Chinese poet Su Hui composed an 841-character array in the fourth century that can be read forward, backward, horizontally, diagonally, and vertically. The poem, entitled “Xuanji Tu,” can be read in 2,848 different ways as a result.
“I’ve come to understand that I’ll rarely experience that first rush of discovery again, and perhaps that’s the problem with re-reading. It reminds us both of where we’ve been and where we can’t go again.” Sarah Seltzer wonders why do we reread books as children but not as adults? Pair with Lisa Levy‘s essay on “The Pleasures and Perils of Rereading.”
“He says you should choose a book narrated by a person of the same gender as their primary master, played at average volume on an in-home listening device such as the Alexa-driven Echo device.” Cesar Milan is curating a list of titles for Amazon’s new Audible for Dogs initiative, reports USA Today. On the list so far: Pride and Prejudice, The Wind in the Willows, and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (via Book Riot).
Nikil Saval isn’t the only n +1 editor with a new book out. Through his magazine’s publishing arm, cofounder Benjamin Kunkel is releasing a play, Buzz, which comes on the heels of last month’s Utopia or Bust. At Full Stop, William Harris reviews Buzz, calling it “the type of play that propels itself by introducing the indefinite edges of a mystery.” It may also be a good time to read Kunkel’s Year in Reading entry.
There are many things you could call William S. Burroughs, who was born a hundred years ago this month, but Will Self prefers to call him “the original junkie,” a title which reflects the author’s hedonistic background and the strangeness of books like Naked Lunch. Self takes a close look at Burroughs’s novel-cum-memoir, Junky, in The Guardian.