Hot dumplings! Marinated apples! A barrel of cucumbers!
Want to add some quick color to your performance or film? Slip in a quick non-narrative vendor scene. No need for character or plot development. The audience will be quite content with the hawkers’ musical recitation of their wares.
I’ve been thinking lately about how and why utopian fiction shades into dystopian. Though we sometimes imagine the two modes as inversions of each other, perhaps they lie instead on a continuum, one along which all societies slide, from functional to dysfunctional.[...]
The film industry knows that moviegoers love watching geniuses at work, and they may have known it for more than a century, ever since the release of 1909’s Edgar Allan Poe above.[...]
One outcome of the upcoming “Brexit” vote, we’re told, might free the UK to pursue its own unfettered destiny, or might plunge it into isolationist decline.[...]
As a young college student, I spent hours wandering through my university’s library, looking in a state of awe at the number of books contained therein by writers whose names I knew or who seemed vaguely familiar, and by hundreds, thousands, more I’d never heard of.[...]
“You know how earlier we were talking about Dostoyevsky?” asks David Brent, Ricky Gervais’ iconically insecure paper-company middle-manager central to the BBC’s original The Office.[...]
It is widely accepted among scholars that the first few books of the Bible—including, of course, Genesis, with its creation myths and flood story—are a patchwork of several different sources, pieced together by so-called redactors.[...]
Online archives, galleries, and libraries offer Vegas-sized buffets for the senses (well two of them, anyway). All the art and photography your eyes can take in, all the music and spoken word recordings your ears can handle.[...]
What does Kafka mean to you? To me he has always represented the triumph of smallness, which is no slight; the exemplary figure of what Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari called “a minor literature.[...]
Ta-Nehisi Coates has been riding a wave so high these past few years that most honest writers would confess to at least some small degree of envy. And yet anyone—writer or reader—who appreciates Coates’ rigorous scholarship, stylistic mastery, and enthralling personal voice must also admit that the accolades are well-earned.[...]