Does literature belong on the streets? Thanks to some forward-thinking initiatives like the Coffee Sleeves Conversation at Coffee House Press and the Chicago-based project “Poem While You Wait,” (in which poets stationed around the city produce original, on-demand poems for five dollars a piece) literature is finding its way to the masses.
"People who grew up loving From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler and Night at the Museum can now get pretty close to fulfilling their dream of spending the night surrounded by classic books and artworks." Condé Nast Traveler reports on the hotel at Gladstone's Library in Wales in Hawarden, Flintshire, where guests can sleep in one of 26 rooms with access to the stacks until 10 p.m.
Why should a college student major in English? It’s a question with hundreds of answers, but one of the most common is that reading, more so than other activities, makes you a better person. It sharpens your mind and hones your sense of morality. But what if this comforting idea -- as close as you can get to a conviction held by all writers -- has little to no basis in reality?
George Saunders delivered a little publicized convocation at Syracuse University this year. His main advice to the class of 2013 — be kind. "And so, a prediction, and my heartfelt wish for you: as you get older, your self will diminish and you will grow in love. YOU will gradually be replaced by LOVE," he said.
The short shelf of books written by Jane Austen has been recently supplemented by many imaginative efforts--Jane Austen as an amateur detective, and several works depicting Austen characters (or Jane herself) as a vampire, a zombie or some other Gothic monster. So what's next? Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James is Pride and Prejudice continued.