August 15, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Kafka cameos in a Charmin toilet paper commercial; one of those incontinent bears is a fan, apparently.
“But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the Führer wished it. That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible.” In a 1944 letter, George Orwell explains his reasons for writing 1984.
The literally question is, in fact, more complicated than it seems; its misuse (this is known as a contronym) has been going on for centuries.
Pioneering Swedish crime writer Maj Sjöwall says contemporary Scandinavian thrillers are are “not about police work and crime, but very much about love and relationships—like girls’ books.”
June 12, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
January 24, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
It was all the rage! On the eighteenth-century literary vogue for suicides.
“It’s pretty much all hopeless,” and other advice on writing a memoir. (Personally, I would say: throw in a few recipes.)
Nineteen Eighty-Four has never been dramatized by BBC Radio 4 before now. Why? Maybe this has something to do with it: “Orwell partly based the book’s torture area, Room 101, on a meeting room in the building he remembered from his time at the BBC.”
“The day will come when there’ll be private publishing houses in the Soviet Union.” A previously unpublished interview with Joseph Brodsky.
January 22, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
Listen to contemporary masters such as Charles Baxter and Siri Hustvedt read ten Sherwood Anderson stories.
“Most of the topography turns out to be relatively straightforward. The Ministry of Truth, where Winston Smith sits falsifying back-numbers of the Times, is the University of London’s Senate House building in Malet Street. Big Brother’s statue in Trafalgar Square, now rechristened ‘Victory Square,’ adorns the plinth previously reserved for Nelson, while the waxworks museum on the square’s eastern side, where visitors queue to inspect tableaux of military atrocities, is the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields put to sinister propagandist use.” Mapping 1984.
“So far the dwarves haven’t committed any unsalvageable drafting errors or done anything that might jeopardize the validity of the contract.” A lawyer examines the dwarves’ contract from The Hobbit.
“Write drunk,” and other (questionable?) advice from famous writers.