Literary Hub: The Beautiful, Proto-Feminist Snark of Jane Austen’s Juvenilia.
For any Austen fan. Perhaps things haven’t changed so much after all.
NPR: Supreme Court Denies Apple’s Appeal On E-Books, Triggering Millions In Payments.
Guardian.UK: How cars ruined our love of the countryside.
I think one has to differentiate between driving a car (attention to the road ahead) and being a passenger. There are some mixed metaphors here - complaining of not seeing the topography in an urban area isn’t the car’s fault, it’s buildings. Santa Fe’s buildings tend to be low, single story, earthtone without pitched roofs, hugging the landscape and revealing the elevations.
I’ve travelled long, long distances by plane, train, bus, car, bicycle and foot. Each has their place. I think the most transformative was a long bus trip ... the ‘locals’ you sit next to give you context while you watch the landscape roll by. And as you would imagine, I’m a human tape recorder for biographical and autobiographical stories. Buses are a great place to experience these. Or were. I haven’t been on one since our modern smartphone devolution of social interaction.
The Bookseller: ‘End of the beginning for e-books’ says Tamblyn.
BBC: Shakespeare’s grave scanned in 400th anniversary.
Italian Ways: Verona’s Porta Borsari and a Shakespearian tragedy.
“On Easter, along the main street near Porta Borsari, going towards Castelvecchio a large group of the Capuleti met some Montecchi and attacked them fiercely, with weapons. Tebaldo, Juliet’s cousin, was amongst the Capuleti. The stalwart young man incited his crew to beat the Montecchi boldly, without hesitation ...” Okay, rejigging that event [given the architecture] in my mind’s eye ...
Paris Review: The Art of Biography No. 5, Robert Caro.
“If I make this scene true enough so that the reader can see it, then the reader will see into Lyndon Johnson without my having to give any lectures or half-baked psychoanalysis.” Walking the mile in another’s mocassins.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: The Irrepressible Lightness of Umberto Eco.
“With typical Umberto mischievousness, he probably thought of cremation as his one chance to experience an auto da fé.” Thanks, longtime reader Ray.
lesgardenias: Mad Girl’s Love Song read by Sylvia Plath.
First time I’ve heard her voice. Another of those ‘internet amazements.’
Vice: Umberto Eco Taught the World How to Think About Conspiracies and Fascism.
“In losing Eco, we have lost not just Borges’s heir (with, as yet, no heir apparent to Eco) but a mind shaped by an older way of learning: of antiquated research and cataloguing methods. We take for granted these tools at our fingertips, but at least I am in awe of someone like Eco, who could dig deeply without them.” The internet’s still only inches deep. Books, people, books. And libraries.
Observer: What Does It Take To Be A “Bestselling Author”? $3 and 5 Minutes.
Umberto Eco: “How to Travel with a Salmon”
One of my many favorite bits of his writing.
The Bookseller: Tributes paid to ‘extraordinary’ Umberto Eco.
“A final novel will be released posthumously later this year.” Bittersweet news.
BBC: Italian writer Umberto Eco dies at 84.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. This one really hurts.
The Millions: RIP Harper Lee.
Sleep well, good lady. I could wish you’d left it at Mockingbird.
Italian Ways: The Ara Pacis - Roma sub specie aeternitatis.
Ye gods. My old Latin books must have been illustrated at this one site. I remember too many of these, for no good reason. Sweat over declensions.
Vox: Game theory shows how Justice Scalia improved liberal legal thinking.
“A forceful judge who disagrees with another judge’s views incentivizes that second judge to clarify and hone her argument, especially if she is trying to win him over.” Vox once again attempts to wrap what is patently obvious in pseudointellectualism.
If you want a real overview of Von Neumann’s game theory, sample “Strategy in Poker, Business & War.” Older book, it has not taken into account any of John Nash’s modifications. Invaluable in an election year.
ArtDaily: New Mexico Museum of Art opens “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare”.
Arcade/Stanford: How Cervantes Made His Characters Seem Real.
“Cervantes’ success in creating characters that feel like “real people” depended in part on his rich descriptions and his attentiveness to their voices; but underlying all his characters was his fascination with how different people might experience differently the same situation.”
Globe and Mail.CA: Can computers teach you to write a bestseller?
“Common features of American bestsellers, according to .txtLAB director Andrew Piper, are short sentences (11 words on average), simple actions relayed with active verbs, frequent descriptions of facial expressions and characters who are into technology and have a mystery or violent crime to solve. These books avoid complex emotions, uncertainty and nature description, he says, as well as tea, rats, giants and bears.” “He grimaces holding his smartphone, when it suddenly explodes in flames.” There. I can make millions!
Robert Burns, Happy B-day!
In our current political climate, I thought this a bit of fun:
“I would not die like Socrates,
For all the fuss of Plato;
Nor would I with Leonidas,
Nor yet would I with Cato:
The zealots of the Church and State
Shall ne’er my mortal foes be;
But let me have bold Zimri’s fate,
Within the arms of Cozbi!”
Open Culture: Ursula Le Guin Gives Insightful Writing Advice in Her Free Online Workshop.
A healthy dose of common sense, seems like.
OpenCulture: The 20 Most Influential Academic Books of All Time: No Spoilers.
New Republic: The Public Domain Still Needs Idealism.
“The Idealist does not shed new light on Swartz’s life or death; what it does—and does very well—is put Swartz’s work in context. The book gives an engaging, if knowingly incomplete, account of the history of intellectual property and copyright law, the archaic roots (and current implications) of cyberlaw, and some key players in the ongoing fight between open-data philosophy and the federal government.” Oh, on my reading list for sure.
The Millions: Worlds Upon Worlds - On Growing Up Book-Rich.
Lovely opening: “I grew up in a middle-class family in rural upstate New York. We had a mortgage and a car loan, and my brother and I wore hand-me-downs. It was a nice, ordinary American upbringing: quietly blessed, reassuringly average, except for one thing: in books, I have always been rich.”