Arts and Letters Daily

An interest worth sharing is the wonderful diversity of current writing available online. Being able to access Arts and Letters Daily is like having a personal clipping service. Three columns headed “Articles of Note”, “New Books”, and “Essays and Opinions” list a fascinating collection of recently published material from many sources. The left hand side bar links to newspapers and journals, as well as the best known international journalists. New copy is added at the top and old articles eventually drop off the bottom, but it is possible to highlight and copy them to a wordprocessing program to start a permanent file of articles.

All interesting, all free, all at http://www.aldaily.com/ and all available to enjoy with a morning coffee.

This morning I took a look for samples to share. The letters indicate which column they’re in.

There is still a lot of material about Christopher Hitchens, including a collection of obituaries, (AN Christopher Hitchens, polemicist, literary critic, anti-theist, raconteur, is dead. He was 62), an article about his final struggle with cancer (EO Christopher Hitchens is re-examining familiar principles. In the harsh light of illness, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is revealed as a facile, foolish maxim…), and two additional pieces (NB Christopher Hitchens’s secular moralism transcends left and right. He is a lodestar of candor in an age of double talk…) and (NB Christopher Hitchens is the Edmund Burke of our time: two ingenious, subtle essayists whose belligerence triumphed over their judgment… )

I found articles about influential women: Jackie Kennedy, (NB In public, Jackie Kennedy was wooden, wide-eyed, carefully staged. Does that explain why she spoke like a child? Not quite…) two about Gloria Steinem (AN Gloria Steinem, still tiny of waist and big of hair, wants you to know that she has never gotten by on her appearance. “Who wants to be feminine?”)or (EO Holding out for emotional fulfillment is all very well, but lots of women are still single, and it’s getting late. Blame Gloria Steinem, men, monogamy, and, of course, Mom..) and Oprah Winfrey (EO “I was born for greatness,” Oprah has said. She was born, in fact, as poor as a child can be in America. So how did she build her empire? Being a kooky megalomaniac helped…)

There was also an article about a book I almost bought, but definitely will not now , (NB Umberto Eco is not bad because he is dangerous; he is bad because he makes history a headache-inducing game of semiotics… ) and a thoughtful piece about style and change (AN “I feel as if the whole culture is stoned, listening to an LP that’s been skipping for decades,” says Kurt Andersen. Is this how history ends?… )

So let us know in the comments section what you are finding, either in aldaily or elsewhere, or what you think about these!

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