The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Brontë sisters’

The World’s Most Average Typeface, and Other News

July 23, 2014 | by

Screen shot 2014-07-23 at 8.46.46 AM

Z, from BIC’s Universal Typeface Experiment.

  • On the Booker longlist: Joshua Ferris, Joseph O’Neill, Richard Powers, Siri Hustvedt, Howard Jacobson, David Mitchell, David Nicholls, and others. Notably excluded: Donna Tartt.
  • Earlier this month came news of Charlotte and Branwell Brontë’s tiny books; now it’s the Brontë sisters’ school progress reports. In the early nineteenth century, a minister at Cowan Bridge noted that Charlotte “writes indifferently … knows nothing of grammar, geography, history, or accomplishments.”
  • Do you seek a bland font, a middling font, a dutifully average font? Try the Universal Typeface, “a constantly evolving, algorithmically produced font created by averaging hundreds of thousands of handwriting samples submitted to BIC’s website. Anyone with a touchscreen can help shape the Universal Typeface by linking their phone or tablet to the website and writing directly on the touchscreen—the lettering is quickly transferred to the Universal Typeface algorithm. As of this writing, more than 400,000 samples have been collected from around the world, and the resulting alphabet is … well, sort of boring.”
  • Wallace Shawn discusses playwriting and his new take on Ibsen’s The Master Builder: “If a man can presume to make a list of men who contributed to the feminist view of life, you’d have to put Ibsen at the head of the list. But he’s laying out on the table some of the worst male fantasies. I mean, he was a very daring writer, and he dared to be sort of sickening. He dared to create these characters who were sort of dreadful.”
  • “The jukebox musical can be an embarrassing phenomenon: a living, breathing pop-music wax museum. It can be pandering and disingenuous, fostering a dynamic that the Times has called ‘ovation-by-coercion.’ It can repackage your happiest memories as a Vegas revue … Our instinct is to sigh about it, but we shouldn’t. The form is evolving.”

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Poe House Vandalized

November 28, 2012 | by

It seems like every week there’s a new indignity, whether it’s the destruction of the church where the Brontës worshipped, the theft of George Eliot’s desk, or, now, the vandalism of the house where Edgar Allan Poe lived and worked in the 1830s.

For the second year in a row, the City of Baltimore has chosen not to grant the Poe House its $85,000 subsidy; as a result, despite efforts of supporters and friends, it may have to close permanently. In any event, the museum has been shuttered since September, and as such left more open to destruction; the front stairs have been stolen and graffiti painted on the door. Nothing that can’t be fixed, but we expected more respect from the officials of the only American city to name its football team after a literary allusion.

 

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