April 23 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, an event so far in the past that it can be celebrated as a second birthday of sorts.
The New York Public Library’s contribution to the festivities has an endearingly homemade quality.
If you were American and in school during the late ‘80s and through the ‘90s, you would have seen the American Library Association’s series of promotional posters that paired a celebrity with his/her favorite book, and a simple command: READ.[...]
Oh to be eulogized by Patti Smith, Godmother of Punk, poet, best-selling author.
Her memoir, Just Kids, was born of a sacred deathbed vow to her first boyfriend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
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Once lost, this eight minute, very damaged, but very delightful silent version of Alice in Wonderland was restored several years ago by the British Film Institute. It is the first film adaptation of the 1865 Lewis Carroll classic.[...]
Every story has its architecture, its joints and crossbeams, ornaments and deep structure. The boundaries and scope of a story, its built environment, can determine the kind of story it is, tragedy, comedy, or otherwise. And every story also, it appears, generates a network—a web of weak and strong connections, hubs, and nodes.[...]
Say you were a fan of Steven Spielberg’s moving coming-of-age drama Empire of the Sun, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II and starring a young Christian Bale. Say you read the autobiographical novel on which that film is based, written by one J.G. Ballard.[...]
I am privileged to have grown up in a house filled with books. I don’t remember learning to read; I simply recall books—those that felt beneath me, those that seemed forever beyond comprehension. No one taught me how to read—by which I mean no one told me what to attend to in books, what to ignore; what to love, what to scorn.[...]
As you’ve probably noticed if you’re a regular reader of this site, we’re big fans of book illustration, particularly that from the form’s golden age—the late 18th and 19th century—before photography took over as the dominant visual medium.[...]
After the cult success of HBO’s gritty Baltimore crime drama, The Wire, the obsessiveness of the show’s fanbase became a running joke. Devoted Wire-lovers browbeat friends, family, and coworkers with the show’s many virtues.[...]
After his radical conversion to Christian anarchism, Leo Tolstoy adopted a deeply contrarian attitude. The vehemence of his attacks on the class and traditions that produced him were so vigorous that certain critics, now mostly obsolete, might call his struggle Oedipal.[...]