The Literary United States: A Map of the Best Book for Every State

at Hubbard Park

The New York Times and Virginia Woolf didn’t get off to a great start. In an unsigned review of her first novel, “The Voyage Out,” in the daily Times in 1920, the critic found, “aside from a certain cleverness,” “little in this offering to make it stand out from the ruck of mediocre novels which make far less literary pretension.” The review did note “a possibility of something worthwhile from the same pen in the future.” Indeed.

In 1923, the Book Review said “Jacob’s Room” “impresses upon the reader of English fiction the great quality of the women now writing in that country.” (Time was not equally kind to the other authors mentioned in this class, including Mary Butts, Ethel Colburn Mayne and Elinor Mordaunt.) By 1925, writing about “Mrs. Dalloway,” John W. Crawford compared the rhythm of Woolf’s writing to “the development of a symphony. It is incredible that this could be done with English prose.”

Rain on the last of the leaves. #Autumn #dark #Morning #NoNoNo #Vermont

Last night, after eating dinner at Pancho’s Glennis and I decided to go riding. Glennis suggested a race back to the corral. As I got very close, in the lead, I saw someone had closed the gate. My horse and I pulled about 3 g’s trying to avoid the fence. Well…. my horse pulled 3, I flew over the fence and cracked a couple of ribs. We didn’t want to go to the base doc – they’d ground me.

So the next day, we go to the local vet. He patches me up and says, “Don’t do nothin’ strenuous.” I go to Ridley and tell him, “We got a problem.” Ridley contemplates this, went into the hangar, found a broom. and sawed off the end. We practiced me sitting in the X-1 and closing the door with the broomstick with my left hand. It works on the ground.


United States GDP, Split in Half

“There is a kind of lingering snobbery in the literary world that wants to exclude nonfiction from the classification of literature—to suggest that somehow it lacks artistry, or imagination, or invention by comparison to fiction. The mentality is akin to the prejudice that long held photography at bay in the visual-art world.”
Philip Gourevitch on why nonfiction deserves a Nobel (via newyorker)

(via newyorker)

“My first novel was rejected all over the place. And thank God for that.”


Several people I interviewed by email provided very thoughtful comments that ended up not fitting into my latest article on the Nonhuman Rights Project’s ongoing chimpanzee personhood lawsuit. Their comments:

Paul Waldau,teaches animal law and ethics at Canisius College:


Best American science and nature writing hits the local bookstore. Many tx to @deborahblum for putting this together (at Rivendell Books)

“Her voice is thick now and the sound of Yorkshire where she lives moves through it the way the smell of leaves burning far away would flavour a breeze.”
— Timothy O’Grady, I Could Read the Sky (via stancarey)
“And the trolls aren’t stupid. The most damaging troll/haters are some of the most powerful people (though they self-describe as outcasts). Typically, the hacker trolls are technically-talented, super smart white men. They’re not just hackers. They are social engineers. They understand behavioral psych. They know their Kahneman. They “get” memes. They exploit a vulnerability in the brains of your current and potential listeners. How? By unleashing a mind virus guaranteed to push emotional buttons for your real, NOT-troll audience. In my specific case, it was my alleged threat to a free and open internet. “She issued DMCA takedowns for sites that criticized her.” Yes, that one even made it’s way into a GQ magazine article not long ago, when the writer Sanjiv Bhattacharya interviewed weev and asked about — get this — the “ethics” of doxxing me. Weev’s explanation was just one more leveling up in my discredit/disinfo program: DMCA takedowns. I had, apparently, issued DMCA takedowns. If you are in the tech world, issuing a DMCA takedown is worse than kicking puppies off a pier. But what I did? It was (according to the meme) much much worse. I did it (apparently) to stifle criticism. If a DMCA takedown is kicking puppies, doing it to “stifle criticism” is like single-handedly causing the extinction of puppies, kittens, and the constitution. Behold my awesome and terrible power. Go me. But here’s the thing. I never did that.”
“The many brands of EMR I am familiar with are seemingly designed to maximize billing and minimize liability, by giving the illusion of comprehensiveness. They are, however, extraordinarily poor for patient care, as they are so cluttered with needless, clinically irrelevant detail. Though not at fault in this case, some Emergency Room EMRs are not readily accessible to the hospital inpatient units or clinics.”