Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction

"Loneliness is what the internet and social media claim to alleviate, though they often have the opposite effect. Communion can be hard to find, not because we aren’t occupying the same physical space but because we aren’t occupying the same mental plane: we don’t read the same news; we don’t even revel in the same … Continue reading Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction

You’re Probably Using the Wrong Dictionary

"I don’t want you to conclude that it’s just a matter of aesthetics. Yes, Webster’s [1913] definitions are prettier. But they are also better. In fact they’re so much better that to use another dictionary is to keep yourself forever at arm’s length from the actual language.Recall that the New Oxford, for the word 'fustian,' … Continue reading You’re Probably Using the Wrong Dictionary

The Secret History of Dune

"...part of Herbert’s genius lay in his willingness to reach for more idiosyncratic sources of inspiration. The Sabres of Paradise (1960) served as one of those sources, a half-forgotten masterpiece of narrative history recounting a mid-19th century Islamic holy war against Russian imperialism in the Caucasus... ...Why is Blanch’s influence on Dune worth recognizing? Celebrating … Continue reading The Secret History of Dune