When William S. Burroughs Appeared on Saturday Night Live: His First TV Appearance (1981)

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

If you have any problems watching this video, you can find a grainier version below.


Truman Capote Narrates “A Christmas Memory,” a 1966 TV Adaptation of His Autobiographical Story

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


It’s fruitcake weather, so bust out your hankies.
You’ll need them by the end of this 1966 television adaptation of Truman Capote’s autobiographical 1956 story, “A Christmas Memory,” above.
As holiday specials go, it’s blessedly free of razzle dazzle.


A Complete Reading of George Orwell’s 1984: Aired on Pacifica Radio, 1975

≡ Category: Audio Books, Literature, Radio |1 Comment


“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.


500+William S. Burroughs Book Covers from Across the Globe: 1950s Through the 2010s

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William S. Burroughs has shown generations of readers that the written word can provide experiences they’d never before imagined.


When Ursula K. Le Guin & Philip K. Dick Went to High School Together

≡ Category: Literature, Random |2 Comments

Creative commons images are by Rasmus Lerdorf and Gorthian , via Wikimedia Commons
When you run a site like this, you learn all kinds of unexpected things–most of it rich and rewarding, some of it strange, trivial and still nonetheless intriguing.


An Animated Introduction to George Orwell

≡ Category: History, Literature |Leave a Comment

When his short and (by his own account) often miserable life came to an end in 1950, could the English political writer Eric Arthur Blair have known that he would not just become a household name, but remain one well over half a century later? Given his adoption of the memorable nom de plume George Orwell, we might say he had an inkling


Watch Animations of Two Italo Calvino Stories: “The False Grandmother” and “The Distance from the Moon”

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There are those books we go to not to escape this world, but to experience the truth of a mysteriously attributed quote, “There is another world, and it is this one.” That is to say that the worlds we find in certain novels are no less filled with dread, ambiguity, and moral freight than our own.


J.M. Coetzee on the Pleasures of Writing: Total Engagement, Hard Thought & Productiveness

≡ Category: Books, Literature, Writing |1 Comment


Martin Amis once criticized his fellow novelist J.M. Coetzee for writing in a style “predicated on transmitting absolutely no pleasure.


Umberto Eco Makes a List of the 14 Common Features of Fascism

≡ Category: History, Literature, Politics |15 Comments

Creative Commons image by Rob Bogaerts, via the National Archives in Holland
One of the key questions facing both journalists and loyal oppositions these days is how do we stay honest as euphemisms and trivializations take over the discourse? Can we use words like “fascism,” for example, with fidelity to the meaning of that word in world h


Download Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man as a Free Audiobook (Available for a Limited Time)

≡ Category: Audio Books, Literature |4 Comments

When Ralph Ellison published his first novel, Invisible Man, in 1952, it took the literary world by storm. Orville Prescott, a literary critic at The New York Times, wrote in April of ’52:
Ralph Ellison’s first novel, “The Invisible Man,” is the most impressive work of fiction by an American Negro which I have ever read.


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