“A Canadian author, a farmer, and a First Nations teenager went fishing. The farmer mostly sat there quietly while the author and the teenager tried to find common ground, even though the gulf between them felt massive.” A Canadian literary scene joke book.
Though the world may never know whether reading the greats makes you a better person, according to a recent study, those who take an active interest in the arts are more likely to be altruistic.
“Their relative obscurity is what makes their fans so passionate — these are voices that never quite found the right audience when they were alive.” Longreads has a reading list of forgotten women writers, including Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Anita Brookner, whom we profiled in our own pages last year.
“In the supermarket of names, Gary is a box of day-old donuts on the grab bag table, sitting among the names favored by rising immigrants groups, fearless parents, and people who should be prosecuted for Naming Under the Influence. We are six behind Talon, which I don’t even think is a name. We are nine behind Issac, which I am certain is misspelled. We are forty-three behind Princeton, which won’t look good on your boy’s application to Dartmouth.” Gary Sernovitz writes about Google, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang,” and the letter G at n+1.
In the sixties, when he was a student at Cambridge, Stephen Greenblatt came across a book of Persian art. The book inspired a lifelong interest in the region, which in part explains why, after the University of Tehran invited him to give the keynote address at the first annual Iranian Shakespeare Congress, he packed his bags and headed over to the Middle East. In The New York Review of Books, the Harvard professor and Swerve author writes about his experience.