Posts Tagged: Open Culture

Term Paper of Champions

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At Open Culture, Ayun Halliday introduces Kurt Vonnegut’s final assignment for his Iowa Writer’s Workshop class. Instead of a conventional essay, Vonnegut asks his students to role-play as short story publishers: Proceed next to the hallucination that you are a minor but useful editor on a good literary magazine not connected with a university. Take […]

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The “Transmutation” of Objects

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For Open Culture, Ayun Halliday investigates Patti Smith’s relationship to objects and literature, highlighting how the songwriter, artist, and author looks to objects in order to feel “closer” to her favorite writers: She and husband Smith celebrated their first anniversary by collecting stones from the French Guiana penal colony, Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, in an effort to feel closer […]

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Brain Training

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Great news for avid readers! It turns out that intense reading is good exercise for your brain. Over at Open Culture, Josh Jones writes about a study by Michigan State University Professor Natalie Phillips, who compares the brain activity of participants alternating between a close read and a casual perusal of a chapter in Jane Austen’s […]

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Jane Austen’s Pin Cushion

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Jane Austen invented a clever way of editing her manuscripts: pins. Without the convenience of electronic word processors, Austen relied on a method of pinning snippets of text into her manuscript drafts. Open Culture looks at The Watsons, one of Austen’s manuscript drafts that employs the method.

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“Living On Air”

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Via the Poetry Foundation, Open Culture has a 23-minute experimental film by Sandra Lahire using audio of Sylvia Plath reading her poems aloud. Mixing images of Plath’s obsessions (ouija boards, horses, violent self-harm) with photographs of the poet and her work, the film delves deeply into an existence that Plath herself, in a voice-over interview, calls […]

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: Why I’m Quitting Ezra Pound

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Ever heard that gobsmacking troubadourist Ezra Pound read his elaborate, funkified sestina, “Sestina: Altafore,” in a voice that is one part American-as-European, swilling-with-the-rolling-R’s accent and cantorian swoons and another part a sort of goofy Hailey, Idaho carnival barker? The nifty Open Culture website is featuring a recording on its blog right now. Check it out. […]

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Eisenhower Answers America: The First Political Advertisements on American TV

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Open Culture compiles Eisenhower Answers America, the ad campaign that lead to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s victory in the 1952 presidential election. Eisenhower was an American war hero, and the use of television only solidified his legendary status with American voters, proving televised advertisements an invaluable resource for political campaigns. Living up to their name, the […]

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Independent Astronauts

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Atlantis just returned from its last mission and here we are with our feet firmly on the ground. But surely there is an alternative to NASA. For inspiration into space travel here on earth experience the short film Life as An Independent Astronaut and an interview with the documentary’s star and director David Wilson. “The […]

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