Books

What Is Schizo-Culture? A Classic Conversation with William S. Burroughs

This Sunday, MoMA PS1 joined with publisher Semiotext(e) to present The Return of Schizo-Culture, an afternoon of screenings, music, performances, and readings from the storied 1975 Schizo-Culture conference, which featured an array of cultural, intellectual, and artistic radicals. The conference produced a series of writings that were later collected into a book designed by a group of artists including Kathryn Bigelow and Denise Green. Taken together, the book and the papers from the conference document the chaotic downtown arts and cultural scene of NYC in the 1970s and feature an amazing collection of interviews and essays from artists, writers, and musicians including Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, The Ramones, John Cage, Philip Glass, Jack Smith, and William S. Burroughs. … Read More

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Why Do We Still Read ‘Moby-Dick’? Melville Fans on Why It Remains Relevant

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, by Herman Melville was published in 1851. In fact, today, November 14, marks the 163rd anniversary of the novel’s first U.S. printing. It was not a blockbuster at first glance; in fact, it was out of print by the time that Melville passed away in 1891, with only about 3200 copies sold during his lifetime. It was, by any account, a literary failure. … Read More

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‘Community’ Creator and Nerd Overlord Dan Harmon to Release Book of Essays in 2016

Dan Harmon, creator of Community and cuddly curmudgeon, is writing a book of “humorous essays” set to be released in 2016.… Read More

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Lindsay Hunter’s ‘Ugly Girls’: Fiction and the Spectacle of Rural Poverty

Not long ago, I found myself trapped in an elevator with a finance attorney who told me, without blinking, that the show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo makes a “great case for eugenics in this country.” Motivated by my irritation, he continued: “Those people should not be allowed to breed.”

“Do you watch the show often?” I asked.

“Oh, I’ve seen probably every episode.” … Read More

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10 Years Later, ‘North & South’ Remains the Greatest Period-Drama Miniseries of All Time

Ten years ago tonight, the BBC premiered a four-part miniseries, North & South (not to be confused with the Patrick Swayze-starring civil war drama of the same name), adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell’s 19th-century novel of cross-class romance in the industrial North of England. The BBC didn’t harbor huge expectations for the series, coming as it did in the midst of a glorious decade of nonstop adaptations of major works by Austen, Brontë, and Dickens. But then, a few weeks later, the fourth installment of North & South ended with a tender, long-awaited kiss (now known to viewers as “The Kiss”). Immediately, so many people flooded the BBC’s online message boards that they crashed and shut down. It’s been enshrined in fangirl lore as “the infamous night that period drama fans broke (a small part of) the BBC (dot com).” … Read More

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Ted Cruz Has a Very Scary Coloring Book

There’s not a whole lot to say about this, so, here: It’s been

Beautiful, right?

The book was… Read More

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Goodreads Doesn’t Care If You Read the Book You Reviewed

In the Goodreads entry for Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakable Love For New York, the recent anthology edited by Sari Botton — and a sequel to last fall’s zeitgeist-claiming Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York — there are 60 ratings. These shake out like your average online book ratings, with the spread ending up like this: 16 people gave it five stars, 9 gave it four, 7 gave it three, 2 gave it two, and 26 people gave it one star.

Cue the record scratch. One star? Forty-three percent of people giving this apparently benign book one star? … Read More

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A Brief History of Jon Stewart’s Side Projects

This week marks the release of Rosewater, Jon Stewart’s flawed but interesting feature filmmaking debut. As a serious-minded political thriller, it’s a bit of a departure for Stewart, who is primarily known as a talk-show host and stand-up comic — but his CV is more diverse than you might think. We took a look back at a few of his lesser-known (or, in some cases, all but forgotten) side projects. … Read More

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