As if we needed the competition—am I right, parents?—of some very excellent children’s books read by some beloved stars of stage and screen, and even a former vice president.[...]
Produced between 1956 and 1964 by AT&T, the Bell Telephone Science Hour TV specials anticipate the literary zaniness of The Muppet Show and the scientific enthusiasm of Cosmos.[...]
Image by Università Reggio Calabria, released under a C BY-SA 3.0 license.
In general, the how-to book—whether on beekeeping, piano-playing, or wilderness survival—is a dubious object, always running the risk of boring readers into despairing apathy or hopelessly perplexing them with complexity.
Woe to the famous actor who dares to write a novel or start a band or design a line of clothing. The public can be awfully snobby about such extracurricular pursuits. We reward our children for cultivating a wide range of interests, but heaven forfend a celebrity who wanders away from the accepted script.[...]
How do you draw Batman?
Don’t say you don’t, or that you can’t. According to cartoonist and educator Lynda Barry, we’re all capable of getting Batman down on paper in one form or another.
We can probably all agree that it’s a little premature, but all the same, the BBC has barreled ahead with its list of “The 21st Century’s 12 greatest novels.[...]
What is “Philosophy”? Yes, we know, the word comes from the Greek philosophia, which means “the love of wisdom.” This rote etymological definition does little, I think, to enhance our understanding of the subject, though it may describe the motivation of many a student.[...]
Remember when television was the big gorilla poised to put an end to all reading?
Then along came the miracle of the Internet. Blogs begat blogs, and thusly did the people start to read again!
Of course, many a great newspaper and magazine fell before its mighty engine. So it goes.
So did television in the old fashioned sense. So it goes.
Once upon a time, questions about the use-value of art were the height of philistinism. “All art is quite useless,” wrote the aesthete Oscar Wilde, presaging the attitudes of modernists to come.[...]
Just what is an author? It might seem like a silly question, and an academic dissection of the term may seem like a needlessly pedantic exercise.[...]