SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
The book was always fundamental to me. One of the things I really liked was that the original logo for Criterion, which we designed in 1984, was a book turning into a disc. It was central. When I was writing the paper for Britannica, I felt like I had to relate the idea of interactive media to books, and I was really wrestling with the question “What is a book?” What’s essential about a book? What happens when you move that essence into some other medium? And I just woke up one day and realized that if I thought about a book not in terms of its physical properties—ink on paper—but in terms of the way it’s used, that a book was the one medium where the user was in control of the sequence and the pace at which they accessed the material. I started calling books “user-driven media,” in contrast to movies, television, and radio, which were producer-driven. You were in control of a book, but with these other media you weren’t; you just sat in a chair and they happened to you. I realized that once microprocessors got into the mix, what we considered producer-driven was going to be transformed into something user-driven. And that, of course, is what you have today, whether it’s TiVo or the DVD. –“Mao, King Kong, and the Future of the Book,” Bob Stein interview with Dan Visel, Triple Canopy
Deloitte Touche me anymore with your skinny jeans and your sexual harrassment;
the only reason to consider where Twain must be put is to acknowledge that he was ever lost;
take the express train to the “nadir” of Obama’s messianic plummet
This story is about ejections, and the ocean of numbers can answer many questions there too….Cox, who will retire after this season, has managed 4,438 games, fourth-most in baseball history, for the Braves (1978–81), Blue Jays (1982–85) and Atlanta again (1990 until now). But Tony La Russa has managed more games than Cox and has barely half the ejections. Joe Torre has managed almost as many games and has fewer than half the ejections. Connie Mack managed for 53 years, and he’s not even among the top 10 ejectees. Bobby Cox hasn’t just been around a long time. He’s been getting thrown out a lot for a long time. The previous record holder—McGraw, the New York Giants’ manager from 1902 to 1932—was known for kicking umpires with his cleats and getting ejected on purpose so he could go bet on horses. Bobby Cox has gotten booted at a rate about 50% higher than McGraw’s rate as a manager. –“Thumbing His Way Back Home,” Thomas Lake, CNNSI
So I sought out new friends. I met a woman who sold her gold bangles to self-publish her first novel. I met a publisher who despite sanctions and restrictions was keeping his business afloat and despite political repression was keeping himself out of prison. In a reading event at the University of Khartoum, I signed a pirate copy of my collection of stories. It had been blown up to the size of a coffee-table book! Then I signed a stained, worn-out copy of The Translator, dog-eared and with notes on the margins. It had been passed around and poured over. Everything in Sudan was scarce and everything had value. –“Homecoming-1,” Leila Aboulela, Granta
More from TedRoss:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”