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“Breaking Bad”: White supremacist fable? If you judged by TV and movies alone, you’d think “pure” drugs were seeping out of American society’s every pore, along with hot doctors and secret agents gone rogue.

“Breaking Bad”: White supremacist fable?

Even if suburban 15-year-olds don’t ask their dealers for THC percentages after seeing Oliver Stone’s Savages — and smart money says some of them are — craft beer isn’t the only boutique intoxicant buzzing around the nation’s subconscious. In the shadow of the high-fructose-corn-syrup backlash, everyone from the Olive Garden to the proverbial Brooklyn popsicle startup is trying to cash in on craftsmanship. Meanwhile, screenwriters (clever advertisers in their own right) have found that the easiest way to hook viewers on drug-dealer protagonists is to sell crack as small-batch artisanal rock cocaine. What To Read Next. Ars longa, vita brevis, said Hippocrates—more or less: time’s a-wastin’. The worst corollary of this aphorism, to my mind, is that we are not going to have time to read everything. In fact, we’re going to be able to read only the tiniest little bit. Some thousands of books—that is it. Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation. The Greatest Books of All Time, as Voted by 125 Famous Authors - Maria Popova - Entertainment.

Tolstoy holds a 11-point lead over Shakespeare in these literary opinion polls.

The Greatest Books of All Time, as Voted by 125 Famous Authors - Maria Popova - Entertainment

"Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work," Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers' success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. Hunger Mountain — VCFA Journal of the Arts. Wordnik ~ all the words. The Best 100 Opening Lines From Books.

Is Holden Caulfield Obnoxious? You already know where you stand on Holden Caulfield.

Is Holden Caulfield Obnoxious?

Either you found him a kindred spirit in your youth and continue to sympathize with him—less blindly, more wistfully—as you age; or else you found him a whiner then and you find him a whiner now. According to the New York Times, the second faction is gaining ground. In an oddly statistics-free trend piece, the paper reported in 2009 that The Catcher in the Rye has lost favor among teens: “what once seemed like courageous truth-telling now strikes many as ‘weird,’ ‘whiny’ and ‘immature.’” (No word on whether any wiseass added “phony.”) Of course, some high schoolers will trash Hamlet if given the chance, but on this book you won’t find much consensus from the literati, either. The Wire: Slavoj Žižek and Frederic Jameson Weigh in on the HBO Series. Last week, Slavoj Žižek—the clown prince of contemporary Marxist philosophy, star of The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, scene-stealer of Examined Life, and subject of the celebrated documentary Žižek!

The Wire: Slavoj Žižek and Frederic Jameson Weigh in on the HBO Series

—spoke at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities on a subject he was born to tackle: The Wire. The audio of the lecture is now online, and if, like me, you enjoy not only discussion of The Wire but listening to Žižek ramble grandiloquently in his wonderful Slovenian accent, it makes for an amusing and occasionally provocative hour and a half of intellectual entertainment. Žižek takes David Simon's comparison of The Wire to Greek tragedy seriously, seeing the show as an expression of its polis, Baltimore, in a manner not unlike the works of the classical tragedians.

The show may even be "more tragic" than Greek tragedy, he says, since the fate of its characters is dictated not by supernatural figures, but by the institutions that actually shape our lives. Snollygosters, Wampus, Toe Socials and Other Words from the Dictionary of American Regional English. Téa Obreht: “High-School Confidential”

I was an awkward child.

Téa Obreht: “High-School Confidential”

Tall, gangly, and, like everyone else in my family, severely myopic. Although the condition had not presented itself in my relatives until their early teens, I was wearing glasses by the age of three. By the time I was ten, my eyesight had deteriorated to such an extent that the optometrist was unsure what to predict for middle age, at which point, he suspected, binoculars would have to be cabled to my ears.

(Luckily, these protruded, so they were likely to accommodate the weight.) I had my grandfather’s front teeth, betwixt which stood a yawning space that in his smile looked kind and wizened but in mine looked vaguely psychotic and caused a lisp. Word Soup: Downton Abbey. Chances are you’re caught up on the anachronisms of Downton Abbey, between Ben Zimmer’s Visual Thesaurus post, his talk with NPR, his post for Language Log that goes beyond the nitpickery, and Fritnancy’s post on the 1918 anachronism, contact.

Word Soup: Downton Abbey

But what about the words and phrases the show has gotten right? From obsolete medical terms to nautical sayings to phrases which may be common to Brits but are novel to these American ears, we’ve gathered them here, including a couple of terms that no one on Downton Abbey should be saying unless they own a time machine. Spoilers may follow. UPDATE: We corrected aerosyphilis to be erysipelas. Thanks to our readers for the helpful comments. 10 Recent YA Books That Totally Make Up for ‘Twilight’ If you mention young adult literature to a member of the general public, a few series will probably come to mind their mind.

10 Recent YA Books That Totally Make Up for ‘Twilight’

Hopefully, they’ll think of Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, and even though they might know the novels from the movies or Entertainment Weekly covers, at least they’ll associate young adult literature with strong, resourceful heroines and rich, detailed fantasy worlds. Shelf Awareness. The best love poems: writers choose their favourites – interactive. Turn autoplay off Edition: <span><a href=" Sign in Beta About us Today's paper Subscribe Custom Search The best love poems: writers choose their favourites – interactive.

The best love poems: writers choose their favourites – interactive

Charles Dickens turns 200: Why his social insights still resonate today. Charles Dickens, the clear-eyed chronicler of abundance and want, turns 200 years old today.

Charles Dickens turns 200: Why his social insights still resonate today

His buoyant imagination was matched by bitter realism, making him the perfect choice for readers who like their escapism in a minor key. Dickens often, but not always, allowed light and warmth to win out over the cold and dark. Last November, Michael Levenson wrestled with the novelist’s legacy in a review of two new Dickens biographies. The original piece is reprinted below. Dickens! Literary Mixtape: Jo March. If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too.

Literary Mixtape: Jo March

But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. Lexicon Valley. Famous Authors and Their Typewriters. [Editor's note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we'll spend the next two weekends revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published May 30, 2011.] There’s something magical about catching a glimpse of one of your favorite authors at work – even a photo of the epic event can send an anxious thrill down your spine, as if you might be able to see some hint of literary genius in posture or setting, in attire or facial expression.

And it’s even better if they’re working on a typewriter. After all, there’s something impossibly gorgeous about a typewriter – maybe it’s the vintage charm, maybe it’s the physicality the noisy machine lends to the writing process, but people (and you can count us among them) go mad for typewriters, especially if they’ve been used by someone famous. William Faulkner, 1943. Weird Writing Habits of Famous Authors. [Editor's note: While your Flavorwire editors take a much-needed holiday break, we'll spend the next two weekends revisiting some of our most popular features of the year. This post was originally published July 13, 2011.] It’s an old topic but it always manages to be interesting — what did the authors we love do in order to write what they did? Beyond the jobs they held, what habits did they have that made writing possible? We take a look at 10 modern authors who had unusual approaches to writing; some due to the limits they would impose on themselves, others due to what they would wear or how they would attempt to channel greatness.

Regardless of their methods, they have all produced work of lasting value. 10 Legendary Bad Girls of Literature. “Wake me when you cover the Bad GIRLS of Literature,” wrote a commenter who goes by the handle of “Literati” on our recent “10 Legendary Bad Boys of Literature” post. Bookish Brands: 25 Pieces of Awesome Literary Street Art. Graffiti artists aren’t particularly known for their bookishness. Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments for Writing. 10 Great Science Fiction Books for Girls. Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved and much-lauded A Wrinkle in Time turns 50 this year. As The New York Times points out, it’s one of the few science fiction books to have drawn a large female fan base.

At the time of its publication, science fiction was not often market to girls, and the genre is still often considered to be mostly the purview of men. Indeed, according to the article, women continue to read science fiction much more rarely than men: “Half of 18- to 24-year-old men say that science fiction is their favorite type of book, compared with only one-fourth of young women… Thirty-two percent of adult male book buyers are science-fiction fans compared with only 12 percent of women.” However, lots of girls and women love science fiction, and we are confident that many more could, if only they gave it a chance. Fitzgerald’s List of Things for His 11-Year-Old Daughter to Worry About.

When you hear the name F. Scott Fitzgerald, a lot of things come to mind. The Jazz Age. The Lost Generation. Romeo and Juliet Told Through Facebook from Team Pwnicorn. From Mark Twain to Ray Bradbury, Iconic Writers on Truth vs. Fiction - Maria Popova - Entertainment.