Monday, November 05, 2018


Tertullian also called women in general the “devil’s gateway” and wrote a great deal about how women must be modest and silent in order to make up for the sins of Eve. It’s impossible to know how women felt about any of this because the vast majority of the records we have from that time are written by men.

For 30 years, an unpublished manuscript about slaves and sailors in the Caribbean has been an underground sensation. Why is it reaching print only now. Samizdat Sensations  

The private lives and personal habits of the great Russian writers are fascinating to me. They are held up as these great geniuses with their lofty thoughts and doorstop novels. But it turns out they are just like us. Tolstoy had to eat boiled pears to ease his digestive troubles. Bulgakov was obsessed with having enough pairs of socks. And Chekhov made his own creosote vapor inhalations. (OK, not everyone does this. But we all have weird cures we inflict on ourselves when we’re ill. Right?) By knowing how odd—and how ordinary—these writers were, we can feel closer to them and, more importantly, to their work, so often wrongly characterized as inaccessible