“Repressed homosexual yearnings certainly would account for some of the more striking of [Franz] Kafka’s darker preoccupations,” writes John Banville in his investigation of the writer’s personal life and psychology.
“Per one estimate, 96 of the 154 sonnets credited to Shakespeare contain rhymes that have since been lost to linguistic history.” The Atlantic writes on why we should be laughing more when we read Shakespeare. If you’d prefer to revere him, here’s a piece on Shakespeare as God.
Try out our new “Random Post” button below the search boxes on the sidebar.CJR unveils new software in the quest to stamp out “gotcha journalism.”* Charlie Gibson, September 11, 2008:Question: “Have you ever met a foreign head of state?”Gotcha Quotient: 95Reason: First of all, foreign policy-related questions are incredibly unfair…Tennis reprints David Foster Wallace’s feature essay from its September 1996 issue.Perhaps not the most useful link in these tight times: “The Most Expensive Things I could Find On Amazon.com” (Note: several of these are out of stock. Coincidence?)None of you saw this coming: Rapper Coolio to release his own cookbook.Cindy Sherman’s famous librarian “Untitled Film Still” fetched $900k at a recent auction.
The release date for Thomas Pynchon’s new novel is three weeks away, and to mark the occasion, Boris Kachka runs through a quick biography of the perpetually mysterious author. Among other things, Kachka points out that Pynchon resides in a fairly odd neighborhood for a recluse to choose to live in — the Upper West Side. (Previously: “Thomas Pynchon to Publish New Novel” and “New Thomas Pynchon Teaser.”)
In her short history of executioners, Stassa Edwards notes that the decision to replace “the traditional punishment” of drowning people “in a sack in a local river” was actually quite pragmatic: it was “more economical” to go with a simple beheading.
“I’ve never actually read the books that I’ve blurbed.” – Nick Tosches in BookforumThat terrific Kenneth Tynan piece on Johnny Carson that Tingle was looking for.Want to bone up on philosophy, but can’t quite find the time? Try Squashed Philosophers.The CS Monitor gives capsule reviews of the NBCC fiction finalists, in case you didn’t get to any of them.O, Brother, Where Art Thou? Oh Right, Everywhere: Discarded titles for George Orwell’s 1984 at McSweeney’s (via Kottke).David Sedaris’ recommended reading list