Displaying articles for: October 2013

Leaning to Starboard

November 1: "I have little to recommend my opinions but long observation and much impartiality. They come from one who has been no tool of power, no flatterer of greatness, and who in his last acts does not wish to belie the tenor of his life."

 

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The Other Keats

October 31: "His mother was a man-hungry teenager; his father -- one could never be sure -- an innkeeper on the make. Their eldest son, the school bully, grew into a dandy who dressed like Lord Byron, scrawled bawdy rhymes, burned himself with gonorrhea and tried to cure himself with mercury."

 

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Radio Riots

October 30: "Ladies and gentlemen, it's indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate."

 

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A Storyteller's Roots

October 29: "I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time of the day, was there to read in, or to be read to. [My mother] read to me in the big bedroom in the mornings, when we were in her rocker together, which ticked in rhythm as we rocked, as though we had a cricket accompanying the story."

 

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Dry Run

October 28: "I don't think prohibition is practical. The Germans, you see, prevent it. Look at them. I am sorry to learn that they have just invented a method of making brandy out of Sawdust."

 

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African Skies

October 26: "We swung over the hills and over the town and back again, and I saw how a man can be master of a craft, and how a craft can be master of an element."

 

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Picasso Protests

October 25: "Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don't they try to understand the song of the birds? Why do they love a night, a flower, everything which surrounds man, without attempting to understand them?"

 

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Treacherous Waters

October 24: "The individual investor is still situated at the very bottom of the food chain, a speck of plankton afloat in a sea of predators."

 

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America's Chehkov

October 23: "Oh, what can you do with a man like that? What can you do? How can you dissuade his eye in a crowd from seeking out the cheek with acne, the infirm hand;..."

 

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Thoreau's Vista

October 22: "Look from the high hill, just before sundown, over the pond. The mountains are a mere cold slate-color. But what a perfect crescent of mountains we have in our northwest horizon! Do we ever give thanks for it?"

 

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Here & Now

October 21: "Not time, not happiness, not fun, not children, not a house, not a bathroom, not a clean pair of pajamas, not the morning paper, not to wake up together, not to wake and know she's there and that you're not alone."

 

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Le Carré Uncovered?

October 19: "I never knew my mother till I was twenty-one. I act like a gent but I am wonderfully badly born. My father was a confidence trickster and a jailbird."

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Mighty Melville

October 18: "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it."

 

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Checkmate!

October 17: "Soviet authorities must have been baffled by this kid from Brooklyn who marched toward them inexplicably, like the force of capitalism itself. Worse, he became popular in Russia,..."

 

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Brewing Rebellion

October 16: "That a virtuous and steady opposition to this ministerial plan of governing America is absolutely necessary to preserve even the shadow of liberty and is a duty which every freeman in America owes to his country, to himself, and to his posterity."

 

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Zen Lunacy

October 15: "I've been reading Whitman, know what he says, Cheer up slaves, and horrify foreign despots, he means that's the attitude for the Bard, the Zen Lunacy bard of old desert paths,..."

 

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On the Brink

October 14:  "I think that, by and large, there are these two broad alternatives: One, the quick strike. The other, to alert our allies and Mr. Khrushchev that there is an utterly serious crisis in the making here,..."

 

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Hand over Heart

October 12: "The words of the Pledge have inspired millions, but they have also been used to coerce and intimidate, to compel conformity, and to silence dissent."

 

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Invisible Writing

October 11: "My most important rule is one that sums up the other ten: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

 

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American Classic

October 10: "Oh Lawd,
I'm on my way.
I'm on my way
To a Heav'nly Lan'…."

 

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Che's Choice

October 9: "I shall carry beneath the earth only the sorrow of an unfinished song."

 

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Chasing Fame

October 8: "Chevy Chase: [talking into the telephone] What are you wearing right now? [smiles] No bathrobe? [notices the audience, hangs up telephone]…."

 

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Poem On Trial

October 7: "…to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you
           speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing..."

 

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Beatles' Beginning

October 5: "Love, love me do.
You know I love you,
I'll always be true,
So please, love me do.
Whoa, love me do.…"

 

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Runyon's New York

October 4: "He practically invented at least two entire decades of his times, and had everybody believing that his street, Broadway, actually existed. So much of it never happened. What do you care?"

 

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Rough Seas Ahead

October 3: "…But it is not only the American ship which is floundering. Nearly half the human beings ever born are now alive, breeding like bacteria under optimum conditions."

 

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Meet Mark Twain

October 2: "Ladies and gentlemen: The next lecture in this course will be delivered this evening, by Samuel L. Clemens, a gentleman whose high character and unimpeachable integrity are only equaled by his comeliness of person and grace of manner. And I am the man!"

 

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Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.