“Literature is the record we have of the conversation between those of us now alive on earth and everyone who’s come before and will come after, the cumulative repository of humanity’s knowledge, wonder, curiosity, passion, rage, grief and delight. It’s as useless as a spun-sugar snowflake and as practical as a Swiss Army knife.” Dana Stevens and Adam Kirsch discuss whether literature should be considered useful.
“Will excessive drinking unleash your creative energy? Who can say?” Over at The Toast, intrepid cataloger Ren Arcamone has compiled a list of things you could be doing instead of writing your thesis. Go read it instead of writing your thesis. Continue the stay of essay execution and check out Mallory Ortberg’s hilarious (and helpful) guide to some common signs that you might be dying in a Victorian novel.
Ever been curious about the literary scene down under? For the next week, you can grab seven Australian literary journals/collections as part of a pay-what-you-want eBook bundle courtesy of Tomely. The journals include Voiceworks, Kill Your Darlings, The Review of Australian Fiction, The Lifted Brow, Tincture, Sincere Forms of Flattery, and Willow Pattern. All of the journals will work on Kindles, iPads, Nooks, PCs, etc…
Peter Mendelsund writes for the Paris Review about how we see, or think we see, fictional characters. “Characters are ciphers. … We are ever reviewing and reconsidering our mental portraits of characters in novels: amending them, backtracking to check on them, updating them when new information arises.”