As is tradition for, well, all book blogs ever, we compiled a list of the best books we each read in 2021.Continue reading →
Famous authors from Jane Austen to Zora Neale Hurston respond to your unsolicited dick pics. Via McSweeney’s.
The Harvey Weinstein revelations continue. I’ll draw your attention to a pair of New York Times articles that I think are particularly important. In the first, Lupita Nyong’o describes in an op-ed just how hard Harvey Weinstein worked to try to get around her clearly stated boundaries, and how alone she felt in her situation. In the second, Quentin Tarantino gives a brutally self-aware interview about the fact that he knew about Weinstein and failed to do anything. I think his interview really shows how normal this thought process seems despite the horrifying consequences, and also shows that people who aren’t invested in seeming like perfect allies (ahem, Ben Affleck) are sometimes more capable of learning and improving. (Assuming, of course, that Tarantino does improve in the future.)
“I chalked it up to a ’50s-’60s era image of a boss chasing a secretary around the desk,” he said. “As if that’s O.K.”
Speaking of which, Hachette has quickly and quietly “terminated” Weinstein Books, per The Guardian, but are keeping all of the titles and transferring the women who run the imprint to the main branch. That’s how you do it.
James Wood wrote a piece in The New Yorker dissecting why Never Let Me Go by recently crowned Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro is so great (or, in his words, “one of the central novels of our age”).
The Portrait of a Lady
No one delves into a character’s psychology quite like Henry James, and in Isabel Archer, he found a protagonist more than worthy of his meticulous deconstruction. She’s a formidable intellectual who doesn’t see the value in intellectual pursuits, she’s an idealist who isn’t quite sure what her ideals are, she’s an independent who is completely and utterly controlled by the malignant, vicious people in her life. She has a complex, distinctive personality and an indomitable will, all of which is systematically broken down by a small man with “exquisite taste.” It’s as tragic as it is insightful, sensitively portraying the experience of patriarchal oppression through the eyes of a woman who is determined to “behave picturesquely.”
Acquired: through kht, who warned me I would relate to the protagonist to an uncomfortable extent. I’ve thrice been told that I am like Isabel Archer, once as a lament, once as a compliment [To be clear, this was me –kht], and once as a scathing criticism. Only a Henry James character could find so many different ways to be relatable to a real person’s life.