The Paris Review Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Anton Chekhov’

Read Chekhov for a More Empathetic 2014, and Other News

January 15, 2014 | by

Chekhov

He’s here to help. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

  • As January reaches its halfway mark and resolutions begin to waver, how is one to guarantee a year of self-betterment? By reading Chekhov.
  • The Argentine poet Juan Gelman is dead, at eighty-three.
  • What do Willy Loman and Gregor Samsa have in common? They’re both drummers.
  • Apple’s new ad for the iPad Air is full of leaden rhetoric about the glory of the humanities. Robin Williams does the voice-over, quoting himself from Dead Poets Society: “We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.” And only with the latest and sleekest in consumer electronics can that passion find its truest expression.
  • Alaric Hunt, the recent winner of a detective-novel writing contest, penned his book in prison, where he’s serving a life sentence for murder.

 

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Substituting Russian Literature for Sex Ed, and Other News

September 20, 2013 | by

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Film still from Anna Karenina (1935).

 

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Flannery O’Connor’s Peacocks, and Other News

August 12, 2013 | by

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  • Anonymouth is a computer program designed to strip text of stylistic markers and, in the words of The New Republic, “turn famous writers into anonymous hacks,” should this be your desire.
  • Meanwhile, libraries are increasingly dependent on computer games to keep the kids coming.
  • Salman Rushdie: “Thomas Pynchon looks exactly like Thomas Pynchon should look … He is tall, he wears lumberjack shirts, and blue jeans. He has Albert Einstein white hair and Bugs Bunny front teeth.”
  • Since 2009, there have been three replacement peacocks at Andalusia (sadly, not actually descended from Flannery O’Connor’s flock): Manley Pointer, Joy/Hulga (who appears to have two working legs), and Mary Grace.
  • The New York Times visits the Chekhov Museum, a testament to dedication.
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    A Week in Culture: Rutu Modan, Cartoonist

    June 27, 2013 | by

    Sunday

    I have no idea how this happened, but apparently I’ve agreed to give a talk to the entire pre-K and first grade at a local school. A total of seven classes.

    While I do, in fact, also illustrate children books, it’s really due to my interest in books and less to my interest in children. It’s not that I don’t like children—I’m quite fond of mine—but speaking to children is a bit scary. They don’t know they’re supposed to hide it if they’re bored.

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    I show the kids books I’ve illustrated, share my work methods, and even throw in a professional secret: I can’t draw horses’ feet. During the Q&A, a curly-haired girl persistently raises her hand and when I call on her she says, “My mother looks much younger than you.” But all in all, I realize that between these kids and my students at the art academy there is no big difference in understanding. Read More »

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    Google Guide to the Galaxy, and Other News

    March 11, 2013 | by

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    What We’re Loving: Dorian Gray, Sex with Immortals

    July 27, 2012 | by

    Last Thursday, finding myself with an hour to kill in London, I stopped into Lutyens & Rubinstein bookstore in Notting Hill. No Paris Review (sigh), but I did pick up the Summer issue of Slightly Foxed, a quarterly devoted to little essays about people’s favorite books. The clerk claimed it’s the most popular lit mag they stock. And it’s easy to see why. Crome Yellow, The Lost Oases, The Elegies of Quintilius, and a guide to British sea birds give some idea of the miscellany. Read one issue back to back and you could cross every conceivable reader off your Christmas list. —Lorin Stein

    How, exactly, do a human and a god have sex? For Elizabeth Costello, the eponymous protagonist of J. M. Coetzee’s novel, it is less a question of metaphysics than of mechanics. “Bad enough to have a full-grown male swan jabbing webbed feet into your backside while he has his way, or a one-ton bull leaning his moaning weight on you,” she thinks. But when the god does not change form, how does the human body accommodate itself to “the blast of his desire”? What makes the passage so interesting is not only Costello’s amusing speculations on the impracticality of cosmic coupling but the way such a question allows Coetzee to reflect on the whole messy business of the god-human relationship. The gods may never die, he suggests, but that doesn’t mean they know how to live. —Anna Hadfield

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