Category Archives: Juxtapositions

Baskerville Jones: Errol Morris in the New York Times

I’ve long been a fan of documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, director of Gates of Heaven, Mr. Death, and The Fog of War. He always struck me as someone with a blogger’s sensibility before I could have imagined calling it that—a penchant for certain incidental and yet, on second glance, fiercely crucial associations that accreted in […]

Share

Alison Bechdel: My BFF in the NYT

Everybody has a secret creative BFF, right? Someone whose writing or art you adore, who loves the same things you love, whose aesthetic influences are just the same as yours. Which is not exactly the same as being a fan. And writing a fan letter—almost always a good thing to do when someone inspires or […]

Share

Extremely Non-Random Instances of the Phrase “Like Fire”

Yes, I’ve seen it. And no, I’m not all that thrilled. I’ve known all along that Amazon pulled the name for their Kindle from the same Voltaire quote I took Like Fire from, and there’s certainly more than enough good bookish theory in that one little statement to go around. But I cringe at the […]

Share

Zeitgeist: n., The Spirit of the Times

Last December we were having all kinds of fun with the Google Books Ngram Viewer, playing around in Google’s digital library comparing word usage over the past couple of centuries. But eight months is a long time in tech years, and the fine art of text analysis hasn’t stood still—nor has it remained the jurisdiction […]

Share

Stories

1. Just because May is over doesn’t mean there’s any reason to let up on the short story habit. A setup like Short Story month is just meant to be a gateway drug, a way to to fire up the fever, and it’s up to you where you go from there. One Story, purveyor of […]

Share

Wednesday Moment of Zen: Color Commentary

Here in the northeast this time of year is known as Mud Season, characterized by large swaths of brown and gray, broken up here and there by shoots of green that you need to be paying attention to catch. In these pre-spring days, any color at all is appreciated, and Alan Kennedy’s Color/Language Project is […]

Share

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 […]

Share

Random Instances of the Phrase “Like Fire” #4

The Great Depression is well underway and a days-long FBI stakeout on Kansas farmland is about to come to an abrupt and tragic end. The tedium of both farmland and stakeout is shattered when “a glint of chrome radiator … turned into a full-blown automobile, swinging alongside the house, roaring to a stop, rocking heavily […]

Share

Journaling Serendipities: One Story, Tin House and Reif Larsen

Once you’ve spent some time knocking around the world of journalism, or are just a busy reader with a shrewd and slightly suspicious eye, you realize that there are no coincidences in publishing. If an extensive and well-received book on, say, the history of grackles comes out and you realize that you just read an […]

Share

Of Monkeys and Jackasses

One of my favorite children’s book authors, from back when I owned a child of my own, is Lane Smith. He has a new one out in August, a bit of metafiction for young people called It’s a Book, in which a monkey is grilled by a jackass on his reading matter: “What do you […]

Share
Subscribe