Despite ample evidence and countless testaments to the opposite, there persists a toxic cultural mythology that creative and intellectual excellence comes from a passive gift bestowed upon the fortunate few by the gods of genius, rather than being the product of the active application and consistent cultivation of skill. So what might the root of that stubborn fallacy be? Childhood and upbringing, it turns out, might have a lot to do.
The New York Times talks to four book cover designers about going from an original concept to a final design. Above, Jason Booher talks about his concepts for J. G. Ballard’s autobiography, Miracles of Life.
On The Ropes
“Every inch of this book screams of quality. It’s a true masterpiece, and likely to pick up just as many awards as Kings in Disguise did, 20 years ago.”
A review of James Vance and Dan Burr’s latest graphic novel On The Ropes from the UK graphic novel review site Grovel. On The Ropes follows the adventures of young Fred Bloch who becomes involved in dangerous underground activity while working as an apprentice to an escape artist in a traveling circus during the Great Depression.
“Scotty, I’m a spy.” Over at Medium, read Scott C. Johnson on discovering his father’s secret career.
Johnson’s The Wolf and the Watchman is out today. “This stunning memoir,” per Michael Hastings, “could be ripped from the pages of a John le Carré novel.”
The Norton Anthology of No Drama
Celebrate the 130th Anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge with a marathon reading of Hart Crane’s epic poem “The Bridge.”
Sunday, May 19th, 3pm
Brooklyn Bridge Park
“Hage’s prose is addictive…[Carnival is] amazing, original, and impolite.”
—Montreal Review of Books
“Imagine Camus rewriting Taxi Driver.”