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Document: The Symbolism Survey, Sarah Funke Butler

Document: The Symbolism Survey, Sarah Funke Butler
In 1963, a sixteen-year-old San Diego high school student named Bruce McAllister sent a four-question mimeographed survey to 150 well-known authors of literary, commercial, and science fiction. Did they consciously plant symbols in their work? he asked. Who noticed symbols appearing from their subconscious, and who saw them arrive in their text, unbidden, created in the minds of their readers? When this happened, did the authors mind? McAllister had just published his first story, “The Faces Outside,” in both IF magazine and Simon and Schuster’s 1964 roundup of the best science fiction of the year. His project involved substantial labor—this before the Internet, before e-mail—but was not impossible: many authors and their representatives were listed in the Twentieth-Century American Literature series found in the local library. The pages here feature a number of the surveys in facsimile: Jack Kerouac, Ayn Rand, Ralph Ellison, Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer.

A long sentence is worth the read - "Your sentences are so long," said a friend who teaches English at a local college, and I could tell she didn't quite mean it as a compliment. The copy editor who painstakingly went through my most recent book often put yellow dashes on-screen around my multiplying clauses, to ask if I didn't want to break up my sentences or put less material in every one. Both responses couldn't have been kinder or more considered, but what my friend and my colleague may not have sensed was this: I'm using longer and longer sentences as a small protest against — and attempt to rescue any readers I might have from — the bombardment of the moment. When I began writing for a living, my feeling was that my job was to give the reader something vivid, quick and concrete that she couldn't get in any other form; a writer was an information-gathering machine, I thought, and especially as a journalist, my job was to go out into the world and gather details, moments, impressions as visual and immediate as TV.

Meet 12 "Rejected Princesses" Who Are Too Badass For Disney At this point, we've seen just about every iteration of Disney princesses recontextualized by creative fans. The well may have run dry, but this exhaustion speaks to how eager a global audience is for animated females who break the traditional Disney mold. In the meantime, one writer has started conjuring some new princesses who break that mold so comprehensively they've become more likely characters for violent indie thrillers than family-oriented studio fare. Which is kind of a shame. Former DreamWorks effects animator and fledgling artist Jason Porath recently created Rejected Princesses, a website that features detailed, often hilarious stories and illustrations about some historical and mythical women who were just too darn interesting to end up with their own big budget four-quadrant vehicles. "Each woman is based off as much visual reference of the actual story as possible," the artist says of the project which formally launched last week. Mariya Art notes:

Tahmima Anam | The Good Muslim Lockpicking Detail Overkill%5Bevva3ks%5D.unlocked%20copy.pdf IS (Roberto Bolaño's) "2666" A MASTERPIECE? Reading "2666", "it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish Roberto Bolaño's genius from his excess. Indeed, it starts to seem that Bolaño's genius is his excess", writes Garth Risk Hallberg... Special to MORE INTELLIGENT LIFE In his treatise on drama, "Three Uses of the Knife", David Mamet cribs a distinction from Stanislavsky. The late Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño had a foot in each territory. Bolaño, a poet by vocation, had initially (not to say quixotically) turned to fiction as a money-making proposition, and after the success of "The Savage Detectives", he might have settled into a lucrative middle age repackaging his dissolute youth. In real life, Santa Teresa was Ciudad Juárez, and by 1998, it was home to the largest serial killing in recorded history. This 900-page book unfolds in five novel-length sections, each with its own characters, style and chronology. The prose, too, diverges from Bolaño's earlier work. Which brings us to "The Part About The Crimes."

20 Forgotten Victorian Names to Put on Your Baby Name List While the Victorian era may evoke puffed sleeves and woollen waistcoats, modern parents in search of perfect names are clamoring for the sought-after "it" names from the mid-to-late-1800s. At the time, cross-the-pond trends were common. England was peaceful during Queen Victoria's reign ... a name which spawned an entire era! Meanwhile, America was busy establishing its democracy during a bloody civil war. Americans borrowed elaborate fashions from England as well as now-classic literature by Dickens, Thackeray, and the Brontë sisters. The feminine names of America during this time weren't tough like the times; they were sweet, even frilly. But what Victorian names are still flying under the modern-day radar? More from The Stir: 27 Hot British Baby Boy Names That Americans Haven't Discovered Adelia: Adelia strikes a stylistic balance between newly fashionable names Adele and Adelaide. What are your favorite Victorian names, whether underused, overused, or somewhere in between?

James Baldwin: Witty, Fiery in Berkeley, 1979 Hot on the heels of Independence Day, here’s a chance to listen to one of America’s best writers declaring his own form of Independence — a freedom from some of the more troubling assumptions embedded in the English language. Starting with a dry, mild questioning of phrases like “black as night,” “black-hearted,” and “black as sin,” Baldwin turns quickly to a critique of the name of the civil rights movement itself, which he suggests would be more accurately described as a slave rebellion. The logic and eloquence with which Baldwin makes his case is much better savored than explained. Enjoy the clip, and especially make sure not to miss his remarks on Huck Finn at minute 3:00, or the lovely description of Malcolm X at about minute 5:00. And, to be sure, we’ll add this to our collection of Cultural Icons. Related Content: Great Cultural Icons Talk Civil Rights Malcolm X at Oxford, 1964

Same-as-that—By Dale Peck From a speech given in December 2011, at the New School, in New York City. Dale Peck is a novelist and critic. The first time I heard the word samizdat was at an ACT UP meeting. The term was applied to the vast stacks of photocopies that every member picked up on the way into the Monday-night meeting: treatment guidelines, drug studies, bureaucratic analyses, action plans, contact lists, and announcements of events ranging from performances and gallery openings to house parties and memorial services. This collection was never referred to as anything other than “the table” (even though it usually spread over two or three), a twelve- or eighteen-foot-long banquet of paper down both sides of which several hundred gay men and lesbians, nearly indistinguishable in their Doc Martens and Levi’s and sloganed T-shirts, bent their spiky or shaved heads and served themselves and one another with the ordered geniality of an Amish wedding. He died of AIDS! My dear Gino, What a wonderful surprise!

Reza Aslan’s New Book, Table and Pen: Literature Bridges Civilizations One utterly confounding and intriguing question lies at the very heart of 'Mad Men': How many women can one married man sleep with over the course of 92 hour-long episodes? Mad Men, the ambitious, award-winning AMC series, is embarking upon its seventh and final season this Sunday. Throughout its epic run, Mad Men has attempted to answer a myriad of fascinating and complex questions. They include: what is the American Dream? What does it mean to be a man? But one utterly confounding and intriguing question lies at the very heart of the series: How many women can one married man sleep with over the course of 92 hour-long episodes? According to our count, the current number stands at over a dozen—and we still have all of Season 7 to go. Betty Draper Francis (January Jones) Betty Draper burst onto the small screen with an undeniable presence befitting the wife of the enigmatic Don Draper. Don seduced and married Betty when she was a young model working in New York City. Joy (Laura Ramsey)