If Flannery O’Connor somehow birthed the love child of Sid Vicious, she might end up sounding like novelist Nell Zink. Equal parts Southern Gothic’s grotesquely twisted charm and punk and alternative music’s insiderish anti-establishmentism, Zink’s second novel Mislaid will disorient you until you let it delight you. Zink’s mix — which I’ll call Southern Gothic Punk — might be an acquired taste, but a taste well worth experiencing if only to break out of the contemporary rut of MFA-programed, sound-alike fiction that’s become the bubblegum pop of today’s literature.
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was able to ride a wave confidence to run for Congress through the support of her friends and family. Perhaps to stop underestimating ourselves, we need to find our own confidence boosters — in our lives or online.
The Woman in White is a Victorian mystery novel containing a "songline" of a chance slice of London.
The trouble with productivity as a value is that it treats a morally ambiguous act as a moral good. What, specifically, do we want to be producing more of?
Whereas European countries were once able to tap into their history for subjects for opera, America’s never succeeded in doing the same. That problem comes in part from the decline in opera as a popular, public art form, but also perhaps from the lack of operatically epic subjects to be found in American history. Now, composer David T. Little hopes to create a modern American opera with JFK, a 2-act, 2-hour opera focusing on the life of President John F. Kennedy, whose life and death became defining moments not only for the Baby Boom generation, but also, many would suggest, the hinge upon which all American history turns for the last half century. Set to premier in 2016, JFK as a work-in-progress already raises important questions about how opera (and art in general) can approach history.
The possibilities were almost limitless, so why does everything line up? “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless […]
Look up after sunset for the most reliable meteor shower of the year: the Perseids, and learn where they come from! Image credit: Michael Menefee (Fort Photo on flickr), via […]
On May 24, 1813, just months after publishing Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen went to a show in search of her female hero. ”I dare say Mrs. D[arcy] will be […]
Writers and historians enjoy making the case for one or another thinker as the starting point for an epoch. Did Galileo launch the scientific revolution? Or was it Copernicus? Or […]
At the beginning of the Great Depression, John Maynard Keynes made a bold but logical prediction (pdf): In the long run, humanity was solving its economic problems, so that by […]
Dull Flag, Tongue of Gangsta and dozens more strange toponyms dot these windswept Scottish archipelagoes
“Ain’t got no rest in my slumbers/ Ain’t got no feelings to bruise/ Ain’t got no telephone numbers/ I ain’t got nothing but the blues,” goes Jazz composer Duke Ellington’s […]
The neuroscience of creativity is flourishing. But will the popularity of this subject lead to better, or sloppier science?
“Hello China!…… there are just so many of you.” Stefani Germanotta, better known by her Queen-inspired moniker, Lady Gaga, made that appeal to 15,000 screaming teenage Chinese girls in a […]
Over 20 years ago, I got in my car and drove a short distance from Baltimore to Washington, DC to meet the person I was in love with at the […]
Today’s the last day of SSA Week, and the end is in sight! At the time of this writing, we’ve raised just over $88,000 out of a target of $100,000. […]
The demographic of “Ph.D.-holding, football fiend women who listen to their local call-in sports shows” is probably small. So I wasn’t the intended audience for theDr. Pepper 10 commercial that […]
Performance art and film art have always been the afterthoughts of museums—the new kids on the block with no room of their own in the big culture houses. Institutions designed […]
The big news this week is that the Large Hadron Collider, the massive particle accelerator at the European physics lab CERN, has apparently discovered the elusive and long-sought subatomic particle […]
New York, 1964. The World’s Fair is in full gear, as 50 million people make the trek to Queens to see what the future has in store. The exposition showcases […]