A black quarterback refuses to stand during the national anthem—a song, incidentally, written by a “patriot” who was also a “bigot” and slaveowner, “vehemently opposed to abolition.” The quarterback declares that he will not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.[...]
Briefly noted: Over on Spotify you can stream a classic audio book of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online).[...]
When we invoke the names of famous artists of the past, we refer to their most hallowed work—Orson Welles simultaneously means Citizen Kane, for example, or War of the Worlds, and H.G. Wells means The Time Machine or… War of the Words.[...]
So maybe you didn’t take a class on James Joyce’s Ulysses in college with a wizened professor from Dublin who explained in excruciating detail, week after week, why the famed modernist writer is the greatest novelist that ever lived and also some kind of secular sage and conduit of the collective genius of humanity.[...]
The literary voice of Virginia Woolf comes to us from a life lived fully in the service of literature, a life devoted, we might say, to the “craft of writing.” That earnest expression gets tossed around innocently enough in various grammatical forms.[...]
Edgar Allan Poe: anyone with an interest in scary stories—and not just scary, but deeply, whole-other-level scary stories—quickly learns the name. Presumably they also learn the proper spelling of the name: “Allan” with two As, not “Allen” with an E.[...]
Go to a bookstore.
Tell the clerk you’re an aspiring writer.
You’ll be directed to a shelf—possibly an entire section—brimming with prompts, exercises, formulae, and Jedi mind tricks. Round out your purchase with a journal, a fancy pen, or an inspirational quote in bookmark form.
Ray Bradbury had it all thought out. Behind his captivating works of science fiction, there were subtle theories about what literature was meant to do. The retro clip above takes you back to the 1970s and it shows Bradbury giving a rather intriguing take on the role of literature and art.[...]
Image by Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons
Think you know literature inside and out? If you’re feeling confident, then we’d suggest taking the literary matching quizzes that the great Strand Bookstore (located in New York City, of course) has given to its prospective employees since the 1970s.