The World Is Upside Down, and Other News
February 18, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- It’s time to reconsider in earnest that elusive, anxious thing: the Great American Novel.
- Why do we love maps of imaginary places? Umberto Eco has some ideas. (And some fine maps of imaginary places.)
- Relatedly, how did the north come to be the default direction for the tops of maps? It’s the thirty-fifth anniversary of McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map of the World, which famously flipped things around so that south faced up.
- Roger Angell at ninety-three: “I’m feeling great. Well, pretty great, unless I’ve forgotten to take a couple of Tylenols in the past four or five hours, in which case I’ve begun to feel some jagged little pains shooting down my left forearm and into the base of the thumb.”
- A personal ad from a seventeenth-century British alchemist might read something like this: “When I’m not busy attempting to turn various substances into gold, I like to have Dutch masters paint portraits of me in my workshop.”