“I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons – a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth – how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t read.”
All posts in books
i don’t even know why i did that
i guess i thought it was one of those little ice cream cakes
you know the kind that they shape to look like cars or whatever
that shit was disgusting
hey do we have any ice cream cakes though
Dinah Fried’s Fictitious Dishes are wonderful. This one is Catcher in the Rye. “When I’m out somewhere, I generally just eat a Swiss cheese sandwich and a malted milk. It isn’t much but you get quite a lot of vitamins in the malted milk. H. V. Caulfield. Holden Viatamin Caulfield.”
I’m sure my son will need this in middle school before too long: an easy to way to add citations to a document via Google Scholar. Simply Google the article/book title in Scholar, click ‘cite’ on the search results page and copy the MLA, APA, or Chicago citing into your document. Thanks to Afternoon Snooze Button for the tip!
Visit Brain Pickings to see the beautiful illustration of Barthes’ dislikes, also beautifully done by Lynore Avery.
On the secrecy and challenges around producing and releasing the Salinger documentary:
Mr. Weinstein snapped up “Salinger” quickly after Mr. Salerno showed it to him at an unusual 7:30 a.m. screening on Feb. 24, the day of the Academy Awards, according to people familiar with the film, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements. On his way to the ceremony he sealed a deal for the film that is part of a three-prong strategy, including an “American Masters” TV segment on PBS in January and an oral history in book form that Simon & Schuster is to publish in September in tandem with the film’s theatrical release.
It should be noted that Matthew Salinger, J.D.’s son, claims no one in the inner circle for the last 40 years has cooperated with the film. Should be interesting to watch how this unfolds. Read more at the NYT.
Ernest Hemingway’s tips for writing fiction: “Don’t describe an emotion–make it.”
“Besides books immediately relevant to Sagan’s work as a scientist and educator in cosmology and astrophysics, he took great care to also touch on history, philosophy, religion, the arts, social science, and psychology.”
“…my 30-second plot summary manages to exclude everything that puts The Brothers Karamazov among the world’s great novels (such as the fact that the butler did it, in part, because of an argument about the moral implications of the non-existence of God). But sometimes summaries, even the most reductive and unfair ones, can be revealing. And what a plot synopsis reveals is how Dostoevsky managed to hang a book of profound questions on some of the most hackneyed conventions of fiction: the murder mystery, the love triangle, the courtroom drama.”
One can hardly overstate the importance of Beckett’s decision to begin writing in French, but it’s interesting that he wrote his first French poems at almost exactly the same moment that he identified critical flaws in his character—the moment he decided he should try to be a nicer guy. The importance of all that soul-searching cannot be discounted, and a striking illustration of what it meant for his art can be found in a series of letters written early in 1938, after he was stabbed by a pimp named Prudent. The wound was serious, but from the first Beckett was determined to avoid any thought of vengeance. The worst he said of Prudent was that he seemed “more cretinous than malicious.” Later he reported that the two of them had “exchanged amiabilities.” Prudent apologized and Beckett said, “Not at all.” Later still he wrote, “Prudent got off with 2 months, to my relief. He was ably defended, the plea of blind drunkenness skillfully advanced, and I represented as the aggressor.”
“I have got to the stage now with mr toss that I have only reached with Chaucer and Dryden, not even with Milton, that of VIOLENTLY WISHING that the man WERE IN FRONT OF ME, so that I could be DEMONIACALLY RUDE to him about his GONORRHEIC RUBBISH, and end up by WALKING ON HIS FACE and PUNCHING HIS PRIVY PARTS.”
You might have seen this 1996 clip from Charlie Rose, featuring a particularly smooth David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen, but I’d like to focus on Mark Leyner here for a moment, in order to encourage you to check out his new book, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack. Back in 1996, they were talking about the future of fiction in the entertainment age, and in many ways, that conversation hasn’t aged one bit. Luckily, Leyner is emerging again as one of the preeminent satirists of our day, and Adam Sternbergh’s NYT piece on him is a great primer if you’re not already familiar. An excerpt:
“It’s strange, of course, to watch that clip now, knowing what we know. One of these authors ended up committing suicide. One ended up on the cover of Time. And one of them — Leyner, the most intense and, in a certain sense, significant young prose writer in America — published one more novel in 1997, then stepped away from novel-writing altogether. Now, after a not-entirely-planned 15-year-hiatus from fiction, he returns this month with a new novel, “The Sugar Frosted Nutsack.” But he’s re-emerging into a very different culture; one that in his absence has become, oddly, even more grotesquely Leyneresque — so much so that you might wonder (he certainly has) if there is a place left in it for Mark Leyner.”
Watch the video, read the book, read the article. Happy Monday.