William S. Burroughs Sends Anti-Fan Letter to In Cold Blood Author Truman Capote: “You Have Sold Out Your Talent”

≡ Category: Letters, Literature |Leave a Comment

On July 23, 1970, William S. Burroughs wrote Truman Capote a letter. “This is not a fan letter in the usual sense — unless you refer to ceiling fans in Panama.” Instead, Burroughs’s missive is a poison pen letter, blistering even by the high standards of New York literary circles.

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Jorge Luis Borges Poses with Bread Basket on His Head During a Light Moment

≡ Category: Literature, Random |Leave a Comment

Let’s give three cheers and quickly celebrate the birthday of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, born on this day in 1899. Above, we have a photo of Borges taken during a seemingly festive moment.

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Watch a Hand-Painted Animation of Dostoevsky’s “The Dream of a Ridiculous Man”

≡ Category: Animation, Literature |Leave a Comment

Published in 1864, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground has a reputation as the first existentialist novel. It established a template for the genre with a portrait of an isolated man contemptuous of the sordid society around him, paralyzed by doubt, and obsessed with the pain and absurdity of his own existence.

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Shakespeare’s Restless World: A Portrait of the Bard’s Era in 20 Podcasts

≡ Category: History, Literature, Theatre |Leave a Comment

The BBC’s acclaimed podcast A History of the World in 100 Objects brought us just that: the story of human civilization as told through artifacts from the Egyptian Mummy of Hornedjitef to a Cretan statue of a Minoan Bull-leaper to a Korean roof tile to a Chinese solar-powered lamp.

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A Photographic Tour of Haruki Murakami’s Tokyo, Where Dream, Memory, and Reality Meet

≡ Category: Literature, Travel |Leave a Comment

Last week saw me in line at one of Los Angeles’ most beloved bookstores, waiting for a signed copy of Haruki Murakami’s new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage upon its midnight release.

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Folger Shakespeare Library Puts 80,000 Images of Literary Art Online, and They’re All Free to Use

≡ Category: Art, Literature, Museums, Theatre |Leave a Comment

Has a writer ever inspired as many adaptations and references as William Shakespeare? In the four hundred years since his death, his work has patterned much of the fabric of world literature and seen countless permutations on stage and screen.

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Dr. Seuss Draws Anti-Japanese Cartoons During WWII, Then Atones with Horton Hears a Who!

≡ Category: History, Literature |Leave a Comment

Before Theodor Seuss Geisel AKA Dr. Seuss convinced generations of children that a wocket might just be in their pocket, he was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM from 1940 to 1948.

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George Orwell Reviews Mein Kampf (1940)

≡ Category: History, Literature |Leave a Comment

Christopher Hitchens once wrote that there were three major issues of the twentieth century — imperialism, fascism, and Stalinism — and George Orwell proved to be right about all of them.

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Ernest Hemingway: T.S. Eliot “Can Kiss My Ass As a Man”

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

T.S. Eliot may have been the most unavoidable force in American letters in the early 20th century, but he was probably not a very likable person. At least Ernest Hemingway didn’t think so.

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Tap Into Timeless Wisdom: Download 36 Free Courses in Ancient History, Literature & Philosophy

≡ Category: Education, History, Literature, Online Courses, Philosophy |Leave a Comment

I know, it’s a dated reference now, but since I still watch the remade Battlestar Galactica series on Netflix, the mystical refrain—“All of this has happened before and will happen again”–still seems fresh to me. At any rate, it’s fresher than the clichéd “history repeats itself.

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