Recommended reading: Year in Reading alum Leslie Jamison writes about the pleasures and “democratic awe” of Whitman‘s Specimen Days. Pair with our own Michael Bourne‘s “Embracing the Other I Am: or, How Walt Whitman Saved My Life.”
Up until 1999, Italian college students were required to write longform theses, which explains why Umberto Eco felt the need to write a guide to completing one. Eco being Eco, however, the guide went on to become a classic with many applications. At Page-Turner, Hua Hsu explains why the author’s writing manual is also a guide to life. You could also read Hillary Kelly on Eco’s Confessions of a Young Novelist.
The latest in virtual author appearances, an especially useful option for literary venues in the snowy midwest during winter: Hannah Tinti on Skype (audio and video) in Minneapolis via the Magers & Quinn "Books & Bars" Book Club series.
Legally sampling songs on a hit record is astoundingly expensive. As Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola note in Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Licensing, the Beastie Boys would have lost $19.8 million dollars because of Paul's Boutique. (via BoingBoing)
Geoff Dyer is fond of taking potshots at literary academics. He devotes considerable time in one of his novels to a professor whose speech at a conference goes off the rails. Which is why it’s odd that, in mid-July, the author showed up at a conference devoted to -- what else? -- his own work. (It's apropos to point out here that our own Mark O'Connell wrote a great essay for Slate about Dyer.)
In remembrance of Maurice Sendak: a look at his life in pictures, a video of Sendak speaking on his 80th birthday, a 2006 profile from The New Yorker, a 2012 interview with Stephen Colbert, an illustrated conversation between Sendak and Art Spiegelman, and a touch of comedy from The Onion.
From one great publication to another: The Atlantic gushes over the "phenomenal" New York Review of Books.