Curating Life


You might say that our blog offers curated literary articles. That might sound pretentious, but not nearly as pretentious as a curated salad, a curated college application, or a curated wine list. The Guardian takes a look at the use, overuse, and history of curation:

The idea of the contemporary curator originates with the conceptual art movement of the 1960s. Here, curators had motley backgrounds: the Swiss Harald Szeemann was a theatre director; Americans Walter Hopps and Seth Siegelaub were a jazz booker and a plumber respectively. These figures produced exhibitions, texts, even beautifully designed invitations and posters in an attempt to advocate for and make concrete what many saw as insubstantial and confusing. At times they literally gave value to thin air.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →