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Here To Be Interesting: Don DeLillo’s The Angel Esmeralda | Idiom. The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLilloScribner, 2011 Don DeLillo has two modes of operation: there are the major works, novels like Underworld and Libra and Falling Man, books that portend to deal with massive subjects like the last half of the American Century, the Lee Harvey Oswald and the JFK assassinations, and the attacks on 9/11 (in these novels readers encounter J. Edgar Hoover, Oswald himself, and a 9/11 hijacker, for instance). Then there are the works like White Noise and Mao II — no less major in stature, or skill — that operate on a more personal level, full of half-hidden people, go-nowhere conversations, inexplicable motivations and inexplicable actions, and repeated denials of information the reader desperately craves.

DeLillo’s prose is often infectious, perhaps a product of the years he spent working for an ad agency, and his words often get caught in one’s head in the same manner effective TV jingles do. He works on a level of repetition with a few catchy phrases.


Brain pickings. Letters. Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness. By Maria Popova Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in reflecting on why presence matters more than productivity. “On how one orients himself to the moment depends the failure or fruitfulness of it,” Henry Miller asserted in his beautiful meditation on the art of living. And yet we spend our lives fleeing from the present moment, constantly occupying ourselves with overplanning the future or recoiling with anxiety over its impermanence, thus invariably robbing ourselves of the vibrancy of aliveness. Kierkegaard, who was only thirty at the time, begins with an observation all the timelier today, amidst our culture of busy-as-a-badge-of-honor: Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.

The unhappy one is absent. Consider first the hoping individual. Donating = Loving. What It Takes to Design a Good Life. The Definitive Manifesto for Handling Haters: Anne Lamott on Priorities and How We Keep Ourselves Small by People-Pleasing. Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith. Across the way from our apartment—on Houston, I guess—there’s a new wall ad. The site is forty feet high, twenty feet wide. It changes once or twice a year. Whatever’s on that wall is my view: I look at it more than the sky or the new World Trade Center, more than the water towers, the passing cabs. It has a subliminal effect. Last semester it was a spot for high-end vodka, and while I wrangled children into their snowsuits, chock-full of domestic resentment, I’d find myself dreaming of cold martinis. Before that came an ad so high-end I couldn’t tell what it was for.

The tower I live in is university accommodation; so is the tower opposite. But that was all some time ago. In those cases photographic images are used, and the beach is real and seen in full. Collectively we, the people of Soho, consider ourselves pretty sophisticated consumers of media. Find your beach. Here the focus is narrow, almost obsessive. The beach is always there: you just have to conceive of it. Admit it: Living In New York Sucks. I spent most of my twenties being brainwashed and lied to. Everybody told me that living in New York was the best–nothing could touch its food, its culture, its opportunities–and I believed them.

I believed them every day for the first three years I lived there. I fell in love with the city the way any young person does. Let’s face it, there’s no better place to be young than New York. Whenever someone tells me they spent their twenties somewhere like LA, I wanna cry and be like, “Babe, you should really ask for a refund. Going into my fourth year, I saw my feelings of love and admiration for the city slowly morph into resentment. The last two years I lived in New York were not so good. I tried to leave. Sometimes the prospect of moving in New York is enough for you to move altogether. It took awhile for the last option to occur to me, which goes to show just how fucking cult-ish living in New York is. Of course, there are things I miss about New York.


Ny times/new yorker. Mc sweeney's. The 10 Best Psychology and Philosophy Books of 2012. By Maria Popova From Buddhism to the relationship between creativity and dishonesty, by way of storytelling and habit. After the best science books, art books, and design books of 2012, the season’s subjective selection of best-of reading lists continue with the most stimulating philosophy, psychology, and creativity books published this year. (Catch up on last year’s roundup here.) Every year for more than a decade, intellectual impresario and Edge editor John Brockman has been asking the era’s greatest thinkers a single annual question, designed to illuminate some important aspect of how we understand the world. In 2010, he asked how the Internet is changing the way we think. In 2011, with the help of psycholinguist Steven Pinker and legendary psychologist Daniel Kahneman, he posed an even grander question: “What scientific concept will improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?”

Brockman prefaces the essays with an important definition that captures the dimensionality of “science”:


Fiction. Camus's "The Stranger": First-Line Translation. For the modern American reader, few lines in French literature are as famous as the opening of Albert Camus’s “L’Étranger”: “Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.” Nitty-gritty tense issues aside, the first sentence of “The Stranger” is so elementary that even a schoolboy with a base knowledge of French could adequately translate it.

So why do the pros keep getting it wrong? Within the novel’s first sentence, two subtle and seemingly minor translation decisions have the power to change the way we read everything that follows. What makes these particular choices prickly is that they poke at a long-standing debate among the literary community: whether it is necessary for a translator to have some sort of special affinity with a work’s author in order to produce the best possible text.

Arthur Goldhammer, translator of a volume of Camus’s Combat editorials, calls it “nonsense” to believe that “good translation requires some sort of mystical sympathy between author and translator.”


The 10 Most Disturbing Books Of All Time. In my younger days if I heard a book or movie was disturbing or hard to handle I generally took that as a challenge. Most books generally turned out to not be too bad, but occasionally I’d come across something that would leave me with a sick feeling in my stomach for weeks.

I’ve largely outgrown this “genre” of late, but here are my picks for the ten most disturbing books of all time. Any one of these books is capable of leaving you feeling a little depressed at the least, and permanently scarred at the worst. I’d say enjoy, but that doesn’t really seem appropriate … 10. Blindness is a book with a truly horrifying scenario at it’s heart: what if everyone in the world were to lose their sight to disease in a short period of time? 9. Anti drug crusaders should stop airing goofy commercials that nobody takes seriously and start pushing to have Requiem For A Dream made required reading for every high schooler in the country. 8. Naked Lunc is another ode to drug addiction. 7. 6. Bleak. 5. 25 Banned Books That You Should Read Today. Almost since the dawn of publishing, books have been banned for one reason or another.

Many notable banned books are also compelling reads from classic or contemporary literature. This list summarizes 25 of the most controversial banned books from throughout history. #1 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Harper Lee's only novel is considered by many to be among the greatest works of fiction in American literature. Yet the story of young Scout Finch and her father, Atticus, has often been banned.

Atticus is a lawyer defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. The novel's frank discussion of rape and central topic of racism have made the book a lightning rod for controversy. #2 American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis Ellis is a frequent target for protests due to the nature of his writing, but none has faced the level of opposition of American Psycho. . #3 And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson #4 The Awakening by Kate Chopin #5 The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. D. Hunter S. Thompson Essay. “Open Letter To The Youth Of Our Nation” 1955 | Hunter S. Thompson Books.

Hunter wrote this essay in 1955 for The Athenaeum Literary Association’s bound yearbook, it won third prize in The Nettleroth contest. Great writing for a 18 year old, and makes for a funny read too. Young people of America, awake from your slumber of indolence and hark-en the call of the future! Do you realise you are rapidly becoming a doomed generation? Do you realise that the fate of the world and of generations to come rests on your shoulders? Do you realise that at any time you may be called on to protect your country and the freedom of the world from the creeping scourge of communism? How can you possibly laugh in the face of the disasters which face us all from all sides? I say there is no excuse for a feeling of insecurity on your part;there is no excuse for juvenile delinquency; there is no excuse for your attitude except that you are rotten and lazy!

I warn you, if you don’t start now it will be too late, and the blame for the end of the world will be laid at your feet.