Tag: twentieth century

This makes me feel better

“Being creepy is a part of human nature, and learning to recognize and put boundaries on our own creepiness is something curricular Sex Ed should teach us, but never will.”

—Helena Fitzgerald in this great essay about growing up (found via this)


On giving people their rights

“We gave [Martin Luther King, Jr.] the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we gave him the Voting Rights Act of 1965, we gave him the War on Poverty. What more does he want?”

—President Lyndon Johnson (reportedly) after King criticized the war in Vietnam

This is a dangerous idea and one that’s easy to fall for if you’re inured to the status quo. Rights are not given. They are owed. That’s what makes them rights.

Found here.


“We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security.”

—William Sullivan, then the head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division, about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Crime and mystery fiction publication: Crimewave

Crimewave, an all-fiction magazine printed twice a year by TTA Press, also available in an electronic edition; unfortunately, it appears, as Christopher Fielden suggests, it’s no longer being published—perhaps it’s just been on hiatus
1999 to 2013?
Edited by Andy Cox?
Subscribe here for £36.00 ($49.43 U.S.) per four issues, at least in theory
Apparently didn’t pay writers
Not sure of the typefaces they used
In issue 12, the number of words per line averages 10.6875, and there are 35 lines per page, so per full page, that comes to 374.0625 words

The original editor, Mat Coward, says, “We don’t do cosy, we don’t do hardboiled, we don’t do noir. What we do is something entirely different to anything you’ve ever read before.” That’s not quite true. What Crimewave does—used to do—is literary fiction, or quasi-literary fiction, about crime. And it was pretty impressive.


Short story: “The Conversion of the Jews”

“The Conversion of the Jews,” by Philip Roth

Appeared in The Paris Review (issue 18, Spring 1958), online for subscribers here; collected in Goodbye, Columbus, and Five Short StoriesPDF here

5406 words

A charming story of a child suddenly attaining power and not knowing what to do with it. Stories about children can do this really effectively—show the tension between a child’s need for personal power and their helplessness in the adult world.

According to this, The Paris Review got this story from the slush pile. Goodbye, Columbus was Roth’s first book.

On Edith Wharton

“One of the brave things that Wharton does is to recognize the coexistence of the world of passion and the world of strictures. I don’t know another writer of her era who felt so seriously bound by the rules of society, and who took so seriously the great forces of emotion that were aligned against those rules.”

—Roxana Robinson in The Millions


Currently wondering if the 1920s song “Has Anybody Seen My Girl?” (“Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”) originated the expression “Cootchie-cootchie-cootchie-coo” or merely punned on it with “Could she, could she, could she coo!”

Flash fiction story or fictional essay or perhaps personal essay: “Borges and I”

“Borges and I” (“Borges y Yo”), by Jorge Luis Borges or “I,” translated by various

Appeared in Borges’ collection The Maker (El Hacedor), 1960; anthologized in the 1981 book The Mind’s IAntonios Sarhanis’ translation online here

345 words

A brilliant examination of personal and authorial identity. It makes me think (forgive me) that “Everything and Nothing” is autobiographical. The last line could be the last line of a horror story.

Antonios Sarhanis’ takedown of Andrew Hurley’s translation is interesting. I don’t agree with every choice Sarhanis makes, but I admire the translation and the thought he’s put into it.

Short story: “Where Am I?”

“Where Am I?”, by Daniel C. Dennett

First published in 1981 in The Mind’s I; PDF here

Probably as much as 10,000 words

This is such a great thought experiment.

I love/hate this non sequitur: “You can have a female body—your body could be any color you like.” What does it mean? Just the babbling of someone who’s been through a traumatic experience?

What a Wigleaf is

From an interview with the editor of Wigleaf in The Review Review:

Michael Fischer: Okay, I’ve always wanted to ask you this—at the risk of sounding like an idiot: what’s a “Wigleaf”? What’s the story behind the journal’s name?

Scott Garson: Did you ever see the SNL commercial parody for the conservative investment firm that didn’t get on the internet quickly enough and so was stuck asking people to visit it on the only domain it could eventually secure, http://www.clownpenis.fart? That bit aired in 1999. Wigleaf didn’t launch until early ’08, so you can imagine how much worse things were. And I really wanted a dot-com! So I got in the habit of trying out sounds in my head, just nonsense constructions. At first, I’d usually be like, That doesn’t sound like anything—definitely not our mag. But once I got used to “Wigleaf,” I could imagine other people getting used to it, too. I could imagine it sounding fairly natural.