Zappa reads. Burroughs hangs out.
Tomorrow: The most widely used interrogation technique in the United States produces a staggering number of false confessions that lead to convictions.
Science journalist Douglas Starr speaks to Fresh Air about “the problem of science, or lack of science in our justice system,” and why he believes there needs to be national conversation about why so many people are convicted for crimes they didn’t commit.
photo from the 1949 film noir “Knock on Any Door”
Metaphors are not to be trifled with. A single metaphor can give birth to love.
—Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Books of 2013 - #39: Paper Towns by John Green
I don’t read much in the YA arena, but I do enjoy the Brothers Green, and so I’ve read my second novel by Brother John. My first was The Fault in Our Stars just after its release.
In some ways I like this novel better than TFIOS, though that might be a sacrilege to say among fans of that book (but I promise, only in some ways). But both books do something that I think is really important, it puts dramatic events and feeling into perspective.
I think this is especially important in Paper Towns since that book is mostly about teen aged drama and the ways in which we perceive other people. The charge of the book is to think of other people as people and not as characters. TFIOS does this, too, but it’s also more complicated because of the devastating nature of cancer which put in perspective cannot be other than tragic.
The paragraph below gets dangerously close to spoilers - fair warning.
To me, though, the most interesting part of the book is the very end in which the protagonist finally reacquaints with his counterpart. Even though to this point they have been pretty separate as characters go, the main character’s counterpart (the object of his desire and concern) sort of transforms into an interlocutor for his thoughts. It is certainly written in such a way that you can just read it as straight, literal dialog, but I find that reading a little unrealistic.
But if you read it as purposefully unrealistic then the protagonists friend is an alter ego. She is sort of a manifestation of his self doubt which is a killer direction to go at the end. Then again, I love books with a slight surrealist twist (I’m looking at you Hermann Hesse)!
I also really liked the supporting characters. They very much reminded me of kids I knew in high school. If I went to the school in Paper Towns, those would probably have been my friends. Even the way senior year social circles collide and melt in a way that is complicated and ambivalent, but also okay, reminded me of that time in my life (but with less beer, I never went to parties with beer).
The only thing I didn’t really like was the very end, as in the very last page. I didn’t really feel like I got any sort of closure from it, but I don’t feel like I was left on a thought provoking note or on a thriller. It just sort of ended in a way that I found unsatisfying, but that may be me projecting a somewhat similar experience I had at exactly that point in my life that went differently (which I was pleased with). I don’t know. I’ll keep thinking on it.
Over all, I recommend it. It’s a very quick read. I tend not to read very vast, but with most of a day free I read almost all of it at once. If anyone reading this has read it, feel free to let me know what you thought of it in my ask box.
I don’t like the terms “good person” or “bad person” because it’s impossible to be entirely good to everyone or entirely bad to everyone. To some, you are a good person, while to others, you are a bad person.
I don’t know about you but my favorite English exercise was writing prompts and with today’s technology bringing together huge amounts people with an equal amount of ideas, we get prompts that are out of this world! This Tumblr is simply titled ‘Writing Prompts’ and is a crazy collection of ideas, statements and questions that are meant to get you thinking and, more importantly, writing.
My favorite so far: “Tell this story: There it was, finally. Our island. Our very own island. It looked beautiful above the waves of fog, but there was still one question to be answered: why had they sold it to us for only five dollars?”
What a great prompt! Check that one out and more here at the link below! Happy thoughtful/reflective Tuesday!
"I tend to be cynical about a lot of things, but Maya Angelou is somebody that no matter how much I pick her apart, she still has integrity. She was a victim of incest and rape, and she worked as a stripper. And now she’s a literary icon and Nobel Laureate. It goes to show that life is cumulative, and you can’t devalue any type of experience."
Anonymous asked: How would you say "don't forget to be awesome" in lingua latina? I'm sure many nerdfighters are curious to have a good translation :)
Oh what a good question! Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, everyone!
I’d say: Noli oblivisci mirabilis esse.
What do you guys think? -Annie