Just found: 150 new Mark Twain stories, written when the author was a young newspaperman in San Francisco.
Scientists confirmed recently that writers are more likely to struggle with mental illness (sometimes, as recently noted, due to syphilis). Since we’re so used to our alcoholic literary greats, and a smattering of suicidal ones (Plath, Woolf, Thompson, Wallace–and many more), this comes as no great surprise. On a happier note, a new study using fMRIs and MFA students has found that writers show different brain patterns than “normal people” just writing: in fact they resemble “expert” thinking patterns of all professionals doing what they’re best at–musicians, athletes, competitive Scrabble players. I don’t know if I’m happier to learn the fMRIs found no gaping black holes, or that MFAs do in fact teach you something.
So much to hate: The Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2008Bookshelves gone wild: Plant your tree of knowledge next to your literary playground.At the Vroman’s Bookstore blog, Patrick talks about why “books need more time,” and looks at how one book is getting more than the one week it was given.n+1 launches N1BR, the book review supplement to n+1. One of the editors is Nikil Saval, who appeared in our Year in Reading series in 2008.The earliest celluloid film (from 1888) can be found – where else – on YouTube. (From The List Universe’s “Top 10 Incredible Early Firsts In Photography“)As if it wasn’t already hard enough to get up for work in the morning: Our world may be a giant hologramJack Shafer responds to David Carr’s call to “invent an iTunes for News.”
Did you read a short story today? He did.Samantha Hunt scribbles on bar napkins.Deborah Eisenberg not only writes great stories; she also gives a great interview.A Peter Markus story – free! – at failbetter.com.A Ben Fountain story – free! – at The Barcelona Review.Bookslut chats up Elizabeth Crane.Death is dead (via Conversational Reading).