Guardian.UK: Shakespeare’s last act - a torrent of twisted fantasies.
Lovely and long. Scanned it, saving it for the (hopefully) relaxing weekend.
OpenCulture: Free Shakespeare Course Starts Today.
NPR: You Can Go Home Again - The Transformative Joy Of Rereading.
“Returning to a book you’ve read multiple times can feel like drinks with an old friend. There’s a welcome familiarity — but also sometimes a slight suspicion that time has changed you both, and thus the relationship. But books don’t change, people do. And that’s what makes the act of rereading so rich and transformative.” Yes, yes, yes.
Catapult Community: Fire Jobs Friday! Internships and writing jobs.
Thought some of my writer friends might find something of interest, or worth passing along.
NewStatesman/Salman Rushdie: How Cervantes and Shakespeare wrote the literary rule book.
FontsInUse: 70s/80s Dune book series covers, New English Library.
Who could forget that cover for God Emperor of Dune?
Open Culture: Carl Sagan Presents His “Baloney Detection Kit” - 8 Tools for Skeptical Thinking.
A form of this should be posted to every internet comments thread as the set of ground rules (along with ‘agreeing to disagree’).
Dissent: Booked - Is It Time to Retire the Term “Revolution”?
“If we look at the broad sweep of modern history from the eighteenth century to the present, we see that revolution has lost its salience as a political concept, and I’m saying this despite Bernie Sanders. I think our political standards have become far too different.”
NY Times: Thomas Jefferson, Neither God Nor Devil.
“... the authors sum up their mission: to bring complexity to a conversation that tends to swing between ‘Jefferson the God’ and ‘Jefferson the Devil,’ and instead try to understand Jefferson’s actions in terms of how he saw himself.” You’d think by now, after decades of scandals, we’d realize that everyone is complex. Neither light nor dark, just a rainbow of shades between.
TheStage.UK: Half of Brits don’t want female Hamlets, claims research.
Since it’s the season of outrage, I wonder when “sexual appropriation” will become a thing.
Telegraph.UK: From his medieval lair in New Mexico, George RR Martin conjures his Game of Thrones.
Spin, the creator of the windows, is a good friend. Way to go, Spin!
Techdirt/Daily Deal: Scrivener.
It’s quirky, but if you do longer writing, it’s indispensable. Highly recommended, particularly at this price point.
Guardian.UK: Gay Talese in Twitter storm after failing to name inspirational female writers.
Thinking it over, I can immediately (without hesitation) name Mary O’Hara and Marguerite Henry (because I loved horses as a child).
NPR/Book Review: ‘Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings’ By Stephen O’Connor.
“Begun when she was an adolescent, the affair lasted a lifetime, and despite the liberty-espousing statesman’s acute criticism of slavery, he never freed Sally Hemings. Together they produced four living children, who were also born into slavery, but freed upon Jefferson’s death — the only slave family so liberated by him.”
The Atlantic: Why Reading Literature in High-School English Class Should Educate the Emotions.
I never thought to describe it this way ... but reading as a teen was *all* emotion. Feeling what the characters were going through. Perhaps it exercises and expands teens. Either way, YES: “Literary study should ... provide us with many complex models for understanding and responding to others and to ourselves.”
Archaeology News Network: Bullet indicates Lawrence of Arabia was no liar.
“The bullet we found came from a Colt automatic pistol, the type of gun known to be carried by Lawrence and almost certainly not used by any of the ambush’s other participants.” Some are eating healthy helpings of crow, methinks.
Guardian.UK: Fifty Shades of Grey - the book you literally can’t give away.
Yahoo News: Scientists say Shakespeare’s skull may be missing from grave.
LRB/Colm Tóibín · After I am hanged my portrait will be interesting.
The American Scholar: How to Read Dante in the 21st Century.
Oh hell, are you kidding? [Heh.] When I was a teen, I simply read it like it was a religious Lord of the Rings — and enjoyed it immensely.
Chipstone Podcast/Cellar Door: Pockets.
“It’s civilization in a nutshell, civilization in a pocket.” There is a transcript here as well.
Guardian.UK: Dark Territory review – how WarGames & Reagan shaped US cyberwar battle.
Didn’t have a chance to post this on Sunday. Choice quote: “Congress has been told that China and ‘probably one or two other countries’ are definitely inside the networks that control America’s power grids, waterworks and other critical assets. And though no American official has said so in public, America is also inside the networks ‘that controlled such assets in other countries’.”
Paris Review: James Tate’s Last Poem, Found in His Typewriter.
“It seemed almost too perfect to have been plucked unedited from a typewriter, so much so that I wondered, in passing, if maybe it were a sly, prankish tribute.” Going down in a blaze of glory ... for a poet.
Mashable: Netflix picks up ‘The Little Prince’ after Paramount drops theatrical release.
Given the overall surge of anti-intellect, I’m not surprised. Netflix is doing great things.
Aeon: Does one ethnic group own its cultural artefacts?
Difficult, difficult questions. On a similar note, I’ve been contemplating how accurate history really is. I was just reminded of this, through Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, oddly enough. There’s a passage near the end, that says, “Your retrospections must be so totally void of reproach, that the contentment arising from them is not of philosophy, but, what is much better, of innocence.” Older versions use “... of ignorance” in this spot. Who did the change, why? Which is what Ms Austen wrote? Ignorance and innocence are very different. Ignorance has a stigma today that it did not have at the time she wrote. I tend to believe ignorance correct, given its use throughout the rest of the novel. Not even a footnote or other bit of text to explain the change.
If a beloved classic is being altered so, being brought into a sort of modern literary correctness, what of ... everything else? If Pride and Prejudice is a prized Western cultural artifact, and we’re dumbing it down for ourselves, why should any other culture give us the time of day?