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Posts by: Lindsay Meisel

Beauty as character

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In an elegant and bracing piece for the New Yorker, recent Rumpus interviewee Adelle Waldman looks at the way men look at women. Beauty isn’t an ornament, either for the women who possess it or the best chroniclers of it. In the novels she discusses, beauty is a character in its own right, and a sinister […]

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Youth in Revolt meets 1984

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The San Francisco Public Library has chosen Cory Doctorow’s 2008 young adult novel “Little Brother” for its annual “One City One Book” award. After a terrorist attack on BART and the Bay Bridge, it’s 17 year-old Marcus against the Department of Homeland Security. Teen sex, technology, and terrorism: what’s not to like? Get it for […]

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Literary guts, literally

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Harris Sockel writes with a defiant sense of wonder. He leaves behind arguments and agendas to marvel indiscriminately at iPhones, intestines, and human tenderness. In his world, technology has a soul and people are all too material, oozing and wet on the inside. Reading his newest piece, “We Will Never Know What’s Inside Our Bodies,” […]

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Look Away

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Daikichi Amano is interested in icky, slimy, and gooey. His creepy–even disgusting–photographs depict supple young bodies marred by subterranean decay at the mouths of leeches and the tentacles of cephalopods (which, according to one interview, the crew eats after the shoot to avoid the cruelty of wasting the animals). There is an overall sense of […]

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Women, Water, Oil

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Alyssa Monks paints women through the distorted lens of water, and her newest round of work puts them in the steamy cage of the shower, where their breasts and bellies brush up against foggy glass doors and they become entangled in shower curtains. Often seen from behind a viscous film of plastic, these women look […]

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Poems Out Loud

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For National Poetry Month, Poems Out Loud is featuring people reading their favorite poems aloud. The construction worker who describes his job as “a lot of digging” loves Walt Whitman, and not just because he writes about “common Americans” and “physical labor.” Another man falls in love with poetry when he first encounters Sylvia Plath, […]

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New York Times Word Frequency Visualizations

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A Flickr set with visualizations of word frequency.  The word “crisis” has surpassed “hope” on only a handful of occasions — one of them is right now. Trends also show a general increase in the mention of superheros over time. Pictured is “Communism” (bottom) and “terrorism” (top) since 1981.

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The Evolution of Female Promiscuity

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“Darwin was a prude” for failing to consider the possibility of female promiscuity, an omission that delayed the study of sperm competition for 100 years. But don’t blame him — his sexually repressed daughter combed her daddy’s texts for references to sexual impropriety, which she swiftly struck out.

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