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Posts Tagged ‘tumblr’

Live Online

June 9, 2016 | by

Tending my Internet archive.

J. M. W. Turner, Sunrise with Sea Monsters, 1844, oil on canvas.

J. M. W. Turner, Sunrise with Sea Monsters, 1844, oil on canvas.

This summer we’re introducing a series of new columnists. Today, meet Wei Tchou. 

My parents visited me a few weeks ago, when I was feeling blue for the normal New York reasons: another breakup, a looming eviction, the smell of dead rats wafting up from the basement of my building. (The exterminator hadn’t been by in a while.) My father brought along a few things to cheer me up. The two-and-a-half pound tin of “European Formula” Ovaltine turned out to be something of a ruse; he’s diabetic, so my mother doesn’t normally allow him that sort of indulgence. But he also brought three beautiful, hard-to-find bottles of baijiu, a high-proof Chinese liquor, along with a memory.

“I was reading through my date book from this time in 1983,” he told me. “Thirty-three years ago, I was receiving a notice every week to arrive in Philadelphia to be deported.” Read More »

Saving the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, and Other News

September 11, 2013 | by


  • A federal grant will help the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center—based in the author’s Hartford home—to stay open.
  • Middlemarch, in emojis.
  • A map plots the location of every Booker Prize nominee since 1969. London leads the pack, at thirty-eight.
  • Tumblr has launched a book club. Reblog kicks off with Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.


    Upper West Side Story

    May 20, 2013 | by


    I was delighted and relieved, recently, to run across the Tumblr Stoop Books of Brooklyn, which has been garnering some well-deserved Internet buzz. Delighted because the Tumblr is a fun sociological study, really well executed; relieved because (in my mind) its existence obviates the need for me to create something similar. You see, for some months now, I have been keeping track of the books left on the giveaway table of my apartment building’s lobby. (On my lackluster Instagram feed, I tag these images with the rather lame #uwsidestories.)

    I have long thought, vaguely, that they’d make a good “photo piece”—I suspect it would have to do with print media, or ideas of ownership, or maybe the isolation of urban life—but given the reception of a recent neighbor-based work by an actual photographer, this seems increasingly ill-advised.

    In any case, it would have taken energy away from my other hypothetical Tumblr, “Gnomic Utterances,” which will consist of pictures of gnomes with cryptic things written under them.



    Mapping Markson

    April 24, 2012 | by

    When modernist novelist David Markson died in 2010, the West Villager’s personal library ended up, by his request, at his old haunt, the Strand bookstore. Word quickly spread, and bibliophiles and readers tried to snatch up as many of the annotated books—many of which figured in Markson’s own work—as possible. (Alex Abramovich describes buying up three shopping bags’ worth of classics, complete with notes and marginalia.) The books were, typically, signed: either Markson, David M. Markson, Markson NYC, or Markson London. It’s an archive worthy of a university but preserved, instead, in bits and pieces on bookshelves all over New York and beyond.

    Now, a tumblr, Reading Markson Reading, has dedicated itself to, as the author puts it, “Exploring the mind, method and masterpieces of David Markson through the marginalia found on the pages of the books in his personal library.” An intimate glimpse into the writer’s thoughts, for all readers to share.

    Watch Markson reminisce at the Strand in 2007.