August 29, 2011KR BlogReadingWriting

Short Takes: An Irrational Beauty

John Burnside: “I always feel saddened by intelligent people who say, this can’t be true because it doesn’t work in terms of rationality. What does? Inspiration? Art? Romantic love? Having been, as it were, mad, and lived with horror which at that moment I completely believed in, I know that rationality doesn’t carry you all the way. Irrationality interests me more than anything: sometimes it’s very dangerous, but it can be incredibly beautiful.”

Behind that sleek fa??ade, an editorial war rages: a case study on the Wikipedia page of one canonical book.

Eight memes that define the postmodern mystery genre, according to Ted Gioia.

Introducing Poetry by Emily Dickinson, a self-proclaimed “effort to steal Google traffic from a dead writer & redirect it to living writers collaborating online.” As for standards? “We’ll post pretty much anything.”

Ever thought of getting a line from Auden inked on your back–or maybe a creature from Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are? Check out how it might look.

From the back cover of the slightly post-Victorian Wonder Book for Little Children, circa 1913 (via catnipstudio):

On what Hugh Kenner called the most hermetic poem in the English language–Louis Zukofsky’s A.

Have a bad bout of impostor syndrome? Don’t worry, Tobias Wolff has it, too: “I still feel as though I’m faking it, but maybe that never goes away“ I’m sure I disappoint my students on a daily basis. They expect me to talk about great books and big ideas, whereas a lot of the time I want to talk about baseball. My banalities are always alarmingly exposed.”

Provoke your ekphrastic muse with virtual tours of some of the world’s most famous art museums.