I was recently reminded of Youtuber Jen Campbell’s excellent series on the history of fairy tales. Here’s her latest one, on the history of “Snow White.” Another neat Youtube project I found recently is Blank Verse Films, a video series for readings by contemporary poets. You can check that out here. Nick Ripatrazone had aContinue reading “Bookish Links — July 2018”
Joy Clarkson, of the podcast Speaking with Joy, is running an online book club for C. S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce! We’re five chapters in already, but the chapters are short so there’s time to catch up. More info here. Just in time for Bloomsday, The New York Times dropped this longform article about anContinue reading “Bookish Links — June 2018”
“In Brodsky’s view, politics was one level of human existence, but it was a low rung. The business of poetry, he thought, is to ‘indicate something more … the size of the whole ladder.’ He held that ‘art is not a better, but an alternative existence … not an attempt to escape reality but theContinue reading “Bookish Links — May 2018”
“In French, we were learning how to buy a train ticket; but in Latin we learnt … what happens when a city is sacked, what happens to the old people when the young are slaughtered before their eyes, and the terror of trying to escape and survive”: David Kern of the Circe Institute interviews Drs.Continue reading “Bookish Links — March 2018”
Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard went on a trek through Russia to pay homage to classic Russian authors and to collect stories from the locals. The resulting essay is quite fascinating. “We are not aiming for anything beyond the excitement of content and craft. The rest is logistics”: Naveen Kishore, the founder of Seagull Books,Continue reading “Bookish Links — February 2018”
“Dostoevsky’s gateless fortress also reminds us that, as a trained draughtsman, he thought in images no less than in words”: on the drawings and calligraphic scribbles that cover Fyodor Dostoevsky’s manuscripts.
“We believed that poetry, the opposite of propaganda, should encourage people to think and feel for themselves: it should appeal to their ‘generous instinct,’ as MacNeice said in the violent 1930s”: the New Statesman this lecture by Northern Irish poet Michael Longley recently published on the Troubles and the poetry that came out of it.
This month, classics professor Emily Wilson became the first woman to translate Homer’s Odyssey into English. This New York Times piece on the new perspective she brings to the text is fascinating. And speaking of women translators, here, ten of them discuss the women translators whose work they most admire. In this essay from Lit Hub,Continue reading “Bookish Links — November 2017”
By now, you’ve probably heard about Jill Bialosky’s memoir Poetry Will Save Your Life, for which she “borrowed” paragraphs from several other sources. By far, the best take on this whole debacle has come from Talya Zax at Forward. (HT: A. M. Juster) “Poetry is another level of complexity—communities creating a higher level of meaningContinue reading “Bookish Links — October 2017”
Here, classicist and translator Mary Beard answers that fool from The Guardian who thinks that learning foreign languages is useless. In honor of John Ashbery’s recent passing, Andrew Epstein from Locus Solus posted this about the time Ashbery sat for one of Andy Warhol’s “Screen Tests.” While we’re talking about Ashbery, here’s an article fromContinue reading “Bookish Links — September 2017”
In this letter to his then-fiancée Frances Blogg, a twenty-five-year-old G. K. Chesterton describes an ordinary day for him. His descriptions are characteristically wonderful: Out of the starless night of the Uncreated, that was before the stars, a soul begins to grope back to light. It gropes its way through strange, half-lighted chambers of Dreams,Continue reading “Bookish Links — August 2017”
This month, Philip Yancey’s Washington Post op-ed on “the death of reading” caused a lot of buzz. You can read that here. It also inspired some interesting responses, including this one by Cynthia Haven tying Yancey’s ideas into Czesław Miłosz’s idea that we are living in a time of “the complete undoing of essences, of eternalContinue reading “Bookish Links — July 2017”