miser: “A wretch covetous to extremity,” according to Samuel Johnson, “who in wealth makes himself miserable by the fear of poverty.”
ninjo: 人情 Japanese for human compassion, as compared with social obligations (see giri).
noblesse oblige: literally, “noble rank entails responsibility.” Earliest use in English, 1837.
Posts Tagged: Lapham’s Quarterly
David Samuels fact checks Herman Melville down at Lapham’s Quarterly:
Who Herman Melville was and what he actually thought about anything are altogether unsatisfying questions that have never been answered in a satisfying way. This has led critics from the beginning of his literary existence to accuse him, often rightfully, of fraud.
Genghis Khan had a great-granddaughter named Khutulun (the cousin of Kublai Khan), and it sounds like she was a total badass:
As she grew older, she joined the public competitions and acquired great fame as the wrestler whom no man could throw.
Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep thinking about skeletons.
This Lapham’s Quarterly piece by Matthew Leib starts with a science teacher perching hip bones behind his head and “declar[ing] in a deranged falsetto that he [is] Mickey Mouse,” then meanders through memento mori and satires of the danse macabre before coming full circle with an old cartoon of Disney’s reigning rodent playing the organ while a troupe of skeletons “hoof away in the background.”...more
In mid-October, the New York Times reported that an Iranian man survived his execution by hanging and was scheduled to be re-executed.
Lapham Quarterly‘s Déjà Vu feature (“Bringing an historical perspective to the day’s news”) connects the miracle/tragedy to another man who proved difficult to kill: “Russia’s greatest love machine, Rasputin.”...more
If you needed something to remind you not to join any expeditions to the Arctic, this Lapham’s Quarterly piece about scurvy in sailors of centuries past should do the trick:
(Trapped in the Arctic in 1832, explorer John Ross began to bleed from wounds he’d received decades earlier in the Napoleonic Wars.) Your teeth come loose from your gums, because your body literally can no longer hold itself together.
This week in New York a tribute to George Carlin, James Wood reads a book he’s never read before, Shya Scanlon gets other people to read his poems, NYC Twestival 2010, Huggabroomstik, Jeff Lewis and others cover songs by Major Matt Mason USA, Victor Lavalle and Maud Newton talk, and Lapham’s Quarterly holds a panel discussion on creativity....more
This week in New York Lydia Davis and Richard Howard read, John Wray, Heidi Julavits and Sarah Manguso discuss ebooks at Melville House, Of Montreal and Damon & Naomi perform, Lapham’s Quarterly celebrates the launch of its Religion Issue, artists recreate the filmography of David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest character James Incandenza, and Selected Shorts presents actors acting out stories from Best European Fiction 2010....more