The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘E. B. White’

Stuff and Nonsense

August 6, 2014 | by

nystant

An illustration by H. M. Bateman for the Ministry of Health’s WWII-era “Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases“ campaign.

Among other things, E. B. White has the distinction of being one of the few writers to really express the misery of seasonal allergies. In “The Summer Catarrh” (1938) he details Daniel Webster’s struggles with hay fever, proclaiming, “there is a fraternity among those who have been tried beyond endurance.”

He exaggerates for effect, of course. Part of the misery of allergies is the knowledge that, generally speaking, they’re as toothless as they are persistent. They’re definitionally endurable—albeit at the expense of that elusive thing, “quality of life.” (“Quality of life,” much like the box we’re supposed to think outside of, seems to be a thing that exists primarily in negative space.) Prescriptions, Claritin, neti pots, humidifiers, special pillow covers: they’re all just panaceas. When you have allergies, you have allergies. To the outsider, it must seem somewhere between hypochondria and a cold—unpleasant, certainly, but mostly just annoying. And it is annoying. It is the least romantic thing in the world. Sniffling, snoring, “itchy, watery” eyes and a malaise that feels like nothing so much as a faint and chronic hangover … these do nothing for the soul at all. Read More »

Comments Off

Author’s Best Friend: The Pets of Literary Greats

October 15, 2013 | by

 

Tim Taranto hails from Upstate New York, and attended Cornell. In addition to The Paris Review Daily, his work has appeared on the Rumpus and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Tim lives in Iowa City, where he is studying fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

 

14 COMMENTS

Notes from a Bookshop: February, or the Folly of Love

February 12, 2013 | by

Hedder

Sitting alone in my tiny bookshop on a cold February morning, I have the sensation that I’ve conjured a dream into reality. The light is crisp and blue through the door. A flight of red paper swallows—a Valentine homage to Chaucer’s poem “The Parliament of Fowls”—hangs from the ceiling, fluttering quietly from the heat whooshing out of the floor grate. The room is small, just shy of two hundred fifty square feet, and an old pickled farm table sits squarely in the middle. The top of the table is covered with books, and the shelves lining two of the room’s walls also contain a patchwork of brightly colored spines.

Valentine-themed woodblock prints handmade by my husband line the farm table and a grid of nature-inspired prints hold a wall. We live on an old dairy farm up in northeast Pennsylvania, and instead of cows in our three-bay English barn, we have two etching presses. Mark carves the images into blocks of clear pine, inks them up, and sends them through the press, cranking the smooth silver wheel like a captain on a ship. This is our store together, a kind of celebration of works on paper. We live on Moody Road, and so we call the shop Moody Road Studios.

An artist and a writer, respectively, my husband and I had both been teaching and working in the city for more than a decade, until a little over a year ago. The idea of running a bookshop never entered our consciousness while in New York, mostly because it never could have happened. Space and funding were impossibilities—as one might guess, a writer and an artist in business together don’t quite make for a crack commerce force. But here, on Main Street in the small town of Honesdale, everything clicked into place. Read More »

9 COMMENTS

Writing: The Great Invention of the World

August 24, 2012 | by

  • “Take a pencil to write with on aeroplanes. Pens leak. But if the pencil breaks, you can’t sharpen it on the plane, because you can’t take knives with you. Therefore: take two pencils.” Margaret Atwood’s rules for writing fiction.
  • “I would like to write another book for children but I spend all my spare time just answering the letters I get from children about the books I have already written.” —E.B. White, 1961.
  • “Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind, through the eye—is the great invention of the world.” Abraham Lincoln’s favorite poetry.
  • Perhaps inevitable but ill-advised: a 50 Shades of Grey book burning. Explains Clare Phillipson, head of the anti-domestic-violence organization Wearside Women in Need, “I do not think I can put into words how vile I think this book is and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive young woman and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her up and does some dreadful things to her sexually.”
  • Just in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Herman Hesse, a film of his time in Ticino.
  • [tweetbutton]

    [facebook_ilike]

    NO COMMENTS

    Sacred Texts, Caravaggio, and Some Pigs

    July 12, 2012 | by

  • Yes, the Vatican is publishing e-books.
  • So is Judy Blume.
  • Amazon pulls a book allegedly containing a hundred previously undiscovered Caravaggios after scholars question its legitimacy.
  • Meanwhile, the Codex Calixtinus, a twelfth-century manuscript that disappeared last year, has been recovered.
  • Happy birthday, E. B. White. Here are some piglets.

    [tweetbutton]

    [facebook_ilike]

  • NO COMMENTS

    Rap, Poetry, and Cats

    July 3, 2012 | by

  • The London Olympics may be a couple of weeks away, but the poetry Olympics have already begun.
  • Science-based art.
  • The Elements of Style, as rap video.
  • An appreciation of illustrator R.O. Blechman.
  • Bookstore cats across America.
  •  

     

     

    [tweetbutton]

    [facebook_ilike]

    2 COMMENTS