Books

8 Weird Facts From the History of the Library

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“The hallmark of public libraries — the printed book, bound by covers and centuries of page-turning — is being shoved aside by digital doppelgangers,” the Washington Post wrote this month. It’s true. And because of the recent incineration of hundreds of thousands of printed volumes across the Western world, libraries are of increasing interest to the “general intellect.”
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Christian Kracht’s ‘Imperium’ is a Melvillean Masterpiece of the South Seas

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Long of toenail and hair and beard, the eccentric August Engelhardt shunned clothing and subsisted entirely on coconuts; he was, in other words, a nudist and cocovore. He was also a subject of the German Empire at the turn of the twentieth century, a privilege that gave him the right to purchase land in what was then German New Guinea. His expressed purpose? To establish a nudist colony of coconut-devouring sun-worshippers on the island of Kabakon.
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Ernest Hemingway’s Hottest Takes on Today’s News

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Happy birthday, Papa Hemingway! Many outlets are celebrating the famously concise and manly writer with tributes to his bon mots, but we thought we’d do something a little more appropriate for the 24/7 online news cycle — so we asked the beloved author to weigh in on a few of the most thinkpiece-worthy headlines of the moment. He obliged, being conveniently long dead, and therefore in the public domain.
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“The American Dream” David Brooks Loves So Much Is Rich, White America’s Greatest Tool of Social Control

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At the very beginning of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book Between the World and Me, the author recounts a recent television appearance wherein he was asked to discuss why he felt “that white America’s progress — or, rather, the progress of those Americans who believe that they are white — was built on looting and violence.” Coates describes how he explained his ideas. Then, at the end of the segment, he writes, “the host flashed a widely shared picture of an eleven-year-old black boy tearfully hugging a white police officer. Then she asked me about ‘hope’. And I knew then that I had failed.”
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‘District 9’ Writer Adapting Cape Town Supernatural Adventure, ‘Apocalypse Now Now’

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Variety reports that Apocalypse Now Now (which, fortunately, is not the uninventive name of a Vietnam War film sequel/reboot/remake/re-etc.), is District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell’s next project. The writer, who also co-wrote Chappie with Neill Blomkamp, is adapting the Charlie Human novel, described as “Tarantino meets Neil Gaiman,” for Redlab Digital and XYZ Films in a Canadian/South African production.
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