“Our Aesthetic Categories, though, argues on behalf of aesthetic experiences that aren’t quite so awe-inspiring or rare. Sitting before your computers or walking the streets of your town, you don’t encounter beautiful things as frequently as you do interesting, momentarily arresting ones—and as for the sublime, when was the last time you experienced catharsis? Instead, [Sianne] Ngai considers our ‘minor’ aesthetic experiences, the ones that make up our day.” In the era of adorkable and nerd chic, Slate looks at Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting.
Brooklyn Poets wants to build The Bridge, a social networking site aimed at connecting student poets with mentor poets. The idea is that students could find mentors for less money than a workshop or writing program might cost, and that mentors would be able to get paid without having to locate a hard-to-find teaching job. You can get a fuller idea of the plan on the organization’s IndieGoGo page.
What are college freshman reading? NPR shares a few selections from around the country. A recent study found that “The list of readings continues to be dominated by recent, trendy, and intellectually unchallenging books.” Our own Nick Ripatrazone writes about the difference between teaching high school and college students.
In last week’s Brandeis commencement speech, Leon Wieseltier argued that never has there been a moment in American life when the humanities were respected less but needed more. “In recent years I have come to regard a commitment to the humanities as nothing less than an act of intellectual defiance, of cultural dissidence,” he said.
Are you reading this because you’re procrastinating? Do you happen to be a writer? We thought so. At The Atlantic, Megan McArdle explores why writers are the worst procrastinators. Hint: It’s because we have a bad case of imposter syndrome. This isn’t the only theory on why we procrastinate, though.
If for some unspeakable reason you didn’t follow my advice when I urged you to subscribe to the VQR over a year ago, then perhaps you need more convincing. Enter: Ron Charles. He’s got a brief preview of the magazine’s Winter Issue, which hit shelves this week, and which contains an essay based on Natasha Trethewey’s Library of Congress speech.