To make money, I’m planning on teaching English, or coaching recreational soccer, or something. But that’s not important because apartments are cheap, and that part, kicking around a ball, or helping Thai children have a better command of the English language, even though I don’t speak a word of Thai, will probably only be a chapter in my book. Those things will provide some nice blog-potential details, too. They’ll show the texture of my everyday life.
You’re a young man from the provinces and you’ve just arrived in Paris to make your fortune. You have big dreams, but no skills to speak of.
Your boyish charm and feminine hips have attracted the attention of a wealthy woman and/or a sinister homosexual criminal who will someday become the chief of police.
Your face is so complicated that it takes three pages to describe.
There’s a woman you’d like to sleep with, so you decide to tell her an off-putting story about murder, castration, or bestiality.
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
Nic has found a mirror. He looks into his own eyes and does not smile. Moments later he averts them, then lets them creep back up to meet themselves. ‘As a creator, you always have one eye on the back of the room, where you know they’re loading their guns and building your gallows,’ he says, lightly punching the reflection of his own fist.
I have tried them all,
The cotton, the nylon,
absorbing water, rolling in sand,
sticky flakes of broken glass.
We all drown in the end.
Add this to the list of incredible things you didn’t know you needed until now. At Quartz, Jenni Avins reads through a selection of hand-typed book reviews, found in the NYPL’s archives, in which librarians tear apart children’s books they find objectionable. Sample quote, from a review of Green Eggs and Ham: “There must be better ways of teaching a child to read than this.”
After the Times Magazine published their interview with Roxane Gay — in which the Bad Feminist author and Year in Reading alum delves into the title of her latest book and talks about her love of Sweet Valley High — the crew at McSweeney’s dug up a humor piece the author published in 2010. If you can read the title without laughing, you are more stoic than I am: “I Am Going to Cook a Quiche in My Easy-Bake Oven and You Are Going to Like It.”