Was Writing Developed by Poets, Priests, our Accountants?

Fun read: As a writer of nonfiction, I can’t help but love writing’s roots in enumerating concrete objects and reality itself. The textual analyst part of me loves how Mesopotamian tokens were wrapped in clay envelopes after being impressed on the soft exterior – perhaps clay-wrapped tokens of meaning give rise to the notion that……

Wizarding School Locations from Harry Potter (or Love Letters to My Kids)

“The map above shows the locations of the 8 Wizarding schools that have been revealed so far, that exist in the Harry Potter universe.” Source: Wizarding School Locations from Harry Potter – Brilliant Maps I’ve always loved maps and map-making. As a kid, I filled notebooks with imaginary island countries or continents (and their cities) on……

“Reading of many books is a distraction.”

Keep in mind… Focus Fracas – The Chronicle of Higher Education: “We talk a lot about distraction, but the way we tend to talk about it suffers from historical amnesia. Since the invention of writing, people have warned about its supposedly harmful effects. Socrates thought it would weaken readers’ memories. ‘Be careful,’ Seneca warned, ‘lest……

Michigan Bookstore Offers Refunds For “Go Set a Watchman”

“Brilliant Books compared Lee’s new book to James Joyce’s Stephen Hero, a book that was never pitched as a mainstream novel. “Hero was initially rejected, and Joyce reworked it into the classic Portrait,” the store explained in its statement. “Hero was eventually released as an academic piece for scholars and fans—not as a new ‘Joyce……

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‘Go Set a First Draft’

“In one of her last interviews, conducted in 1964, Lee said: “I think the thing that I most deplore about American writing … is a lack of craftsmanship. It comes right down to this — the lack of absolute love for language, the lack of sitting down and working a good idea into a gem……

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The problems with ebook subscription models

Way more people watch TV and movies and listen to music than read books or magazines. That’s why we’re starting to see that Netflix is Netflix, Spotify is Spotify, and ebook and magazine subscription sites are, well, something else. Source: What Scribd’s growing pains mean for the future of digital content subscription models » Nieman……

Writing Is Dead

Beautiful (and horribly depressing) read: It is not just that people with degrees in English generally go to work for corporations (which of course they do); the point is that the company, in its most cutting-edge incarnation, has become the arena in which narratives and fictions, metaphors and metonymies and symbol networks at their most……

Keeping the Canon

The older I get, the more I want to share the joys of “the canon” and liberal arts in general. Every generation feels that its world is slipping into the morass of public, but our Amazon reviews and Buzzfeed listicles don’t make me feel any more assured that we’re not… Although serious writers continue to……

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Setting Fire to the Past

Despicable: Ancient Manuscripts In Timbuktu Reduced To Ashes : The Two-Way : NPR: “‘These priceless manuscripts are my identity, they’re my history. They are documents about Islam, history, geography, botany, poetry. They are close to my heart and they belong to the whole world,’ the mayor said.” Fundamentalists in Mali aren’t the first or the……

The Hobbit’s Bad Review

One of the best reviews I’ve read in a long while… ‘The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey,’ by Peter Jackson – NYTimes.com: “Over all, though, the shiny hyper-reality robs Middle-earth of some of its misty, archaic atmosphere, turning it into a gaudy high-definition tourist attraction. But of course it will soon be overrun with eager……

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