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Bill Benzon
197 followers -
thinker, writer, musician, artist, photographer
thinker, writer, musician, artist, photographer

197 followers
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Shakespeare and his collaborators?
From The New Yorker : In 1989, a young professor named Gary Taylor published “Reinventing Shakespeare,” in which he argued that Shakespeare’s unrivalled literary status derives less from the sheer greatness of his plays than from the cultural institutions t...

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Artifice


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An Open Letter to Dan Everett about Literary Criticism
If you’ve heard of Dan Everett at all, most likely you’ve heard about his work among the Pirahã and his battle with Noam Chomsky and the generative grammarians. He went into the Amazon to live among the Pirahã in the mid-1970s with the intention of learning...

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The Greatest Man in Siam
The Greatest Man In Siam by jazztoon This is one of my favorite cartoons. I've blogged about it quite a bit, and have packaged those posts into a working paper . About 2/3 of the way though there is a dance sequence that is one of the most joyous bits of fi...

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A bird and the city


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The rise of interpretive literary criticism
In various posts I've pointed out that interpretation didn't become central to academic literary study until after World War II. We can see that in the following Ngram chart on the phrase "close reading", which is the term of art for interpretation:

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Donald Trump: Pop Star as President
If Elvis Presley had been elected President of the United States, what kind of president would he have been? We now know: Trumpian. If Michael Jackson had been elected President of the United States, what kind of president would he have been? We now know: T...

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Fathers and sons
This is a fascinating little video. It's an interview with Paul Cohen, who played lead trumpet for Count Basie for years and years. The two men were very close; Cohen thought of Basie as a father. But there came a time when Basie "rejected" Cohen and Cohen ...

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Distort in context
This photo just got a 'favorite' at Flickr: I'm pretty sure the 'fav' had more to do with Distort than with the photograph itself. I'm fine with that.

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Preview: Meaning in Conrad's Heart of Darkness
Here's another draft fragment from my open-letter in progress. This fragment centers on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness . * * * * * Now I want to look at a particular example, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness , which is one of the texts most frequently t...
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