Posts by: Nikita Schoen

“Chance and Accident”

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Over at The Smart Set, Morgan Mels writes something of a love letter to Marcel Duchamp, considering shame, chance and Romanticism, and the influences of each in Duchamp’s work. Probably not for those of you who fidget anxiously at the mention of Modern Art. And even then, you should give it a read. A fella who […]

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That Very Special Reason

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Eric G. Wilson has given up on the many possible higher education-approved, poet-referencing justifications for devoting your time to literary study. He will simply tell you, “Poetry makes you weird.” And in that we rejoice! Read further and explore the rich wonder of poetry’s weirdness.

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when history is narrative-driven

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Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jim Hinch reveals the holes in Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve. Hinch asks how a book which repeatedly gets its facts and insinuations wrong could have been recognized with awards like the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. He takes the time to go through and, […]

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“At a word’s notice!”

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Have you ever snuck up to your bookshelf and pretended to see through a stranger’s eyes, imagining what someone who didn’t know you would gather from the titles perched there, the spines pristine or riddled with the worn lines of multiple reads? Do you ever look at the books on a friend’s shelf and strain […]

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A reading list to swoon over

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As we mentioned earlier this week, The Millions has unleashed their A Year In Reading series, providing you the perfect road map for your continuing literary journey! If that wasn’t dance-a-little-jig exciting, our very own Roxane Gay has her own favorites to share. Merry reading, y’all!

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thank goodness for the authors

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“You may have heard the news that the independent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead—to which I say: Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell.” Over at The Atlantic, Ann Patchett writes about her experience opening a bookstore in Nashville after the town lost […]

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Written Word as Basic Need

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Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat, Dave Eggers, Joyce Carol Oates and countless other authors, intellectuals and humanitarian efforts, such as Libraries Without Borders, agree: books should be a part of emergency relief efforts. They’ve all come together to sign and campaign for The Urgency of Reading petition. Husna Haq writes, in an article for The Christian […]

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Andrew Solomon: not afraid to go there

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Andrew Solomon’s “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity” seems like a book we might like. Solomon cuts to the heart of the many possible events and conditions that throw a family into chaos and the category of “other,” and how that family then tries, or does not try, to reconcile […]

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Brothers Grimm Redux

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Mother Jones interviews Phillip Pullman, author of the Dark Materials series, about his new book–a collection of stories retelling the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. “When I first started writing, I tried to [write in a modern style], but I realized that there was a limited value in that. And it also made it difficult […]

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Long Live The Crosshatching

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The Guardian offers a podcast of Robert and Aline Crumb in conversation about their new book Drawn Together, a collection of autobiographical comic strips they’ve created together over the past 40 years. The podcast also discusses some contemporary award-winning graphic novels which illustrate the point that “graphic literature now offers something for everyone.” New additions […]

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When editing gets in the way of love

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Ah, editors. They sure do know what’s best. McSweeney’s features Jimmy Chen’s take on what Gordon Lish might have done to Raymond Carver’s OkCupid profile. If you want the lowdown on the real struggle between Carver and Lish, take a look at this New Yorker article. And you thought your inner editor was tough.

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“Who the hell is interested, anyway?”

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In 1957, Truman Capote had done it again. Written for The New Yorker, “The Duke in His Domain” dissolved the absolute mystery surrounding Marlon Brando. And of course, it was Capote, and The New Yorker, so the writing was rich as chocolate cake, and the source unquestionable. Douglas McCollam writes about the pivotal event, and about the incredible […]

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Film: not just for popcorn anymore

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Whether you are obsessed with film and its theoretical and historical aspects, or simply enjoy overhearing a brilliant conversation between two intensely analytical people, boy, have we got a treat for you: Greil Marcus interviewing David Thomson about everything from surrealistic film and modern entertainment consumption habits, to nihilism and the “internalized videogame called sensation.” […]

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Playing Telephone with Poetry

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It was inevitable, in our day and age, we guess, that the world of classical translation would look over at the world of the colloquial, bite-sized, social network-friendly format and go, “hm…” Over at The Millions, Magdalena Edwards braves Brooklyn, a game of Telephone (sort of) and Paul Legault’s translation of Emily Dickinson’s poetry in […]

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It’s the thought that counts

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We recently got some love from The Well-Read Wife! Mandy includes a membership to our book club on her list of 10 Things To Buy A Book Lover. Thanks, Mandy! Finally, shy bookworms everywhere can stop getting jars of cheese popcorn and shrugs from their loved ones!

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In the cage, the Music soothes

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Funding for the arts is hard to come by these days. Ever wonder what it’s like for the folks in prison, and those who work with prisoners, who can see the positive effects of music, drawing, painting, writing and all the other glories of creativity? Our very own Wendy MacNaughton illustrates an essay on the struggling […]

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Eve Ensler wants you to rise

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The Nation features a very knowledgeable and loving essay by Laura Flanders about the inimitable Eve Ensler (author of The Vagina Monologues), her work, and her movement One Billion Rising. OBR is a massive movement which hopes to take a visible stand against violence towards women, and will take place on Valentine’s Day 2013. Whether […]

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The Loft Kid strikes the soul

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The New Yorker features an excerpt from Jonathan Lethem’s gorgeous, poetic ode (at times loving, at times sharp, at times you’re not sure) to Andy Warhol and the scene, sense and phenomenon the “Loft Kid” created and left behind. I’ll be your Sticky Fingers: the already-scuffed album jacket of the record in the thrift shop […]

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The Boys Who Grow to be Good

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Over at the Los Angeles Review of Books, Sarah Mesle writes a thoughtful essay about the idea, and complications, of manhood as presented in Young Adult literature. “Why is it that in YA literature — a genre generated entirely to describe the transition to adulthood — there is so much fear and ambivalence surrounding manhood? […]

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Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: another exciting development!

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It looks like the movie adaptation of our very own Cheryl Strayed‘s bestselling memoir Wild is moving along quite nicely. Not only has Wild garnered the interest of Reese Witherspoon, who is set to star, but Strayed has said Nick Hornby (who has penned About a Boy and An Education, among others) is signed on to […]

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“I was young just minutes ago”

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The latest issue of The Believer features an excellent interview with Maurice Sendak, conducted before his death in May. And because they are very, very nice people they’ve made it available online. Talk about quote-ables, this one’s full of ’em. If you don’t print it out and put it up on the fridge with little red lines underlining your […]

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One of Those Domino Effect Discoveries

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HTMLGIANT linked to Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading (you should subscribe for some free weekly fiction!), which featured an excerpt from Sam Pink’s imminent novel, Rontel. HTML featured a smaller lick of it, but then we clicked over to the longer excerpt, and man… You should just read it.

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“Whither Feminism?”

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At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jack Halberston discusses the new wave of feminism crashing down upon the 21st century.  While introducing his new book, Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal (and we’re all for an end to Normal!), he critiques other examples such as Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, and The End of […]

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Save Your Breath

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Bookslut features an essay by Elvis Bego that’s part passionate defense of short books, part review of Cesar Aira’s The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira. “America, vast in space and in ambition, seems to goad its writers to impose a brazen intentionality onto the marketplace. The American writer’s appetite must be omnivorous, his palette the trunk […]

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Juicy Poetry and Film Theory for Your Friday

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HTMLGIANT features Carrie Lorig’s breathtaking review of Raul Zurita’s Dreams for Kurosawa, a book of poems provoked jointly by the film Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (take that literally; Kurosawa directed a haunting film which reproduced dreams he actually had) and Augusto Pinochet’s horrific coup d’etat of 1973. “This book lifts itself up from the feeling that a book/a […]

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The Good Old Days

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Before social media, people spread ideas with postcards. Collectors Weekly features an article of the double-edged sword variety. Lisa Hicks provides a selection of Suffrage-era postcards (both pro and against), but her accompanying essay is a far cry from a casual discussion of turn-of-the-century illustration and rhetoric. She wont let us forget that the gender […]

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A Sound Bite to Savor

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Who doesn’t love awesomely funny and quirky writers who slyly and inevitably ravage us with their insights into the sometimes devastating complexities of life and interaction with our fellow human beings? What about one such writer reading the work of another such writer? Not possible? Not if you’re The New Yorker. Avail yourselves to their […]

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Fallen Trees, Broken Windows and Beer Bottles

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We’ve got a treat for those of you who followed Sandy’s destructive path and what has been left in her wake. How about a nice essay about how New Yorkers can manage to come together after a disaster? Over at Outside, Rumpus contributor Jason Diamond writes about drinking in the aftermath of Sandy. “However you became a […]

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