What we read while finally knocking Ghana down a peg…
What we read while assigning baseball allegiances to past assassins…
- If we were to begin a series of old, esoteric interviews, this one from the Paris Review of Jorge Luis Borges would be a good starting point. Learn, among other things, what Borges’ favorite fabricated English word is. Unfortunately, while discussing the origin of character names, he does not bring up our resident sports revolutionary.
What we read while not writing anything….
- The New York Times Magazine’s profile on David Mitchell is one of our favorite features on one of one of us’s favorite authors. Our favorite part from Wyatt Mason’s look at Mitchell: “When writing is great, Mitchell told me of the books he loved as a reader, ‘your mind is nowhere else but in this world that started off in the mind of another human being. There are two miracles at work here. One, that someone thought of that world and people in the first place. And the second, that there’s this means of transmitting it. Just little ink marks on squashed wood fiber. Bloody amazing.'”
- Last week we linked to Philadelphia Magazine‘s profile of Buzz Bissinger, which asked why the former Pulitzer Prize winner was so angry. This week, we link to Bissinger’s own indirect response from The New Republic, in which he explains why he loves Twitter: “I am an angry man, which is one of the reasons I have resumed therapy and take four different pharmaceuticals. I wake up angry, stay angry during the day except to my dog and children, and go to bed angry at night. Most of my anger amounted to a running dialogue of abuse and self-abuse while working alone at home. But with Twitter, I now had an outlet.”
Here’s a word, Josh, that I find intrinsically cringeworthy: plagiarism, from plagium, “kidnapping.” What I detest about plagiarism is the insinuation that words and ideas can be “kidnapped,” and the succeeding one that they can be owned with some exclusivity.
I, it would seem, come at this issue from an idiosyncratic angle—much of my career having been spent in what some would deem ideological plagiarism. These “some”—the ones who denounce my ongoing quest to write Don Quixote word-for-word as Cervantes did—are ignorant of the process of artistic development. Let me, for the sake of the ignorant, parse down my astronomically lofty goal to a simple question: Is it more impressive for Miguel de Cervantes—a 17th-century Spaniard, a Catholic, a man with a rich military history—to write Don Quixote than it is for Pierre Menard—a 20th-century Frenchman who does not speak Spanish, who does not practice Catholicism, and who has no military history, let alone a rich one—to do so?
What we read while they did everything besides read Lolita in Tehran.
- Speaking of DFW, if you’ve always planned on reading Infinite Jest and just never had the time, this summer is the perfect chance to start. We at NPI heartily recommend it.
- Ever wonder the daily routine of your favorite writer or artist? The fascinating Daily Routines blog compiles the daily routines of an array of interesting people ranging from Immanuel Kant to C.S. Lewis.