The First Color Portrait of Leo Tolstoy, and Other Amazing Color Photos of Czarist Russia (1908)

≡ Category: Literature, Photography |4 Comments

A good few people objected to a recent project that colorized old photos of Walt Whitman, Charlie Chaplin, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, and other historical characters. Leave them alone! they grumped. The past, they wanted left in black and white.


Kafka’s Parable “Before the Law” Narrated by Orson Welles & Illustrated with Great Pinscreen Art

≡ Category: Animation, Film, Literature |1 Comment

On Friday, we featured Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose,” adapted in 1963 through the work-intensive but aesthetically stunning means of “pinscreen animation” by Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker.


Nikolai Gogol’s Classic Story, “The Nose,” Animated With the Astonishing Pinscreen Technique (1963)

≡ Category: Animation, Literature |Leave a Comment

A mild-looking barber slices into his morning loaf of bread to find a human nose embedded within. You might imagine this image opening the next David Lynch movie, but it actually sets up a more lighthearted, much older, and much more Russian story: Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose.


Thomas Pynchon Edits His Lines on The Simpsons: “Homer is my role model and I can’t speak ill of him.”

≡ Category: Literature, Television |1 Comment

In 2002, the elusive novelist Thomas Pynchon made two cameo appearances on The Simpsons. Of course, we didn’t actually get to see Pynchon. His cartoon depiction wore, rather humorously, a bag over his head. But, we did get to hear Pynchon’s voice. And apparently that, alone, was a first.


Extensive Archive of Avant-Garde & Modernist Magazines (1890-1939) Now Available Online

≡ Category: Archives, Art, Literature, Magazines |1 Comment

Having once been involved in the founding of an arts magazine, I have experienced intimately the ways in which such an endeavor can depend upon a community of equals pooling a diversity of skills.


Roald Dahl: “It Really is Almost a Crime to Allow Your Child to Go Unimmunised”

≡ Category: Literature, Science |Leave a Comment

Generations of us know Roald Dahl as, first and foremost, the author of popular children’s novels like The BFG, The Witches, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (that book of the “subversive” lost chapter), and James and the Giant Peach.


A 56-Song Playlist of Music in Haruki Murakami’s Novels: Ray Charles, Glenn Gould, the Beach Boys & More

≡ Category: Books, Literature, Music |1 Comment

Last month we featured the particulars of novelist Haruki Murakami’s passion for jazz, including a big Youtube playlist of songs selected from Portrait in Jazz, his book of essays on the music.


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

≡ Category: Letters, Literature |1 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.


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.


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

≡ Category: Animation, Literature |1 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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