Is this the best Christmas card in history? Several members of the Paris Review staff received cards that bore the following William Gaddis quote: “‘Merry Christmas,’ the man threatened.” (h/t Justin Alvarez)
“Perhaps postcards best capture a nostalgia inherent to the passerby.” Our own Bruna Dantas Lobato writes about literary postcards and how we imbue images with our own meanings for Ploughshares. You could also read about images that inspire authors from another one of our staffers, Edan Lepucki.
Writers of facial stage direction, beware: it is not actually the epitome of irony that smiling and crying can seem so oddly similar. At Aeon, Princeton professor Michael Graziono argues that the seemingly opposite gestures may just share evolutionary origins. (Pair with: Darwinist theories about “the evolution of the novel.”)
“Just because I’m a woman, don’t assume that I automatically empathize with a brooding 20-something Elizabeth-Bennett-type protagonist. (Trust me, I don’t.) This doesn’t mean I can’t design … a biography on Susan Sontag—or, for that matter, a spy novel, a political satire, or a memoir about a Japanese game show host set in outer space. I can do all of these things. Because it’s my job to design book covers.” Over at The Literary Hub, a cover designer wonders why she’s always offered a particular type of book.
Beasts of the Southern Wild director Benh Zeitlin discusses the lessons he’s learned over the past year. He also gives a shout out to Underground, a film by Serbian director Emir Kusturica. Elsewhere, Zeitlin shares some of the music, books, and movies he’s been enjoying of late.