Monday, August 29, 2005

You Gotta Believe

  • If you didn't catch Rick Moody reading his This I Believe Essay, go read it. To help convince you, here's how it begins:
    believe in the absolute and unlimited liberty of reading. I believe in wandering through the stacks and picking out the first thing that strikes me. I believe in choosing books based on the dust jacket. I believe in reading books because others dislike them or find them dangerous. I believe in choosing the hardest book imaginable. I believe in reading up on what others have to say about this difficult book, and then making up my own mind.
    A reader's manifesto.
  • Learned a new word from World Wide Words. Ignivomous. It means vomiting fire. The word was first written in 1669 by the German Jesuit Athansius Kircher in a book he wrote about famous volcanoes. I'm surprised Shakespeare never used it, it has such potential.
  • Alternet reviews American Mania: When More is Not Enough by psychiatrist Dr. Peter C. Whybrow. According to Whybrow Americans have "devolved into a nation of overindulging, overstimulated flakes addicted to easy access and instant gratification." The way I see it this book can be read in one of three ways; 1) to dispute it, 3) to recognize yourself in it, 3) to feel better about yourself because you aren't "that way." It is most likely that numbers one and three will win out over number two.
  • Rushdie on life, the fatwa, and his new book at The Guardian
  • And finally, the difference between Brits and Americans explained. Americans tend toward exhibitionism and the British toward eccentricity. No wonder I am so conflicted. As a person who is shy, exhibitionism terrifies me but is also alluring. But at the same time I would live in Britain in a second because I love the quiet and eccentric. Mr. Wemmick in Great Expectations delights me and makes me happy and giggly every time. (link via Arts and Letters Daily
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