Victor Hugo, when asked about the other parts of Dante’s Divine Comedy that aren’t the widely-read Inferno, had this to say: “The human eye was not made to look upon so much light, and when the poem becomes happy, it becomes boring.” Ouch. Is this why so many of us haven’t even read Dante, despite his being a kind of cultural icon?
“You don’t feel that most of the people in these incidents do not like black people, but simply are a product of their white supremacy and are exercising it on you without caution, care, or thought.” Solange Knowles wrote an essay and you need to read it. See also: our review of Wild Hundreds.
Spooky! The good folks over at The New York Times understand that there is only so much time left to bask in the eerie Halloween vibe, so they’ve put together this helpful list of the latest and best in horror fiction to help you find something suitably scary to read.
Louis Menand, Thessaly La Force, Amelia Lester, and David Haglund have come together to discuss the influence of literary powerhouse and cultural icon Joan Didion in The New Yorker’s Out Loud Podcast. Our own Michael Bourne calls Didion America’s Truth Teller in his review of her biography.
Out this week: Gratitude by Oliver Sacks; And Yet by Christopher Hitchens; The Lost Garden by Ang Li; and a new edition of Drum Taps: The Complete Civil War Poems by Walt Whitman. For more on these and other new titles, go read our Great Second-Half 2015 Book Preview.