Shakespeare

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How Shakespeare’s Heroines Evolved From One-Dimensional to Feminist

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It’s the Bard’s birthday! Some celebrate the day by inserting “thee”s and “forsooth”s into their speech, and others by gathering Shakespeare’s quips and aphorisms. But there’s another way to honor his legacy, and that is to take a look at his treatment of women, which might be very instructive to some of our more boorish and misogynist culture creators today. Shakespeare was once just like them, but he evolved into something far greater.
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Rand

Presidential Hopeful Rand Paul Celebrates National Poetry Month

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Senator Rand Paul has had a rough first foray onto the Presidential campaign trail. He scolded female reporters, dodged questions, and seemed bored by the salt of the earth constituent types he claims to represent. As The Washington Post noted after a mere day of America’s experiencing Candidate Paul: “The rocky media rollout of his presidential effort highlighted a key question facing him now: whether the same tough approach that has made him a favorite among Tea Party activists and libertarians might be limiting in a national campaign,” To put it more simply: is this dude too much of an abrasive jerk to win over the country?

Rand Paul needs to soften his image, no doubt about it. Fortunately, National Poetry Month in April offers us a great opportunity to see the more scholarly and, um emo, side of the guy (as evidenced by the recently unearthed photo above). To that end, Paul sent us some great discussion questions to jumpstart our consideration of six famous poems, excerpted below.
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Shakespeare’s Sonnets Become Short Films: Links You Need to See

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Anyone with an artistically gifted friend may find themselves experiencing a familiar twinge of jealousy any time they watch them passionately pour themselves into their chosen medium, but this Kickstarter is going to change that: merely donate five dollars and you’ll become the subject of an art show, made with your data. Of course, one of the main rules of making art is that good artists steal and build on the works of others: this artist might have adhered to that principle a little too literally (as a former counterfeiter), but the Sonnet Project — whose goal is to create a short film for each of Shakespeare’s sonnets, each filmed in a different NYC location — is a perfect and legal example of this rule.
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To Dance or to Click? Links You Need to See

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Should you need something to nudge you out of post-workweek torpor this weekend, it’s probably best that you start your Friday evening off with this mashup of the best scenes of people dancing in movies. Though, come to think of it, that won’t get you dancing, it’ll just get you sedentarily watching other people dancing, likely alone, and likely clutching nondescript snack-food and/or cat, and it’ll probably just be a gateway to a long Internet-consuming fugue state, which you’ll come out of wondering why you (and possibly aforementioned cat) can’t get the haunting image of Kim Jong-un bent over out of your head(s). 
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kafka

50 Essential Literary Biographies

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Literary biography is a hugely significant, if often overlooked, enterprise. Today, much of what we know about the authors we admire is filtered through an ocean of online mini-biographies, nearly all of which are copies of copies. The original source of an enormous amount of this information is the literary biography, and in the case of most authors, there are precious few examples of such books. Even exceedingly famous authors are gifted only a handful of quality biographies. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 50 essential literary… Read More

Still image from "The Interview"

10 Fictional Assassinations of Real People

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Honestly, I have no idea why two fictional assassinations of real people are causing controversy at the same time. First it was author Hilary Mantel’s short story “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” (see below). Next, as you probably know, The Interview — about the fictional assassination of Kim Jong-un — drew the ire of some hackers somewhere, and the result has been a maelstrom of insanity and AutoCorrect the likes of which Hollywood has never seen.
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