Nathaniel Philbrick answers the question Why Read Moby-Dick: “the level of the language is like no other,” but also “it’s as close to being our American Bible as we have.”
Landays are traditional two-line folk poems, and they are particularly popular among Afghan women these days. Recently Poetry magazine dedicated an issue to the short verses, and Dowser has a behind-the-scenes look at how the issue was put together. Previously, New York Times Magazine caught up with some members of Mirman Baheerm, a women’s literary society based in Kabul.
"When the French would go to serve, they often said, Tenez!, the French word for 'take it,' meaning 'coming at you, heads up.' We preserve this custom of warning the opponent in our less lyrical way by stating the score just before we toss up the ball. It was the Italians who, having overheard the French make these sounds, began calling the game 'ten-ez' by association. A lovely detail in that it suggests a scene, a Florentine ear at the fence or entryway, listening." Whether it's David Foster Wallace or John Jeremiah Sullivan writing about tennis, I'm reading it. Another three-namer, Jonathan Russell Clark, reviewed The David Foster Wallace Reader for The Millions.
"Of all the work produced from this region no one observer gets the place or the people completely right," Rob Amberg writes about his 40 years spent photographing Appalachia. His photo essay "Up the Creek" is part of The Oxford American's "Portraying Appalachia" Symposium.
Don’t like the idea of reading e-books to your kids? Turns out you're not alone -- a new study reported in the Christian Science Monitor says (pdf) that seventy percent of parents who own iPads prefer to use print books when reading to their children. If you read these articles, you might have seen this coming.
The relationship between poetry and science is more inextricably (and historically) linked than you might imagine: "In the late 1700s, scientific treatises were written in poetic form because poetry was considered the language of intellect and the future."
Recommended Reading: On Carmen Balcells, “The Woman Behind Latin America’s Literary Boom,” in The New Yorker. Her authors called her “Big Mama” after Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s queen of Macondo. She worked with many of the authors included on our Latin American Nobel Candidates list.