Gore Vidal, The Art of Fiction No. 50:
INTERVIEWER: You once said the novel is dead.
VIDAL: That was a joke.
“How I hacked my brain with Adderall: a cautionary tale”: “Up until my mid-twenties, I considered myself a learning maximalist: never wanting to specify a direction for myself, preferring always to try to keep up with everything that was going on around me. For the most part, I was able to. Things hadn’t reached critical mass yet, social content was just ramping up with the early days of YouTube, the heyday of MySpace, and the beginnings of Twitter and Flickr. I recall very clearly the moment I realized it was no longer possible.”
Jim Newell, on Adam Wheeler and college credential fraud: ”Wheeler embarrassed Harvard; his puncture of arbitrary power was so trifling that, paradoxically, it couldn’t be ignored. Harvard officials had little choice but to make an example of him through an aggressive, custom-tailored prosecution whose real aim was to restore the correct order of things. Delaware. But Harvard—well, everyone knows that Harvard shines across the fair land as a beacon of meritocratic upward mobility universally accessible to a nationwide corps of upper-middle-class teenagers of arbitrary intellectual ability.”
Rosie Millard on the Hitchcock and actress Tippi Hedren: “The torment went on for five days. “At the end, I was so exhausted I just sat in the middle of the stage, sobbing.” In the BBC film, Hedren is shown with clothes ripped, skin bleeding from pecks, hysterical, while Hitchcock impassively looks on, almost as if he is willing his film to break her.”
Daniel Mason on the contentious relationship between medicine and magic: “On CT scan she’d been found to have a meningioma, an often curable tumor of the membranes covering the brain. The prognosis was excellent, and she was offered surgery. She refused, instead flying to the Philippines, where a folk healer—a “psychic surgeon,” to use the term of trade—pressed on her forehead, extracted a dripping gobbet of flesh, and pronounced her cured.”
Mark Anthony Signorelli and Nikos A. Salingaros on “The Tyranny of Artistic Modernism”: “In a manner too obviously analogous to the totalitarian political regimes of the twentieth century, the modernists endeavored to create an art that would be entirely free of any indebtedness to the past, best captured in the noxious appeal of Alfred Jarry to “destroy the ruins.” That such a virulently “anti-traditional” movement has coagulated into its own tradition must appear paradoxical.”