Posts Tagged: Open Culture
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 to Jean Genet, one of her most revered authors.
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 Mansfield Park:
Thus, she theorizes, the practice and teaching of close reading “could serve—quite literally—as a kind of cognitive training, teaching us to modulate our concentration and use new brain regions as we move flexibly between modes of focus.”
A new article on Open Culture examines the fascinating friendship between Mark Twain and Helen Keller, two of the 20th century’s most revolution-minded popular authors. Twain was taken with Keller from their first meeting, and made it a personal mission to support her education and career....more
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....more
Open Culture’s Josh Jones suggests listening to Sylvia Plath perform her poems out loud as a way to encounter them anew, “without the morbid celebrity baggage Plath’s name carries.”
They do seem, in some ways, like completely different poems when you hear them in her voice, the wildness and rawness all alchemized into gravitas....more
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 “living on air.”
Perfect for those of us who wish Plath would out of the ash rise with her red hair....more
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....more
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....more
Ever wonder what creating abstract expressionist art looks like? This documentary, made one summer way back in 1950 by Hans Namuth, follows Jackson Pollock in his studio.
“Above, you can watch the result of Namuth’s second effort. The ten-minute film, simply called Jackson Pollock 51 (the 51 being short for 1951), lets you see Pollock painting from a unique angle — through glass....more
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....more