How Paul Thomas Anderson Dropped Out of NYU Film School in 2 Days; Studied Literature with David Foster Wallace

≡ Category: Film, Literature |Leave a Comment”>

Seeing how the ever-more-distinctive cinema of Paul Thomas Anderson has developed from his feature debut Hard Eight to his new Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice, you have to wonder how he learned his craft.


Seven Tips from Edgar Allan Poe on How to Write Vivid Stories and Poems

≡ Category: Literature, Writing |5 Comments

There may be no more a macabrely misogynistic sentence in English literature than Edgar Allan Poe’s contention that “the death… of a beautiful woman” is “unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.


Steven Soderbergh Creates a Big List of What He Watched, Read & Listened to in 2014

≡ Category: Film, Life, Literature, Television |Leave a Comment

Image by Nicolas Genin
Our vast media landscape feels grossly oversaturated with advertising, propaganda, and all manner of redundant noise. But the discerning eye, and ear, perceives just as much quality out there as crap.


Mœbius Illustrates Dante’s Paradiso

≡ Category: Art, Literature |1 Comment

Salvador Dalí, Gustave Doré, Alberto Martini, Sandro Botticelli, the earlier and less-recognized Priamo della Quercia and Giovanni di Paolo — all of these artists have tried their hand at illustrating Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.


Hear James Joyce’s Great Short Story “The Dead,” Performed by Cynthia Nixon & Colum McCann

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“The Dead” is the last – and most memorable – short story in James Joyce’s first book, Dubliners. Set during a New Year’s feast in 1904, the story focuses on Gabriel Conroy, a plump, bespectacled young man who is painfully aware of his own social ineptitude.


Rare Footage of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac & Other Beats Hanging Out in the East Village (1959)

≡ Category: Film, Literature, Photography, Poetry |3 Comments

We don’t often think of the Beats as family men, and that’s because the most prominent of them weren’t, except William Burroughs for a time (a tragic story or two for another day).


Kurt Vonnegut Reveals “Why My Dog Is Not a Humanist” in His Humanist of the Year Award Speech (1992)

≡ Category: Life, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Sci Fi, Science |Leave a Comment

Note: Vonnegut starts talking at around the 3:40 mark.
This is humanism, as explained by biochemist, science fiction author and former president of the American Humanist Association Isaac Asimov:
Humanists believe that human beings produced the progressive advance of human society and also the ills that plague it.


Kurt Vonnegut Gives Advice to Aspiring Writers in a 1991 TV Interview

≡ Category: Education, Literature, Television, Writing |1 Comment”>YouTube

Remember when television was the big gorilla poised to put an end to all reading?
Then along came the miracle of the Internet. Blogs begat blogs, and thusly did the people start to read again!
Of course, many a great newspaper and magazine fell before its mighty engine. So it goes.
So did television in the old fashioned sense. So it goes.


How William S. Burroughs Used the Cut-Up Technique to Shut Down London’s First Espresso Bar (1972)

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As we’ve noted before, the English coffeehouse has served as a staging ground for radical, sometimes revolutionary social change. Certainly this was the case during the Enlightenment, as it was with the salons in France. And yet, by the early 20th century it seems, coffee shops in London had grown scarcer and more humdrum.


Patti Smith’s Musical Tributes to the Russian Greats: Tarkovsky, Gogol & Bulgakov

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In 2010, Patti Smith won a National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids, making her, by my count, the only Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member to land that prize. Of course, she’s also the only person I can think of who has appeared in both a movie by Jean-Luc Godard (Film Socialisme) and an episode of Law and Order.


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