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The Lost Poems of Cangjie

Subtle, sweet, subversive, and sly, The Lost Poems of Cangjie will leave many readers puzzled – and, equally, delighted. The core of the book consists of two series…

Selections from a Grace Paley Interview

This interview with Grace Paley by Jonathan Dee, Barbara Jones, and Larissa MacFarquhar ran in the Paris Review in 1992. Still of interest. The best training is to read…

Eliot Weinberger, literary renegade

On an overcast evening last November, I met the American essayist and translator Eliot Weinberger at a gentrified West Village coffee shop. Having got there early, I was…

Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China’s Han Dynasty

In 210 BCE Shi Huangdi, the “First Emperor” of China, died at the age of forty-nine, likely from poisoning by the very elixirs that were supposed to make…

Mailbag: Left Abe, Right Abe Makes Textbook Appearance

A representative of Oxford University Press writes requesting permission to use this image of Abe Lincoln (one of the 44 U.S. presidents better than the current one) in…

Mailbag: 10 Design Trends

I received an e-mail from Katie Smith of Creative Market calling my attention to their infographic on design trends of the past year. “f you feel this article…

Ginger Beer Label

Since I’m taking a batch of my homemade ginger beer to an event in a few days I slapped up this little label for it. It goes on…

Bonds and Fractures: Asian Art Museum Exhibition Sheds Light on the Rama Epic

This winter, projects and holidays conspired to prevent me from catching the Asian’s current exhibition, The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe until late in its run. Now…

Thanksgiving playlist

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. This playlist mainly features traditional jazz, R&B, and Latin. Enjoy!

Nerfy Po

Nerf ball stuck at the net. In the early to mid 1990s I often engaged in epic nerfball contests with Po Brons0n., Who had the upper hand? I…

Ten thoughts on Carl Hiaasen’s Razor Girl

I read Carl Hiassen’s Razor Girl after seeing several rave reviews, such as two in the New York Times (“irresistible”  and “elegant”), one from NPR (“hilarious”), and one…

Again. And again.

Museums, let’s face it, tend not to be good at marketing their product. This envelope contained a membership pitch. Is “Experience it all. Again. And again.” supposed to whip…

Fame un spritz : the lyrics

I found the lyrics to this tune, which I posted here in 2010 and recently reposted over at Tom’s Garden. I make out the first line to be…

Also died Sevan Tethys, years ago, Thomas Christensen wrote tasty

1616 was an eventful year, the British Shakespeare died, the Spanish side of the car also died Sevan Tethys, years ago, Thomas Christensen wrote tasty Universal Modern History,…

San Francisco Chronicle Sportswriting Strained Conceit Awards for May 12, 2016

People who skip the sports section miss some extraordinary writing. Advancing to the Western Conference finals, a championship team will step up its game. And the San Francisco…

Beyond Shakespeare at The Critical Flame

Thanks to Daniel Pritchard and the Critical Flame for publishing my short opinion piece on Shakespeare and globalism. I wrote the piece in conjunction with my participation in…

Exhibition Review: China at the Center, at the Asian Art Museum

In London in December 1598 a group of actors and other theatrical professionals, part of a company called the Chamberlain’s Men, armed themselves with “swords, daggers, bills, axes,…

The Asian at Fifty: First Impressions

In 1966 the Asian Art Museum opened as a branch of the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. As a condition of the second of two major…

Friday Roundup : Links for January 15

“Every separation is a link” — Simone Weil Rats review NYC pizzas : Will Grimaldi’s sue the rats? How Capicola became Gabagool : Origins of the New Jersey Italian accent The…

New York Public Library provides hi-res images for free use

It’s encouraging to see libraries and museums beginning to make public domain images freely available, increasingly providing high-resolution scans or photos for downloading. Historically, they have guarded images of objects in their collections as a private source of income. Count the New York Public Library among the honorable elite who have made their pd images available to be shared.

The pot in the garden

Shakespeare’s garden, that is (click image for link to BBC video).    

Coming soon to an HR department near you?

IBM has developed a program called the “The IBM Watson Personality Insights Service” that “uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the…

ROI review

A nice short review of River of Ink in my local paper: “River of Ink: Literature, History, Art” by Thomas Christensen (Counterpoint Press, $35, 320 pages). The title…

50 books designed

I realized recently that I’ve designed at least 50 books (those are the ones I can remember). No wonder I feel as tired as Madelaine Kahn in Blazing…