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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.

The Death Delusion 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 How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes: Lessons in Mindfulness and Creativity from the Great Detective by Maria Popova “A man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” “The habit of mind which leads to a search for relationships between facts,” wrote James Webb Young in his famous 1939 5-step technique for creative problem-solving, “becomes of the highest importance in the production of ideas.” But just how does one acquire those vital cognitive customs? Bridging ample anecdotes from the adventures of Conan Doyle’s beloved detective with psychology studies both classic and cutting-edge, Konnikova builds a compelling case at the intersection of science and secular spiritualism, stressing the power of rigorous observation alongside a Buddhist-like, Cageian emphasis on mindfulness. The idea of mindfulness itself is by no means a new one. It is most difficult to apply Holmes’s logic in those moments that matter the most. Our intuition is shaped by context, and that context is deeply informed by the world we live in.

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."

e. e. cummings reads "anyone lived in a pretty how town" (Harvard, 1953) by Maria Popova “…and noone stooped to kiss his face…” “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life,” Hemingway observed in his short and stirring 1954 Nobel Prize acceptance speech. “One can never be alone enough to write,” Susan Sontag sighed. “Learn to be alone,” Tarkovsky advised young people. On May 28, 1953, while lecturing as a visiting professor at Harvard, cummings recorded this mesmerizing reading of the poem — let his voice sweep you away: The recording appears on Essential E.E. Thanks, Tom Donating = Loving Bringing you (ad-free) Brain Pickings takes hundreds of hours each month. You can also become a one-time patron with a single donation in any amount: Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter. Share on Tumblr

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?