Sunday, January 27, 2013

Literary Experience

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco read “One Today” for President Barack Obama‘s inauguration in Washington D.C. What did you think of the poem? Here is an excerpt:

My face, your face, millions of faces in morning’s mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper — bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives — to teach geometry, or ring up groceries, as my mother did
for 20 years, so I could write this poem.

A philosopher’s life: When the Prague police planted drugs on Jacques Derrida, his lawyer told him to think of it as a “literary experience"Someone Like Media Dragon Some speculation on who might be the worst writer in history of Cold War Other Than Jozef Imrich

Kathryn Hughes on Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England: “Purists and puritans may balk at the book, both its tone and its way of proceeding. But everyone else will have a Ball"

“The story and study of the past, both recent and distant, will not reveal the future, but it flashes beacon lights along the way and it is a useful nostrum against despair.” Pauline Phillips, Flinty Adviser to Millions as Dear Abby, Dies at 94

On the surface, it would seem that nothing could be more different from comedy than romance. Comedy deflates, romance inflates. Comedy is realistic, romance fantastical. Comedy reduces, romance elevates. Comedy is democratic, romance heroic. Yet there are underlying similarities. Both involve a conflict between destructive and restorative impulses. In both, appearances are typically mistaken for reality, and both end happily. Above all, both are governed by a structure of illogical logic that generates laughter in one and fantasy in the other. Comic Romance

According to Jan Harold Brunvand, a folklorist at the University of Utah who has been cataloguing urban legends for more than 30 years, tales of contaminated food compose a major storytelling theme. In the 1970s, the most prominent of these accused McDonald's of spiking hamburgers with mealworms and Bubble Yum of being made from spider parts. (As it happens, the worms might not be such a bad idea.)
That's why so many of them accrue to fast-food restaurants—not just in the case of McWormburgers, but also with old-time legends like the Kentucky Fried Rat or the Mouse-in-a-Coke. (The latter dates back to the early 20th century Scottish Ingrediences