When it comes to the pleasures of reading out loud, Michael Robbins isn’t so much interested in “why we find certain sounds in certain combinations pleasing or disturbing,” but he does enjoy “the hows.”
In the latest entry in By Heart, the Atlantic series we’ve written about a few times, Ben Marcus (who recently came out with a new book) reflects on the true meaning of the word “Kafkaesque.” Marcus interprets Kafka’s “A Message from the Emperor” as a parable about the difficulty of real human connection. (Related: there’s now a Kafka video game.)
Errol Flynn was unique. Quick with a quip, the Australian-born silver screen swashbuckler (and current Tumblr heartthrob) had such immortal lines as, “I like my whiskey old and my women young.” Fans have long been drawn to the actor’s incredibly interesting life—much of which was relayed in his posthumously published autobiography My Wicked, Wicked Ways—so the Cuban National Archive’s uncovering of previously lost footage from his film Cuban Story should excite many of them.
Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban, sits down for an interview about Miami’s place in literature. This year, Miami’s enjoyed the literary spotlight quite a bit: at the National Book Awards ceremony, Books & Books proprietor Mitchell Kaplan took home the Literarian Award. Likewise, the Miami Book Fair International wrapped up another successful year on November 18th.
As the lone mental hospital in The Magic Mountain referred to by its real name, the Hotel Schatzalp is a holy site for many Thomas Mann scholars and fans. At Page-Turner, Sally McGrane writes about the modern hotel, which employs a staff trained to deal with the occasional “literary fanatic.” (It also might be a good time to read Matthew Gallaway on Death in Venice.)