Books

‘The Dark Galleries’ Rediscovers Works of Art From Film Noir Sets

In one his most well-known essays, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin wrote, “Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be.” In many regards, Benjamin is totally right, but there’s something to be said about art reproduced or solely created for other art — in this case, the paintings and sculptures in films that are often ignored by nature of being part of a dressed set. But should these pieces be considered actual art? Most of the works behind characters in famous films of the 1940s and ’50s, the golden era of film noir and gothic melodramas, hardly had any impact on plot, so they probably ended up in some studio warehouse, at best. … Read More

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Book of the Week: ‘Songs Only You Know’ by Sean Madigan Hoen

In the mid-to-late 1990s the Midwest produced a handful of bands that fell under the umbrella of punk rock, but they hardly made sense to kids looking to hear poppy stuff that was fit for the radio in the post-Dookie era or the type of testosterone-filled hardcore that was sometimes labeled as “chugga chugga,” featuring bands fronted by singers who employed “Cookie Monster” vocals. These Midwestern bands, with names like My Lai, Jihad, and Racebannon, played louder, faster, angrier, and, in the case of Detroit’s Thoughts of Ionesco, better than just about any punk or hardcore band that graced the same stages. They were loud and furious, like Black Flag jacked up on that special brand of Motor City aggression that great bands from the area have channeled for decades. … Read More

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National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: “Separation” by Kevin Powers

For National Poetry Month, Flavorwire will publish a poem a day throughout the week. Today’s poem comes from National Book… Read More

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Flavorwire Author Club: Muriel Spark’s ‘The Informed Air’ Is a Charming and Insightful Essay Collection

In Parul Seghal’s excellent look at Muriel Spark at The New Yorker‘s Page-Turner blog, she discusses the flurry of Spark reissues that are happening this month, calling The Informed Air, a collection of the author’s miscellany, journalism, and juvenalia, “lumpy and slightly stale.” Perhaps nonfiction isn’t Spark’s forte: Seghal also writes that the writer’s memoir, Curriculum Vitae, has a “sinister dullness.” … Read More

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Shakespeare’s Tropes: 7 Phrases and Concepts That Changed Western Culture

Aside from the Bible, Greek myths, classical philosophers, a few Germans, and maybe Charles Dickens, no single author’s words have changed the way the Western world talks and writes like the work of William Shakespeare. Although it may often escape the casual reader’s notice, his fingerprints are all over our books, plays, television shows, movies, and just about everything else that involves language. On what is allegedly Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite phrases and tropes the Bard injected into the English lexicon. … Read More

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20 Great Southern Short Stories

The American South has produced an incredible amount of great literature. Earlier this month, we published a hearty list of classic novels to come out of the region. But for those who don’t have the hours to devote to Southern culture’s long-form masterpieces, there’s plenty of great short fiction set south of the Mason-Dixon, too. Featuring some famous tales by literary greats like William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Flannery O’Connor, this list is a great way to start exploring Southern short… Read More

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National Poetry Month Poem of the Day: ‘Life May Have Begun More Than Once’ by Jynne Dilling Martin

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Flavorwire is posting a poem a day throughout April. For today’s poem, we’re pleased… Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: “The Last Unmarried Person in America” by Ellen Willis

It’s a little chilling to imagine that nearly 30 years after Ellen Willis published “The Last Unmarried Person in America” in the Village Voice, the piece might have some readers rushing to find out whether something called the “National Family Security Act” was actually ever in the cards. Sitting nicely between political satire and dystopian fiction, it’s one of the most interesting selections in The Essential Ellen Willis, the new collection of the late cultural critic’s most important work. … Read More

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Will Gabriel García Márquez’s Unpublished Manuscript see the Light of Day?

NPR reports that Gabriel García Márquez left behind an unpublished manuscript tentatively titled We’ll See Each Other in August (En agosto nos vemos).… Read More

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What Happened to Martha Gellhorn’s Lost Debut Novel?

Of all the conflicts that took place throughout the 20th century, none has been as romanticized as the Spanish Civil War, which pitted the supporters of the democratically elected Spanish Republic against the General Francisco Franco-led nationalists, who were backed by Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. The war fought for freedom with “trenches full of poets,” as The Clash sang in “Spanish Bombs,” was one that saw over 500,000 causalities, but amid a century filled with the crudeness and brutality of the First World War, the senseless atrocities inflicted on millions of innocent people during the Second World War, and America’s misguided war in Vietnam, the Spanish Civil War, the people who fought in it, and their reasons are often an afterthought. … Read More

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