David Brooks writes that, "Many people today have not been given vocabularies to talk about what virtue is..." The trouble isn't that we lack a moral vocabulary; it's that that language has long been a mask for wielding power.
Now, you might ask: What does the number of times the word "because" appears in a given work tell us about whether or not an author was influenced by classic literature? Nothing. The conclusions presented in the paper would be laughable -- if they weren't being taken seriously.
The Nuyorican Poets Café, the legendary venue that opened first in the mid 1970s, closed in the early '80s and then re-opened in the late '80s, is one of the cultural gems that keep NYC the hotbed of creativity that it has always been.
Spiritual counterculture are harder to define, hosting a multidimensional mix of spiritual awakening, new media activism, visionary art, punk attitude, permaculture principles, Burning Man aesthetic and Occupy ideologies.
The trials and tribulations, both artistic and personal, of this singular crew would make a compelling story. However, the characters of February House are drawn in brushstrokes; there isn't enough at stake.
Monstress does what all the best art does: it reveals the nuanced depths of people one might otherwise overlook or casually judge and dismiss. And it does this without polemic or the tiresome earnestness some writers succumb to when doing or attempting to do the same thing.
Not only do mainstream outlets simply disregard or grossly simplify important events and ideas in the Occupy Wall Street movement, but they also neglect to mention the publication of important books that clarify, criticize, buttress, and provide a holistic view of the movement.
Not that you need to unleash your inner Conan the Barbarian to make a point about literature. But given how intellectuals inevitably harbor well-tended lists of likes and dislikes, not confessing a deep hatred of, say, John Milton's poetry will compel other learned types to view you with suspicion.
Among Whitman's collection of papers are the few recipes he liked enough to preserve -- one for coffee cake. Whitman's letters have inspired my new personal philosophy: Live every day with sass, and with several slices of cake.
Searching for home -- for a safe place to rest your head, grow a family, and be part of a community -- occupies the heart of Morrison's body of work. How fitting then that her latest book has such a simple title: Home.
Quite often when I read mainstream American social science, I'm reminded as to how much I appreciate literature. This occurred to me again recently as I perused the latest issue of the zine called "Stupor."
What I prize most about Wislawa Szymborska is her readiness to confront the big classic themes -- life, death, history, war, reality, love -- and to do so with a voice that combines the fire of the Resistance with a proper humility.
Trademarks are becoming as common as commas, yet with a far greater impact than overused punctuation. While the legal lockdown of conversational language is progressing, the copyright law and rights are being thoroughly challenged.