I love turning teenagers on to the work of author Kurt Vonnegut.
I want their minds to be blown the way mine was at 15, when I picked up Slapstick, his 8th novel, for reasons I no longer remember.
A quick follow up: Back in January, Colin Marshall took you inside Haruki Murakami’s unexpected stint as an agony uncle, writing an online advice column called Mr. Murakami’s Place.[...]
In William Faulkner’s 1936 Absalom, Absalom!, one of the novel’s most erudite characters paints a picture of a Gothic scene by comparing it to an Aubrey Beardsley drawing. References to Beardsley also appear in other Faulkner novels, and the English artist of the late nineteenth century also influenced the American novelist’s visual art.[...]
“But who prays for Satan?” Mark Twain asked in the autobiography left behind as he exited this mortal coil on the tail of Halley’s comet, whose 1835 appearance coincided with his birth.
It’s a good question.
Had he instead asked who claymates Satan, the answer would have been clearcut.
Despite his onetime friend and mentor Sigmund Freud’s enormous impact on Western self-understanding, I would argue it is Carl Jung who is still most with us in our communal practices: from his focus on introversion and extroversion to his view of syncretic, intuitive forms of spirituality and his indirect influence on 12-Step programs[...]
Many of us grade the books we read, but Kurt Vonnegut graded the books he wrote. Letters of Note once tweeted out a list of the thirteen grades he applied to thirteen of his novels, prefaced with his disclaimer that “the grades I hand out to myself do not place me in literary history. I am comparing myself with myself.[...]
Horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a man who lived his life in fear—of people of other races and nationalities, of women, of reality itself.[...]
Neil Gaiman might just be the most beloved fantasy author out there. He writes weird, twisted, exhilarating tales about hidden realities and the bizarre, fanciful creatures that live in them. His works, like Sandman, Fragile Things and American Gods, are pure escapism and a blast to read.[...]
If you’ve ever played Call of Cthulhu, the tabletop role-playing game based on the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, you’ve felt the frustration of having character after painstakingly-created character go insane or simply drop dead upon catching a glimpse of one of the many horrific beings infesting its world.[...]