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Posts Tagged ‘The Little Prince’

Time Wasted

September 18, 2015 | by

From The Little Prince.

When we got married, my husband and I knew we didn’t want to do anything elaborate: we had neither the money nor the inclination and, in any case, we wanted to get the wedding over with and begin the marriage. (Proper weddings, as any bridal magazine will tell you, take months of preparation.) So: we agreed on a date, got our license, I bought a suit, and we went to City Hall with our siblings and our two dearest friends.

After the ceremony, we took the subway uptown and met our families for lunch. I’d booked the upstairs dining room of a venerable French restaurant because I knew the food would be good, and everyone would feel comfortable. Like everything else about the wedding, I must admit I didn’t give it too much thought; I knew the day would be nice no matter what and, for my life’s sake, very much hoped it would not be the most important. Read More »

Siri Hates Her, and Other News

January 7, 2014 | by


HAL 9000—still the standard-bearer for baneful artificial intelligences.

  • Eschewing received wisdom and millions of high school syllabi, one writer dares to contend that Charlotte Brontë’s Villette trumps Jane Eyre.
  • Spike Jonze wrote the screenplay for Her, which features a honey-tongued operating system named Samantha, well before Siri came into this world—but surely you can see the connection. Siri can’t. Ask her about Her and you’ll get some guff: “I think she gives artificial intelligence a bad name.”
  • As the New York Times prepares to debut its new home page, this helpful gif shows how the site has evolved since 2001. (“The New York Times on the Web,” it said then—as if to congratulate itself for having arrived.)
  • Fan art for The Catcher in the Rye. Highest honors go to that left-handed fielder’s mitt.
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince becomes an art exhibit.


    The Snack

    September 2, 2013 | by


    I first considered the meaning of the word snack in fourth grade while reading the children’s book The Giver. The main character, Jonas, remembers elementary school, when the proper pronunciation of the word eluded him. He says “smack” instead and is punished with the literal smack of a ruler until he learns to pronounce the word correctly. The author uses Jonas’s confusion to highlight the book’s main theme: that knowledge and pain should never be tied together. 

    Though the “snack” incident plays only a minor role in The Giver, it made me realize that prior to pre-school there had been no such thing as a snack. There were three meals a day that were prepared and consumed rather formally. Meals were pleasurable and nourishing and that was that. They had purpose—they knew who they were, followed a routine schedule, had a role, and happily filled their recipients. They gave context to a day and helped quell any hint of insatiable hunger, or bouts of melancholy. They maintained a steady daily course from kitchen to table to belly. They delivered. Read More »


    Crime, Punishment, and Chess

    May 17, 2012 | by

  • The link between chess and writing.
  • An excised page of The Little Prince goes on the block.
  • Live out your fantasies in the penthouses that serve as the setting for Fifty Shades of Grey.
  • Speaking of fantasies … hot authors.
  • A Bay Area judge allows a prisoner to go free—provided he reads an hour a day and completes book reports.
  • Meanwhile, a white-collar criminal is ordered to write a book. (The author considered, and rejected, the opening line, “Call me a Schlemiel.”)