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Posts by: Nikita Schoen

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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“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?

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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 their reality.

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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.

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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 to your To-Read list!

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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.”

We’ll give you a taste, but there is no one quote we could slice from the delicious meat of this interview that would do absolute justice to the range of ideas discussed:

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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 order to analyze such a clash of worlds:

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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?

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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 window, yesterday’s papers that had only just reached the Loft Kid today, the very title conveying an overload of sordid sexual implication you’d brush off if only you could get the songs out of your head.

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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.

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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?

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