I don’t know about you, but I’ve sort of always associated Charles Dickens with the kind of humorless moralism and didactic sentimentality that are hallmarks of so much Victorian literature. That’s probably because the work of Dickens contains no small amount of humorless moralism and didactic sentimentality.[...]
No matter how long I live, the dehumanizing insanity of racism will never fail to astonish and amaze me. Not only does it visit great physical and psychological violence upon its victims, but it leaves those who embrace it unable to feel or reason properly.[...]
I remember thrilling, as a kid, to the envelope illustrations that the magazines I read ran on their letters pages.[...]
Some of the most rigorous moral thinkers of the past century have spent time on the wrong side of questions they deemed of vital importance.[...]
The problem of violence, perhaps the true root of all social ills, seems irresolvable. Yet, as most thoughtful people have realized after the wars of the twentieth century, the dangers human aggression pose have only increased exponentially along with globalization and technological development.[...]
By the end of 1960, Marilyn Monroe was coming apart.
She spent much of that year shooting what would be her final completed movie – The Misfits (see a still from the trailer above). Arthur Miller penned the film, which is about a beautiful, fragile woman who falls in love with a much older man.
Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird in 1960. More than a half decade later, the novel remains one of the most widely-read books in American classrooms. And students still write the 89-year-old author, requesting photographs and autographs.
Occasionally, they get a little more than they bargained for.
Eight years ago—that’s something like five decades in Internet time—the Smithsonian held an exhibition, “More than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art,” which featured a curated selection of 178 hand-illustrated letters, love notes, driving directions, and jottings of current events, from various[...]
Thomas Hardy—architect, poet, and writer (above)—gave us the fierce, stormy romance Far From the Madding Crowd, currently impressing critics in a film adaptation by Thomas Vinterberg.[...]
A few weeks ago, we featured Benedict Cumberbatch’s reading of the letter Alan Turing (whom Cumberbatch portrayed in last year’s The Imitation Game) wrote before his 1952 conviction of “gross indecency.[...]