Why should a college student major in English? It’s a question with hundreds of answers, but one of the most common is that reading, more so than other activities, makes you a better person. It sharpens your mind and hones your sense of morality. But what if this comforting idea — as close as you can get to a conviction held by all writers — has little to no basis in reality?
All the world is about to become a stage. The Globe Theatre will be performing Hamlet in every country on Earth starting on April 23, 2014, Shakespeare's 450th birthday. The 205-nation tour should take two years. This is one of many Shakespearean anniversary celebrations including contemporary authors covering his classics.
"Motherhood remains more of a choice for some than others, and yet our varying degrees of agency are rarely acknowledged by the mainstream narrative upheld by the vast majority of what has (disparagingly) been referred to as 'mommy lit'." An essay in Buzzfeed about pregnancy, queerness, and three upcoming memoirs about motherhood (and non-motherhood). Pair with: an essay about motherhood as muse.
"If Gothic literature had a family tree, its twisted gnarled branches chock-full of imperiled, swooning heroines and mysterious monks, with ghosts who sit light on the branches, and Frankenstein’s monster who sits heavy, with troops of dwarves, and winking nuns, and stunted, mostly nonflammable babies, at its base would sit Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto." Carrie Frye writes for Longreads about the history and personality behind the first Gothic novel, which turns 250 this year.
"But the civil rights movement didn’t stop in Selma." In a follow-up to March, his award-winning graphic novel trilogy, Congressman John Lewis will have a new series published later this year by Abrams ComicArt, according to Time. Run, which will also be a multi-book series, will pick up where March left off. Pair with: The Millions's review of March.