OpenCulture: Umberto Eco’s How To Write a Thesis.
Medium: How Terry Brooks Saved Epic Fantasy.
Not quite. I was a big fantasy guy, and I couldn’t stomach Shannara. Cloyingly copied from Tolkein; the cover was so cutesy, we fantasy-buffs couldn’t stand to be seen with it. I got caught up in a darker series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the original trilogy, rather than Shannara. After Covenant depressed the hell out of me, I dove into Moorcock and The Eternal Champion. In other words, spare me the Brooks encomiums. Fantasy was not a wasteland in the 60’s or 70’s.
OpenCulture: Download The Newly-Discovered Sherlock Holmes Story as a Free Audio Book.
Have at it, folks.
OpenCulture: Jorge Luis Borges Selects 74 Books for Your Personal Library.
Everyone’s got a list. I’m surprised Manson hasn’t got one yet. Still, in scanning through, you find new, unknown tomes to search out.
Guardian.UK: The death of writing.
“Walking the streets of Lahore’s old town, festooned by the 1950s with electric cables, he describes being struck with a sense of having come ‘too late’ to see the vanished, ‘real’ Lahore; although he knows that the ethnographer who came here 50 years before him felt the same thing, and that the one who’ll come 50 years later will wish he’d come 50 years earlier to see what he, Lévi-Strauss, failed to see right there in front of him.” Wallow in this one, folks. Enjoy it.
The New Yorker: How Gay Was Sappho?
“... some of these seemingly precious facts merely show that the encyclopedia — which, as old as it is, was compiled fifteen centuries after Sappho lived — could be prone to comic misunderstandings. ‘Kerkylas,’ for instance, looks a lot like kerkos, Greek slang for ‘penis,’ and ‘Andros’ is very close to the word for ‘man’; and so the encyclopedia turns out to have been unwittingly recycling a tired old joke about oversexed Sappho, who was married to ‘Dick of Man.’”
ArtDaily: France’s Monte-Cristo castle in need of repair; $1 million needed to get it back in shape
Italian Ways: Franco Grignani’s fantastic Penguin covers.
These always made my head hurt.
Archaeology News Network: New clues cast doubt on ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’.
Great detective work. Very much worth the read, for armchair sleuths.
The Atlantic: The Designer Who Humanized Corporate America.
Of Paul Rand. “As one of the youngest art directors for New York-based advertising agency Weintraub, he designed for Orbach’s department store, El Producto cigars, and the aperitif liquor Dubonnet. He worked for Manhattan publishers Knopf, Vintage, and Pantheon creating abstract book covers and jackets, and gained a reputation with designs for blue-chip companies like IBM, Cummins Engines, Westinghouse, Morningstar, even Enron. By 1986 he was such a star that Steve Jobs received special dispensation from Apple’s sworn rival, IBM, to enlist Rand to design his post-Apple venture, the NeXT logo.”
Guardian.UK: Henry VIII’s evidence to support break with Rome turns up in Cornish library.
Motionographer: Robert Rugan releases “Danny and The Wild Bunch”
WaPo: Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.
“A University of Washington pilot study of digital textbooks found that a quarter of students still bought print versions of e-textbooks that they were given for free. ‘These are people who aren’t supposed to remember what it’s like to even smell books,’ [snip].” The danger of assumption.
NPR: ‘First Edition’ Of The ‘Iliad’? Sure, Right Next To That ‘FIrst Edition’ Bible.
Kottke: Hunter S. Thompson calls customer service.
What an ass. Nightmare client. Sorry, but I’d kick him to the curb.
Mashable: Lost Sherlock Holmes story found in an attic in Scotland.
Aeon: Where are all the women hermits?
Some things you never notice until someone points them out. Where is the woman adventurer of Colin Fletcher stripe (‘The Man Who Walked Through Time’)? An adventure with no culture-salving or stereotype-feeding references to men, relationship issues, psychological crises or children? Just an independent woman and her curiousity in the wide outdoors? Adding some of these books to my ‘to-read’ list. If you know of any good ones, suggestions welcome.
Flavorwire: Depressing Philosopher Motivational Posters.
Princeton Architectural Press: Let’s Go Letter Hunting.
A book to help you record what you discover.
Vox: How to speak in Cockney rhyming slang.
Both cerebral and ghetto at the same time.
Past Horizons: Bedlam burial ground - Excavating the records.
One can’t forget Dicken’s Scrooge exclaiming, “... my clerk, with fifteen shillings a week, and a wife and family, talking about a merry Christmas. I’ll retire to Bedlam.” Naught like a bit o’ context.
The Millions: Calendars, Timelines, and Collages - Mapping the Imaginary
How some authors lay out a book.
Euan Semple: Choosing your words carefully.
Agreed. I’ve been reading Churchill’s “The Gathering Storm” not just for the history, but for his phraseology.
WSJ: Cowboy Culture, Alive and Well.
“Given the historic relevance of cowboys and ranchers to the settlement of the American West and to American cultural identity generally, it is curious that art depicting cowboy life tends to be looked down upon in a way other regional forms of artistic expression — Appalachian bluegrass, Delta Blues, Amish and Shaker culture — are not. [snip] ... the art associated with them is often reckoned to be naive, little more than kitsch.” And that’s a shame. Though myth is thick on the ground, there is much to enjoy.