“[L]ike many, many other rules in the English language, it turns out this one is built on a foundation of lies.” That whole ‘i before e, except after c rule? Bunk. Which you would already know, if you were a true spelling bee hopeful.
Recommended Listening: Ben Lerner stops by The New Yorker’s fiction podcast to discuss “Woven, Sir,” a story by John Berger.
Recommended Reading: Laura Miller on Mario Vargas Llosa and cultural declinism.
The new year ushered in more than soon-to-be-broken resolutions. This January 1, a vast cache of works released in 1923 entered the public domain—including tens of thousands of books. Here’s how to download them for free, and here’s what all this means for publishers and readers alike. Happy hunting.
For whatever reason, the Zippo lighter has earned a place as an icon of Americana, a symbol of everything simple and reliable in the country. At the Ploughshares blog, Nancy McCabein pays a visit to the Zippo Museum, punctuating her account with quotes from works of literature that feature the lighter.