Monthly Archives: December, 2010

“A Really Magical Year”

Back in November, when Patti Smith’s sweetly nostalgic memoir, Just Kids, won the National Book Award for nonfiction, Jacket Copy mentioned her New Year’s Day reading at the St. Mark’s Church Poetry Project in New York. Smith’s participation in the reading is a longstanding tradition, and I’m sure with that kind of steady backdrop it’s […]

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RIP, Denis Dutton

Denis Dutton, professor of philosophy at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand and founding editor of Arts & Letters Daily, died of cancer on Tuesday. Long before any of us had RSS readers or a collection of blog feeds—in 1998, several generations in Internet years—Dutton created Arts & Letters Daily, which aggregated links […]

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“… Snow Falling Faintly Through the Universe”

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over […]

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Wednesday Moment of Zen: NYPL Cheesecake

Gothamist has a sexy series of photographs of the New York Public Library up. They lead off with Charles Dickens’ letter opener, made from the paw of one of his favorite old cats, but we don’t have to. Photos also include highlights of its collection, conservators at work, and the Allen Room—a sanctuary for authors […]

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Random Instances of the Phrase “Like Fire” #5-#258,000

The week leading up to Christmas and the New Year is never a great one to get any real work done, and here’s an extra reason why: Google has gone public with its Google Books Ngram Viewer, which analyzes data from its vast library of digitized books. Trends for words or phrases can be compared […]

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December 20: The Neglected Anniversary

On December 20 there flitted past us, absolutely without public notice, one of the most important profane anniversaries in American history, to wit, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the introduction of the bathtub into These States. Not a plumber fired a salute or hung out a flag. Not a governor proclaimed a day of prayer. Not […]

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Thanks, Dad

I generally don’t write personal posts on Like Fire, or at least not much beyond the subjectivity of “I like it”/“I disapprove.” But it seems like this time of year, along with all the summing-up and lists and suggestions on ways to spend money, seems to lend itself to a bit of extra introspection. In […]

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The Slumbering Rooster Twitches

… And you know what that means. The 2011 Tournament of Books longlist is up, and there’s a whole lot of good stuff on it. Hosted by The Morning News and sponsored by Field Notes, the Tournament of Books is more than a best-book-of-the-year award. It’s a conversation, a colloquy, with gentlemanly debate and due […]

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On the First Day of Vintage Type My True Love Gave to Me…

Last year Type Theory counted down the twelve days of Christmas with vintage type, and—hooray!—it still looks great.

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Never Judge…?

One of the benefits of putting up with various New York annoyances is not having to experience really terrible cultural jealousy too often. A good piece of theater will invariably pass through here at some point, as will most musicians, and basically every film ever made. There will be art exhibits that are tied to […]

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