Stuck Like a Pincushion

Chinua Achebe on the meaning of life and the writer’s responsibility in society in a 1994 interview

People still think of critics only as those writers who are telling you whether or not you should read a book or see a film or purchase an album.

Bullshit. The role of the critic is, for me, about connection. How many books have you read that no one else you know has read? It happens to me all the time. There are simply too many books, too many authors, for any two people to have read the same exact list of works. How sad to let all your thoughts and feelings about a given text languish. Well, that’s where critics come in. Through them, I can finally have an enlightened conversation about literature. The critic becomes a stand-in friend so that I can contrast my response to a book against theirs.

In reviewing Dani Shapiro’s Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of the Creative Life (one of 2013’s best books on writing and creativity) and Wendy Lesser’s Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of BooksThe Rumpus's Jonathan Russell Clark offers a beautiful meditation on criticism itself.

Relatedly, some time ago I wrote about the role of the critic as a celebrator for Harvard’s Nieman Reports.

(via explore-blog)
One trouble with being human — with the human condition — is that, as with many conditions, you cannot turn it off. Even as we develop from relatively immobile, helpless infants into mobile, autonomous adults, we are more and more constrained by the ways we learn to see the world.


The first promo will air tonight during ‘24.’

Anderson Cooper dons T-Shirt emblazoned with French Fries [x]


Thanks for an awesome Facebook submission from one of our regular contributors! 


Sheldon explaining fandom life


Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger? As Joe Hanson puts it, this TED talk by David Epstein, former Sports Illustrated writer and author of The Sports Gene, will change the way you look at sports.