The latest addition to Emma Garman’s excellent column, “Feminize Your Canon,” in the Paris Review features Mariama Bâ, one of the first black African women to achieve international renown as an author. Upon publishing So Long a Letter, “Bâ, who had been a women’s rights activist since the sixties, was suddenly hailed as the pioneering feminist voice of a continent.”
“The notebook is where our interior world makes contact with our exterior world; where our instinct for creation is first made material. Our notebooks are our first messy attempts at self-expression, and the ways in which we express ourselves are changing every day.” Sarah Gerard explores the life of the notebook in an essay for Hazlitt. Pair with our own Hannah Gersen‘s look at other methods writers use to keep their ideas straight, from calendars to collages.
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?