Last Friday was T.S. Eliot’s birthday, and to mark the occasion, Sadie Stein looked back on his 1965 Times obituary. As it turns out, it uses a phrase — now obscure — that was popularized by Nancy Mitford in the anthology Noblesse Oblige.
One of the more common questions that comes up in The Nervous Breakdown’s self-interviews is what the subjects consider to be the hardest part of the writing life. The most recent edition sees Jac Jemc, whose latest came out last week, admit that time is what foils her: “Everything takes longer than I think it will, more drafts than I think it will.” This might be a good time to look back on some earlier examples of the form.
“Dear Mrs D, Thanks for your homework. Your idea of writing a Christmas ghost story was a good one, but it’s not really the kind of thing I tend to do — it’s a little bit too genre for my tastes. Try Kevin, who sits next to me. He loves that stuff.” Over at McSweeney’s, Nick Hornby advises his son on excuses for failing to hand in his English homework, excuses which Hornby learned are acceptable during a thirty-year career in journalism, books, and film.
Espresso Book Machines are coming to Barnes and Nobles stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, allowing customers to “make a physical print book of a hard-to-find book, a public domain title or self publish a book.” Espresso Book Machines also win our prize for “Most Misleading Machine Name.”
The new book by Alain de Botton, How to Think More About Sex, addresses exactly what you’d think it would based on a glance at its title. According to de Botton, the word “sexy,” at base, refers to people or things which mimic our deeply-held values. At Brain Pickings, you can read more excerpts.