literature

Conjoined Twins in Pop Culture

Earlier this week, actress Sarah Paulson teased a photo of her character for the upcoming carnival-set installment of American Horror Story, subtitled Freak Show. She’ll star as conjoined twin sisters Bette and Dot in the series. Set in Jupiter, Florida at one of the last remaining freak shows of the 1950s, the struggling outsiders are forced to contend with the “evil forces” who do not understand them. It’s fantastic news for fans of the outrageous series (but somewhat bitter for those who wish Daniel Knauf’s Carnivàle was still on the air). Twins of all types have fascinated audiences for centuries, from the mythological figures of history to the vaudeville acts of the 1920s. But there’s something about conjoined twins that remains mysterious and potent for pop culture narratives. Their bodies are meshed, but their stories are unique. Here are eight instances of conjoined twins in pop culture that mesmerized and entertained. … Read More

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10 Snug and Stylish Ways to Cozy Up With a Good Book

We don’t need an excuse to cozy up with a good book and get lost for a while. After spotting a set of fun and comfy pillows inspired by literary classics, featured after the jump, we went searching for the most stylish and snuggle-worthy ways to read. Bookmark these comfortable, literary furniture pieces and design objects for those moments when you’re ready to be whisked away for a weekend of books and bliss. … Read More

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Mouth-Watering Photos of Literature’s Most Famous Meals

When Dinah Fried’s Fictitious Dishes were first posted in June 2012, they caused an online stir, and that was no surprise. She styled, prepared, and shot elaborate recreations of some of the most iconic meals in literature, from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s open-faced sandwiches, or smørrebrød, to Proust and Swann and his very famous madeleines. You can find these charming images and many more in the new book Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, which features Fried’s photos, mouth-watering excerpts from the greatest meals in literature, and trivia. Here’s a selection of three meals, from Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, and The Great Gatsby. … Read More

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The Most Wonderfully Wistful ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ Quotes

Happy birthday, A. A. Milne. The English author is most famous for his books about an anthropomorphic bear obsessed with honey, Winnie-the-Pooh. Inspired by his son Christopher’s stuffed toy (originally named Edward), Milne and artist E. H. Shepard set out to create a magical world of talking animals. Milne’s books have fascinated generations for almost 90 years, but there’s no denying that Pooh and friends are a maudlin bunch. In fact, based on these quotes from the Pooh canon (the films included), the wistful creatures were absurdly melancholic and surprisingly existential. If you never appreciated Pooh in your youth, check out these lines that could easily be scrapped Morrissey lyrics. … Read More

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The Greatest Literary Catchphrases

Language is a fluid, ever-evolving thing. There are a few words we could do without, but many catchphrases have stuck with us through the decades — some more stubborn than others. Those that have their roots in literature, or those at least popularized by books, seem to have the most staying power. The printed catchphrase feels more practical, timeless, and stalwart than those words echoing in movie houses — and literary dialogue is often the backbone of cinema scripts in our adaptation-heavy culture. We took a glance back at several catchphrases from the world of literature that have made their way into our vernacular and others that are memorable for their context and poetry. We hope you’ll continue adding to the list, below. … Read More

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25 Fabulously Cranky Mark Twain Quotes

Mark Twain was born on this day in 1835. He lived until his 70s, which he considered “the time of life when you arrive at a new and awful dignity.” The writer regarded old age with the same acerbic wit that made him the greatest humorist of his time. Tragedy always seemed to be knocking at Twain’s door. He lived through the death of three children and his wife, and financial troubles weighed heavy on him — but for Twain, “humor [was] the great thing, the saving thing after all.” We’ve gathered 25 of Twain’s crankiest quotes that celebrate the father of American literature’s sharp tongue. … Read More

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Scandalous Photos of Shameful Librarian Confessions

It’s easy for book nerds to hold librarians to some godly standard, but the truth is, the part-time superhumans of the literary universe are people just like us. Tumblr Librarian Shaming is an online confessional, which we learned about on Neatorama, that offers a safe space for library workers to dish their dirt. If you’ve always imagined that your local librarian read the classics by candlelight, then your fantasy is about to be shattered. It’s nothing but Doctor Who fanfic and vampire smut for these guilty parties. Prepare to avert your eyes from these shameful librarian confessions. … Read More

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J.D. Salinger Has All the Answers

J.D. Salinger was notoriously reclusive. This is one of the few totally verifiable facts about him. The dissonance between this… Read More

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Clever and Creepy Illustrations of Modern Authors as Monsters

If writer and sometimes cartoonist Lincoln Michel‘s macabre illustrations of modern lit masters has taught us anything, it’s that themes of alienation, societal fragmentation, and anxiety can really take a toll on an author. In this case, it can turn them into monsters. We suspect “Bone Didion,” “Haruki Murderkami,” and company would appreciate Michel’s humorous and creepy twist. The series was created for Vol. 1 Brooklyn, but Michel dragged the literary skeletons out of the closet once more on Twitter. Take a closer look in our gallery. … Read More

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