things of little relevance

David Levine
December 29, 2009, 6:42 pm
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Dan e-mailed me today about the passing of David Levine, the NYRB caricaturist—”I didn’t want you to miss the funeral.” I’m so glad my friends know my interests so well.

Marquis de Sade

Michel Houellebecq

Montaigne! (I’m currently slaving away on a pretty terrible paper about him right now. Sorry Michel. Not going to do you proud this time around.)

Last year Vanity Fair did a great profile on Levine and the NYRB’s poor treatment of him. Definitely worth a gander.

The entire archive of his work for the NYRB.


love melancholy
December 28, 2009, 8:59 am
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Billy Collins reads from Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy about, uh, March-November relationships.

December 26, 2009, 12:08 am
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Kitschy accessories that I wish I had thought of:

Taking band names more literally…and fashionably! (Funny non-related anecdote. Alex and Parker were mocking some really earnest freshman, who was a member of a band named Morningside Collective. When I asked what the sound is like, their response: “Morningside Collective, like Animal Collective, but in Morningside.”)

Animal Collective

Nine Inch Nails

The Beard Cap. I actually saw someone wearing this in Williamsburg Christmas Eve morning (what a surprise Christmas treat!) and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find it on the internet. Sometimes I really underestimate the internet.

just some of my favorite things
December 21, 2009, 12:36 am
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These are my three favorite things I read on the internet today:

Samuel Johnson tweets about 2009.

Frank Rich deems Tiger Woods man of the year.

The economy through the lens of an elementary school snack exchange.

December 19, 2009, 3:00 am
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Over at the Guardian, Hilary Mantel has a short story sequel to Cinderella.

The tabloids had idolised her once. She’d been the people’s princess, though in truth her background wasn’t poor, only dysfunctional. The prince didn’t seem to care much about her old life, and she liked that. “Used to shut her in the broom cupboard, didn’t they, poppet?” he would say, to the respectful press men who (in that respectful era) came to write up their romance. “Or was it the bread-bin?” She was slight in those days; he’d pick her up and wheel her around in the air, to the delight of What Wand? or Cinders! magazine. She liked it that he didn’t probe and pry; what she had taken for tact, she now knew to be indifference. The truth is, even in the early days he had more of a relationship with her shoes than with herself; and especially with that discarded slipper, the one she’d left behind in her haste and panic, when the clock struck midnight and the ballroom shivered about her like a mirage in a heat-haze. She would see him, in absent moments, caressing the glass heel, which would seem to grow higher under his fingertips.

world oral literature project
December 16, 2009, 5:02 pm
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“People do PhDs on the apostrophe in French, yet we still don’t know how many languages are spoken.” (via A&L Daily)

favorite sex scandals of 2009
December 15, 2009, 2:19 am
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This is my only top _____ list of 2009.

Textual intercourse is a tricky thing.

“pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo”– Catullus (“I will bugger you and stuff your gobs.”) I think Mark Lowe is quite clever for doing this. Then again, I am a sucker for Latin.

“I have to run to Zales to get a ‘Kobe Special.'”- Tiger Woods

Honorable Mention: John Edwards for the following: “Mr. Edwards once calmed an anxious Ms. Hunter by promising her that after his wife died, he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band.” Too bad there was no textual evidence of his vow, and the affair was revealed before 2009. Still, that snippet is pure gold.