The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘William Shakespeare’

Jane Austen Unmentionables, and Other News

August 5, 2013 | by

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  • Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award–winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been pulled from the PS 114 sixth-grade reading list based on the following: “And if God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs. So I thank God for my thumbs.”
  • Speaking of the National Book Awards: the gotcha! stunt is as old as time. In the 1970s, a disgruntled writer submitted the manuscript of Jerzy Kosiński’s award-winning Steps (sans famous author name) to publishers and, yep, it was rejected.
  • Did Shakespeare really invent the concept of zero?
  • “Nestling in the middle of my Jane Austen goody bag is a black lace thong.” A visit to the JASNA convention, the Comic Con of Janeites. 
  • And a list of well-read TV characters begins with the dog Wishbone, from Wishbone. Happy Monday!
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    Rahm Emanuel to Jump in Lake If Kids Read, and Other News

    July 8, 2013 | by

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  • “This ‘immortal’ pilferer of other men’s stories and ideas, with his monstrous rhetorical fustian, his unbearable platitudes, his pretentious reduction of the subtlest problems of life to commonplaces against which a Polytechnic debating club would revolt, his incredible unsuggestiveness, his sententious combination of ready reflection with complete intellectual sterility, and his consequent incapacity for getting out of the depth of even the most ignorant audience, except when he solemnly says something so transcendentally platitudinous that his more humble-minded hearers cannot bring themselves to believe that so great a man really meant to talk like their grandmothers.” And other literary takedowns.
  • Playing on children’s eternal desire to see authority figures drenched in cold water, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije have sworn to jump in wintry Lake Michigan if local kids read two million books this summer.
  • Think the fun is over now that you’re back at work? Not so fast: here’s an idioms and formulaic language quiz!
  • Plus: (more) dirty jokes from Shakespeare.
  • When James Joyce, Jeanette Winterson, and Salman Rushdie wrote for children.
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    Sendak Does Tolstoy, and Other News

    June 20, 2013 | by

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  • Maurice Sendak illustrates Tolstoy.
  • And speaking of collaborations! Appropriately enough, there is now an interactive app for William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.
  • Everyone loves Bloomsday; why no Dalloway Day? (Dalloday?)
  • Ten words for which we could really use English equivalents. (Although, really, we should just learn the ones we don’t know. Especially age-otori.)
  • “Gertrude Stein, with her gnomish, arty, aphoristic tendencies, would seem to be ideal. ‘There is no there there’ may be one of the great proto-tweets.”
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    1984, and Other News

    January 8, 2013 | by

  • Check out the new 1984 cover. What do you think?
  • The Thomas Pynchon rumors: a breakdown.
  • How should Shakespeare really sound?
  • New Yorkers are spending more time in libraries … but not to read.
  • Love it or leave it, this is our world: Neruda Cats.
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    Leo Tolstoy, Emerging Author, and Other News

    December 13, 2012 | by

  • Target inexplicably shelves Tolstoy under “Emerging Authors.”
  • “My feeling was, if you’re going to propose to your girlfriend this way, you’ve got to do it right … You do it in the finished book.” An illustrator pops the question in print.
  • The unlikely friendship between Walt Whitman and Bram Stoker.
  • The fiscal cliff for English majors.
  • Why we reread.
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    What We’re Loving: Dune, Anno, Common Prayer

    November 9, 2012 | by

    Not long ago I had the honor of officiating at the wedding of a Swede and a Russian Jew. It was not a religious ceremony (unless you count the Universal Life Church), but when the three of us sat down to discuss vows, the bride and groom agreed that the Book of Common Prayer couldn’t be beat; we just had to kill the “obey” clause and the stuff about God. It felt funny, crossing out words in my great-grandfather’s prayer book, but according to a new monograph by Daniel Swift, Shakespeare did pretty much the same thing, repeatedly. Shakespeare’s Common Prayers: The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age makes a case for the Anglican liturgy as a work of politics and art and as a crucial influence on English literature. It made for perfect candelight reading after lower Manhattan lost power. —Lorin Stein

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