Here’s some rare footage of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera hanging out with Leon Trotsky and Natalia Sedova in 1938. Here’s an awesome quote from Kahlo: “I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.” And finally, here’s a picture of Frida that’s even more awesome than both of those things.
This essay by Mensah Demary for Electric Literature on Nas and the literary legitimacy of hip-hop is the best thing you’ll read this morning. “Nas is a world-class storyteller and practitioner of the narrative form,” Demary writes, “I don’t understand why there isn’t more discussion around hip-hop’s literary value among today’s millennial-and-boomer intelligentsia.”
So much to hate: The Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2008Bookshelves gone wild: Plant your tree of knowledge next to your literary playground.At the Vroman’s Bookstore blog, Patrick talks about why “books need more time,” and looks at how one book is getting more than the one week it was given.n+1 launches N1BR, the book review supplement to n+1. One of the editors is Nikil Saval, who appeared in our Year in Reading series in 2008.The earliest celluloid film (from 1888) can be found – where else – on YouTube. (From The List Universe’s “Top 10 Incredible Early Firsts In Photography“)As if it wasn’t already hard enough to get up for work in the morning: Our world may be a giant hologramJack Shafer responds to David Carr’s call to “invent an iTunes for News.”
“Courage is not a word I’d use to describe a lot of today’s fiction. Writing, M.F.A. students are often told, is a messy exploration of the self. The result can be a suffocating narcissism, a lack of interest in the kind of extrapolation and exploration that is necessary to both mathematics and literature.” At Page-Turner, Alexander Nazaryan urges young writers to learn math.
John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, was a dear friend (even protégé) of King Charles II. He was also a sharp-tongued poet who called out the same King on his bedroom behavior: “His sceptre and prick are of a length; / And she may sway the one who plays with th’other.”
“Summer morning is risen / and to even it wends / and still I’m in prison / without any friends.” Start your Monday off right with this piece from The Paris Review on John Clare, Christopher Smart, and the poetry of the asylum. Speaking of the madhouse, here’s a piece on Anne Sexton and her book Transformations.