. Seuss comes to the blockchain thanks to the maker of Cryptokitties

From CryptoKitties to the NBA, Dapper Labs has paved the way for blockchain popularity beyond speculation that’s purely monetary and now with Dr. Seuss Enterprises another collectible application arises. Featuring the Lorax, Thing One and Thing Two The Cat in the Hat and Horton too, fans of Dr. Seuss can collect characters who in retrospect may prove to be more valuable than almost any other collectible. “As the world moves increasingly online, so has consumers’ desire for discovering and c...
Tags: Startups, TC, Films, Nba, Literature, Warner Music Group, National Basketball Association, Andreessen Horowitz, Blockchain, Union Square Ventures, Venrock, Sv Angel, Digital Currency Group, Horton, Seuss, Dr. Seuss


When Astronomer Johannes Kepler Wrote the First Work of Science Fiction, The Dream (1609)

The point at which we date the birth of any genre is apt to shift depending on how we define it. When did science fiction begin? Many cite early masters of the form like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells as its progenitors. Others reach back to Mary Shelley’s 1818 Frankenstein as the genesis of the form. Some few know The Blazing World, a 1666 work of fiction by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, who called her book a “hermaphroditic text.” According to the judgment of such experts as Is...
Tags: Google, Astronomy, Science, College, Religion, Literature, Sci Fi, William Gibson, Kepler, Carl Sagan, Facebook Twitter, Galileo, Frankenstein, Wells, Copernicus, Jules Verne


How we decide on cultural canons

Libraries, museums, and galleries are a few of the places where humanity attempts to preserve and transmit its cultural memory. The contents change depending on the period, even the time of the year, the community, and the target audience, but the aim remains the same: to preserve and renew memory and by extension to transfer and circulate knowledge. The same applies to canons: literary canons, religious canons, music canons, film canons, art canons. The best, the most known, the most prominent,...
Tags: Books, Featured, Greece, Culture, Literature, Steven Shaffer, Arts & Humanities, Classics & Archaeology, Hadjimichael, Lyric Canon, Lyric Canon AP, Aleida Assmann


29 Free Short Stories from Some of Today’s Most Acclaimed Writers: Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell & More

Let us call your attention to 29 free short stories, written by some of today's most acclaimed writers. They come courtesy of The New York Times' Decameron Project. They write: Inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s “The Decameron,” a 14th-century collection of tales told by a group of 10 characters taking shelter in an Italian villa during the Black Plague, this [collection] features stories from Margaret Atwood, David Mitchell, Téa Obreht, Karen Russell, Tommy Orange, Yiyun Li and others. The so-ca...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, Literature, The New York Times, Haruki Murakami, Facebook Twitter, Edwidge Danticat, Giovanni Boccaccio, George Saunders Author of Tenth, Margaret Atwood David Mitchell, Tommy Orange, Margaret Atwood David Mitchell More


How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free

They were an odd pair. Albert Camus was French Algerian, a pied-noir born into poverty who effortlessly charmed with his Bogart-esque features. Jean-Paul Sartre, from the upper reaches of French society, was never mistaken for a handsome man. They met in Paris during the Occupation and grew closer after the Second World War. In those days, when the lights of the city were slowly turning back on, Camus was Sartre's closest friend. 'How we loved you then,' Sartre later wrote.They were gleaming ico...
Tags: Europe, Politics, Personality, Budapest, Hungary, Paris, Innovation, Literature, Philosophy, Ussr, Morality, Albert Camus, Le Monde, Self, Soviet Union, Charles de Gaulle


Orson Welles Narrates Animations of Plato’s Cave and Kafka’s “Before the Law,” Two Parables of the Human Condition

You're held captive in an enclosed space, only able faintly to perceive the outside world. Or you're kept outside, unable to cross the threshold of a space you feel a desperate need to enter. If both of these scenarios sound like dreams, they must do so because they tap into the anxieties and suspicions in the depths of our shared subconscious. As such, they've also proven reliable material for storytellers since at least the fourth century B.C., when Plato came up with his allegory of t...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, Orson Welles, Animation, Literature, Philosophy, Seoul, Kafka, Facebook Twitter, Plato, Wells, Bald Mountain, Franz Kafka, Colin Marshall, John Malkovich Read Plato


The Only Surviving Script Written by Shakespeare Is Now Online

Four years ago, when the world commemorated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, some marked the event with reference to a dramatic work hardly anyone’s ever read, and fewer have ever seen performed. Called The Booke of Sir Thomas More, “this late 16th or early 17th-century play,” the British Library notes, “is not always included among the Shakespearean canon, and it was not until the 1800s that it was even associated with the Bard of Avon.” Since then, Sir Thomas More has bec...
Tags: Google, London, College, Literature, Catholic Church, William Shakespeare, Venice, Shakespeare, British Library, Ian Mckellen, Henry Viii, Facebook Twitter, Quartz, Josh Jones, Thomas More, McKellen


How we experience pandemic time

COVID-19 refers not only to a virus, but to the temporality of crisis. We live “in times of COVID” or “corona time.” We yearn for the “Before Time” and prepare for the “After Time.” Where earlier assessments of pandemic time focused on rupture, we are now reckoning with an open-ended, uncertain future. This endeavour would benefit from expanding our horizon for temporal empathy—for understanding and foregrounding the plural nature of how pandemic time is experienced, depending on who one is and ...
Tags: Books, UK, Featured, Italy, Literature, Health & Medicine, China South Korea, Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM, Science & Medicine, Arts & Humanities, Pandemic, Murray Campbell, COVID-19, COVID, Beryl Pong, How To Experience Pandemic Time


4 Ways Reading Makes You A Better Speaker

What’s the last great book you read? Or has it been a while since you picked up a book just for fun? If you feel guilty reading for pleasure, would you be more eager to pick up a book if you knew it had lasting benefits for your career? Because it does. Scientific studies have proven that you can improve your writing, your empathy, and your attention span when you read. Plus, it gives you more to pull from when developing presentation content. And all of these things can make you a better speake...
Tags: Books, Technology, Writing, Read, Reading, Empathy, New York Times, Literature, University of Florida, Content, Speaking, Content Development, Carr, Don, Nicholas Carr, Presentation Hacks


Five tips for clear writing

Blaise Pascal, the  s eventeenth  c entury mathematician and philosopher, once apologised for the length of a letter, saying that he had not had time to write a shorter one.  A ll  of us face situations where we need to compress much information into little space. Perhaps we  have to  fill in an online form with a character  limit or  write a cover letter for a job application which sells our key skills and life experience in just a page or two. Or perhaps we are writing a mass email...
Tags: Books, Featured, Writing, Language, Literature, Rhetoric, VSI, Arts & Humanities, Blaise Pascal, A Very Short Introduction, Joanna Kosinska, Richard Toye


Extract: Gunning for Bessie’s Head, from ‘The Terrorist Album’

The question of what made one a terrorist is easy to answer: any form of opposition to apartheid. Harder to answer is the question: Who made one a terrorist? Among the people in the album is novelist Bessie Head, who left South Africa for Botswana in 1964 to escape the “fatal feeling of doom” that […] The post Extract: Gunning for Bessie’s Head, from ‘The Terrorist Album’ appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Books, South Africa, Terrorism, Literature, Friday, Extract, Botswana, Apartheid, Bessie, NonFiction, Top Six, Security Police, Bessie Head, Jacob Dlamini, The Terrorist Album


How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he? In my role as Associate Editor of the Hemingway Letters Project, I spend my time investigating the approximately 6,000 letters sent by Hemingway, 85% of which are now being published for the first time in a multivolume series. The latest volume – the fifth – spans his letters from January 1932 through May 1934 and gives us an intimate look into Hemingway's daily life, not only as a writer and a sportsman, but also a...
Tags: Art, Parenthood, Family, New York, Children, Writing, France, Pennsylvania, Paris, Innovation, Literature, John, NICK, Hemingway, Key West, Gregory


Don’t vote for the honeyfuggler

In 1912, William Howard Taft—not a man known for eloquence—sent journalists to the dictionary when he used the word honeyfuggle.  Honey-what, you may be thinking.It turns out that honeyfuggler is an old American term for someone who deceives others folks by flattering them.  It can be spelled with one g or two and sometimes with an o replacing the u.  To honeyfuggle is to sweet talk, but also to bamboozle, bumfuzzle, or hornswoggle.The word has some twists and turns in its history. According to ...
Tags: Books, Featured, Mississippi, Kentucky, Blog, Tennessee, Language, Linguistics, Literature, Sam, Taft, Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Bartlett


Meet the founder of Accra’s one-woman library

Sylvia Arthur founded the Library for Africa and the African Diaspora to house her collection and share it with other readers The post Meet the founder of Accra’s one-woman library appeared first on The Mail & Guardian.
Tags: Books, Africa, Libraries, Literature, Literacy, Friday, Archives, Diaspora, Ghana, Accra, African Literature, Library for Africa and the African Diaspora, Loatad, Sylvia Arthur


What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

J.R.R. Tolkien hinted that his stories are set in a really ancient version of Europe.But a fantasy realm can be inspired by a variety of places; and perhaps so is Tolkien's world.These intriguing similarities with Asian topography show that it may be time to 'decolonise' Middle-earth. Mental decolonisation Where on earth was Middle-earth? Based on a few hints by Tolkien himself, we've always sort-of assumed that his stories of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" were centered on Europe, bu...
Tags: Google, Asia, Europe, England, India, Fantasy, Iran, Britain, Pakistan, Innovation, Storytelling, Cambridge, Literature, Himalayas, Shire, East Yorkshire


Behold Octavia Butler’s Motivational Notes to Self

Handwritten notes on the inside cover of one of Octavia E. Butler’s commonplace books, 1988 I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining. —Octavia E. Butler Like many authors, the late Octavia E. Butler took up writing at a young age. At 11, she was churning out tales about horses and romance. At 12, she saw Devil Girl from Mars, and figured (c...
Tags: Google, Books, Writing, College, K-12, New York Times, Literature, Mars, Pluto, Harlan Ellison, Facebook Twitter, Butler, MacArthur, Octavia Butler, Austin Kleon Related Content, Clarion Science Fiction Writing Workshop


India Cooper and the art of copyediting

The editor behind many of Oxford University Press USA’s highest profile titles was not a staff member. But is impossible to measure the significance of the impact she had on Oxford’s history, biography, and music lists. First hired as a freelance copy editor by OUP’s legendary managing editor, Leona Capeless, she became one of the most admired American copy editors, working for Oxford, Chicago University Press, and Macmillan, as well as other publishing houses, over the past thirty years.India C...
Tags: Books, Featured, India, New York City, Indiana, Chicago, United States, Hawaii, Oxford, Literature, Obituary, Macmillan, Denver, Cooper, Jackson Mississippi, Oxford University Press USA


Martin Amis Explains His Method for Writing Great Sentences

Why does Martin Amis writes sentences well? As a novelist, he naturally has a high degree of professional interest in the matter. But why does he write sentences so well? One might put forth the influence of his father Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim, an enduring contender for the title of the funniest novel in the English language. But given how seldom one acclaimed novelist sires another — an event, in fact, nearly unheard of — the heritability of literary talent remains unknowable....
Tags: Google, Facebook, Writing, College, Uganda, Literature, Martin Amis, Seoul, Kingsley Amis, Martin, Kingsley, Facebook Twitter, Jim, Scott Fitzgerald, Nietzsche, Chicago Humanities Festival


LIVE TOMORROW: Freedom fighting, writing, and microdosing LSD, with Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon

Add event to calendarStep inside the minds of two of the most exciting and dynamic writers of our times. In this special Big Think Live session, psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, and poker pro Maria Konnikova will lead a conversation with married writers Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Waldman and Chabon will discuss how they coach one another to new strengths, 100 years of landmark ACLU cases (the subject of their latest book project), Ayelet's experiences with LSD microdosin...
Tags: Facebook, Books, Politics, Television, Arts, Writing, Film, Youtube, Star Trek, Culture, Harvard University, Aclu, New York Times, Innovation, Literature, Sherlock Holmes


Freedom fighting, writing, and microdosing LSD

Add event to calendarStep inside the minds of two of the most exciting and dynamic writers of our times. In this special Big Think Live session, psychologist, New York Times best-selling author, and poker pro Maria Konnikova will lead a conversation with married writers Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Waldman and Chabon will discuss how they coach one another to new strengths, 100 years of landmark ACLU cases (the subject of their latest book project), Ayelet's experiences with LSD microdosin...
Tags: Facebook, Books, Politics, Television, Arts, Writing, Film, Youtube, Star Trek, Culture, Harvard University, Aclu, New York Times, Innovation, Literature, Sherlock Holmes


What literature can teach us about living with illness

The recent interest in the epidemics of the last century coincides with growing media attention to the emotional ramifications of living with mass death and disease. COVID-19 has wrought an extended encounter with acute powerlessness and human frailty—a confrontation with mortality that is perhaps especially unmooring for those of us who live privileged lives. We have reached to early twentieth-century literature for insights on coping with this existential trauma—to works by Albert Camus, Virgi...
Tags: Books, Featured, US, Chicago, Literature, Tom, Cather, Richards, Angela, Thea, Wharton, Nona, Edith Wharton, Little Eva, Woolf, Arts & Humanities


Why research needs to be published in new and accessible formats

Technological advancements, accessibility needs, and study practices have and will continue to develop at a rapid pace. We find, use, and publish research completely differently than we did 25 years ago.But Oxford University Press has been publishing Very Short Introductions throughout this period.  Launched in 1995, these publications offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subjects, written by experts to make challenging topics highly readable. As the series turned 25 this year, we s...
Tags: Books, Featured, Interview, Research, Literature, Oxford University, Menon, Oxford University Press, VSI, Arts & Humanities, Very Short Introduction, Latha Menon, Charlotte Crouch


Why James Baldwin’s Writing Stays Powerful: An Artfully Animated Introduction to the Author of Notes of a Native Son

Every writer hopes to be survived by his work. In the case of James Baldwin, the 32 years since his death seem only to have increased the relevance of the writing he left behind. Consisting of  novels, essays, and even a children's book , Baldwin's body of work offers different points of entry to different readers. Many begin with with Go Tell it on the Mountain, the semi-autobiographical debut novel in which he mounts a critique of the Pentecostal Church. Others may find their gateway...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, France, America, History, Fbi, Paris, Literature, Berkeley, Seoul, Memphis, Harper, James Baldwin, United States of America, Facebook Twitter


Number-crunching the New York Times' bestseller list is not a good look for diversity

"New York Times Best-selling author" is a one of those highly treasured accolades to which most writers aspire. It's the kind of recognition that can make or break a writer's career — even though the numbers are not curated in a plain and simple way. Consider the way that Donald Trump Jr. hacked his way to the top of the list by buying up copies of his own book, in order to become a "New York Times Best-selling author," thus guaranteeing higher sales for his book. (Full disclosure: I do work for...
Tags: Post, Books, News, US, Diversity, New York Times, Literature, John, Times, Bestsellers, Donald Trump Jr, New York Times Best, Representation, Bestseller List, We Need Diverse Books, Ny Times Best-selling Author