Sylvia Plath, Girl Detective Offers a Hilariously Cheery Take on the Poet’s College Years

≡ Category: Comedy, Literature, Poetry |Leave a Comment

Conventional wisdom has it that one’s college years are the best of one’s life, a maxim Sylvia Plath: Girl Detective, above, seems to embrace.
The real Plath experienced deep depression and attempted suicide while a student at Smith College.


Revel in The William Faulkner Audio Archive on the Author’s 118th Birthday

≡ Category: Literature |Leave a Comment

There was once a time that I intended to make a career out of writing about and teaching the work of William Faulkner. Plans—and economies—change, but my admiration and enthusiasm for the U.S.’s foremost modernist novelist has not dimmed one bit as time goes on.


F. Scott Fitzgerald Reads Shakespeare’s Othello and Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” (1940)

≡ Category: Literature |3 Comments

When F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940 at the age of 44, he was considered a tragic failure. The New York Times eulogized him by writing that “the promise of his brilliant career was never fulfilled.


Mick Jagger Acts in The Nightingale, a Televised Play from 1983

≡ Category: K-12, Literature, Music, Television |Leave a Comment

Pity the man who has everything. Satisfaction is but fleeting.
One wonders if rock god Mick Jagger might know a thing or two about the condition. He doesn’t seem to know all that much about acting, as evidenced by his turn in The Nightingale episode of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre series.
No matter.


An Animated Introduction to Virginia Woolf

≡ Category: Animation, Education, K-12, Literature |2 Comments

It’s a pity writer Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) drowned herself before the advent of the Internet.
Industrialization did not faze her.
It’s less clear how the great observer of “the Modern Age” would’ve responded to the proliferation of Mommy bloggers.


An Animated Margaret Atwood Explains How Stories Change with Technology

≡ Category: Animation, Literature, Technology |3 Comments

From the Future Of StoryTelling video series comes an animation featuring Margaret Atwood meditating on how technology shapes the way we tell stories. Just like the Gutenberg Press did almost 600 years ago, the recent advent of digital platforms (the internet, ebooks, etc.


18-Year-Old James Joyce Writes a Fan Letter to His Hero Henrik Ibsen (1901)

≡ Category: Literature |1 Comment

When it comes to theories of artistic lineage, few have been as influential as Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence, in which the august literary critic argues, “Poetic Influence—when it involves two strong, authentic poets—always proceeds by a misreading of the prior poet, an act of creative correction that is actually and necessarily


William S. Burroughs Reads Edgar Allan Poe Tales in the Vintage 1995 Video Game, “The Dark Eye”

≡ Category: Literature, Video Games |1 Comment

William S. Burroughs, like Christopher Walken, has one of those voices that casts anything he reads in a new light. No matter who the author, if Burroughs reads it, the text sounds like one more missive from the Interzone.


Mark Twain Skewers Great Works of Art: The Mona Lisa (“a Smoked Haddock!”), The Last Supper (“a Mournful Wreck”) & More

≡ Category: Art, Literature |5 Comments

Some of the U.S.’s greatest secular sages also happen to be some of its greatest cranks, contrarians, and critics. I refer to a category that includes Ambrose Bierce, H.L. Mencken, and Hunter S. Thompson.


Harry Clarke’s 1926 Illustrations of Goethe’s Faust: Art That Inspired the Psychedelic 60s

≡ Category: Art, Books, Literature |Leave a Comment

Evoking the playful grotesques of Shel Silverstein, the gothic gloom of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics, the occult beauty of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, and the hidden horrors of H.P. Lovecraft, Harry Clarke’s illustrations for a 1926 edition of Goethe’s Faust are said to have inspired the psychedelic imagery of the 60s.


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