Some things to take in during this CALM BEFORE THE STORM weekend….
• How do you solve the problem of hiking? Surprise, it's with audiobooks.
• What do you do on the Day of the Goose? Spoiler… it doesn't end well for the geese.
• Should you be a telemarketer? No, it's insanely hard. (I was so bad at it.) And yet, if it's that or making coffee in Brooklyn, how will you decide?
• Here's a flashback maybe you missed from December that we're rereading: Jenny Kutner's story about her eighth-grade history teacher. (We got back to it via their triple-murder story.)
Joke on Turkish social media is that PM Erdogan wants to raze this Twitter thing to build a replica of an Ottoman Barracks in its place.
— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) February 5, 2014
Taksim, in the center of the city’s European side, is considered the heart of Istanbul. The square itself surrounds tiny Gezi Park and is covered with concrete and filled with traffic, but the absence of buildings offers at least a sense of free space. Erdogan wanted to close the square to cars, build tunnels for them beneath it and replace Gezi Park and its rows of sycamore trees with a giant shopping center designed to [...]
It’s difficult not to romanticize a link between writing and drinking. Wisdom hurts, so the more wisdom a writer has, the harder the writer will try to drown it with alcohol. Or maybe it isn’t wisdom that needs to be drowned; it’s the inner editor. Or maybe the great passion that leads to great writing also leads to great drinking. Or maybe… anyway, there must be some connection, so can we please put down our horrible manuscripts and pour ourselves some bourbon already?
There is no romanticizing in The Trip to Echo Spring, British journalist Olivia Laing’s new group biography of six alcoholic writers—Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, [...]
Each year, "The Castle"—a West Harlem halfway house whose nickname comes from its miniature lookout towers and its gray crenellations—puts on a Halloween celebration for its residents and the general public. As a huge fan of Halloween, which is not generally observed in my native Germany, I was eager to be there when Angel, one of 60 or so halfway house residents, celebrated it for the first time in more than three decades.
I had been reporting on Angel's life since shortly after his release from prison in March of 2007. In 1978, shortly after turning 18, Angel had murdered a 16-year-old girl. He was 47 when he was [...]
In Inherent Vice, a perhaps minor novel by Thomas Pynchon, that great chronicler of history at an angle, the pothead detective Doc Sportello frequently runs into, and gets help from, some science geeks—proto-nerds who use a semi-privatized version of ARPANET to help Sportello get info on the various people he’s hazily tracking.
These are seemingly throwaway characters, just a few minor notes in the typical Pynchonian symphony of bizarre names and tangled plot strands and sinister conspiracies. But they are more than that. They are the prophets of our modern world, where everything is connected, and where not only can anyone with the right access track everyone else, [...]
Yesterday we cornered Brooklyn Book Festival panelists and asked them: who do you like among the younger generation of writers? Some of them had great answers!
Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs
Gosh, the younger generation being under what? [“That’s up to you.”] You know, I’m a big fan of Sheila Heti. Does she count as the younger generation? She’s over thirty, though, she’s 35. [She’ll be 37 on Christmas.] Turn it off a for second, I just have to think! Because I’ve been mostly reading old and dead people, lately, so it takes me a minute to—turn that off! [The recorder is turned off. Then turned back on.] There’s a [...]
You might remember Rudolph Delson as the fellow who reviewed all those vice presidential memoirs right here, when you and he and Sarah Palin were all so young and so promising. Or you might not!
Well now here is his latest project: a vast on-line comedy, an adventure through New York City to the Land of the Dead. You can marry any of four women named Pippa. You can hang out with optimistic capitalists, or with misanthropic ecologists, or with your father, or you can spend entire chapters alone aboard a sailboat on the Pacific. You can see San Francisco after the collapse of Western Civilization. You [...]