Sunday, April 12, 2009

Highly Recommended!

Michael Lewis's article, "Jonathan Lebed's Extracurricular Activities," in Ira Glass's The New Kings of Nonfiction. Who knew that when Huck Finn lit out for the territories, he would end up trading stocks on the internet and getting busted by the SEC? Plus the writing is damn good! The paragraph at the top of page 18 is a work of art.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Student Neologism

Horridifying! I’m pretty sure it was unintentional, but it’s kind of growing on me. For use when something is extremely horrifyingly awful, as in its original appearance in an in-class essay on The Color Purple: “the horridifying scenes of Celie’s rape.”

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Honoring Irreverence

There's really no substitute for a well-turned definition, so the following passage from a new writer at a new blog had me swooning:

Back when I took myself more seriously, I could not distinguish irreverence from arrogance or ignorance. They were all symptoms of the same shortcoming. But now, the lines are clear. Irreverence comes from complete honesty and respect. It’s the ability to step outside a serious situation, see it objectively, and help others understand it with levity. To throw down a much needed reality check just in the nick of time.

Influenced by the recent biographies of John Cheever and Donald Barthelme and the ingenious NCAA-like brackets of the Tournament of Books, said blog also features a nice showdown between the stories of Cheever and Barthelme.

For a Good Time, Call . . . (pt. 8)

Escalator girl!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Former Student Writes

"I got into the U of M a week and a half ago, and just tonight I found out that I've been wait-listed at Lewis & Clark, which is better than flat-out rejection. It's kind of like when the girl you have a crush on lets you take her out to a movie as friends, better than nothing I guess."