At O, Isabelle Allende discusses her newest book, A Long Petal of the Sea, with Elena Nicolaou, and how the world’s inexplicable nature drove her writing. “I grew up with the idea that the world is a very mysterious place,” Allende says, “and there are many dimensions of reality. If you open your heart and your mind, your heart is enriched by everything we cannot explain and control, but we see the evidence.”
Sudoku getting too easy, you say? Try making (or, rather, writing) one instead, like this nine-paneled comic that works across, down, or on a diagonal.
You may have heard that the pioneering jazz musician Ornette Coleman died last week at the age of eighty-five. As a composer, he was known for his odd melodies, which reliably tested the boundaries of what jazz could accomplish. At The Paris Review Daily, two musicians and writers look back on his legacy.
In literature and film, there are epic heroes, Campbellian heroes, romantic heroes and tragic heroes. Less well-known is the Byronic hero, whose personality is rakish, extravagant and otherwise similar to Lord Byron. At the Ploughshares blog, a literary blueprint of the archetype. You could also read Jennifer Egan on Byron’s Don Juan.
Pew Internet finds that tablet and e-reader ownership nearly doubled over the holiday gift-giving period 29% of Americans now own at least one of these digital reading devices. Meanwhile, the content producers keep rushing in, with NBC Universal launching an e-book arm and Apple’s textbook scheme netting 350,000 downloads in three days.
It’s funny and fitting that Madame Proust, in a letter now on display at the Morgan Library, implored her son to share persnickety details about what time he got up in the morning. Another thing the exhibition, which celebrates the hundredth anniversary of Swann’s Way, reveals: early drafts of the book used “biscottes” in place of “madeleine.”