10th Sep 201416:224,729 notes

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
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The entrance to Disneyland in 1965, when parking was only $0.25. You can just make out the Matterhorn underneath the “A”
via eBay seller nobleauction
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Chris Baio at Leeds Festival 2014

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Edouard Levé, Suicide
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1946 LIFE magazine profile of Margaret Wise Brown

My kid really loves Little Fur Family and Goodnight, Moon, both of which are actually really strange books, so I wanted to learn a little bit more about the author. Turns out she was pretty wild herself:

She was a lovely green-eyed blonde, extravagant and a little eccentric; with her first royalty check, she bought a street vendor’s entire cart full of flowers, and then threw a party at her Upper East Side apartment to show off her purchase. She was a prolific author, writing nearly a hundred picture books under several pen names and sometimes keeping six different publishers busy at once with her projects. She was known to produce a book just so she could buy a plane ticket to Europe.

She was also a real student of children and their responses to literature:

Brown wanted to become a writer as a young woman, and she once took a creative writing class from Gertrude Stein. But she had a hard time coming up with story ideas, so she went into education. She got a job at an organization called the Bureau of Educational Experiments, researching the way that children learn to use language. What she found was that children in the earliest stage of linguistic development relish language with patterns of sound and fixed rhythms. She also found that young children have a special attachment to words for objects they can see and touch, like shoes and socks and bowls and bathtubs.

Goodnight, Moon, btw, was not an instant bestseller:

The influential New York Public Library gave it a terrible review, and it didn’t sell as well as some of Brown’s other books in its first year. But parents were amazed at the book’s almost hypnotic effect on children, its ability to calm them down before bed. Brown thought the book was successful because it helped children let go of the world around them piece by piece, just before turning out the light and falling asleep.

Parents recommended the book to each other, and it slowly became a word-of-mouth best-seller. It sold about 1,500 copies in 1953, 4,000 in 1955, 8,000 in 1960, 20,000 in 1970; and by 1990 the total number of copies sold had reached more than four million.

Aimee Bender recently wrote a piece on what writers can learn from Goodnight, Moon:

"Goodnight Moon" does two things right away: It sets up a world and then it subverts its own rules even as it follows them. It works like a sonata of sorts, but, like a good version of the form, it does not follow a wholly predictable structure. Many children’s books do, particularly for this age, as kids love repetition and the books supply it. They often end as we expect, with a circling back to the start, and a fun twist. This is satisfying but it can be forgettable. Kids - people - also love depth and surprise, and "Goodnight Moon" offers both.

Though she was so prolific, the story of her death at 42 is extremely sad: a nurse asked her how she was feeling post-surgery — to show her how good she felt, Brown kicked her leg up like a can-can dancer, dislodged a blood clot in her brain, and died.


Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

When they introduced themselves to us, Win Butler and Régine Chassagne were contemplating death and eternity. Two albums later, they were puzzling out boredom and disconnection. In The Suburbs, the streets hadn’t yet frozen over, but the neighborhood was still desolate. This was a version of existential crisis that anyone with a carpeted basement could relate to, and it brought this famously grand, sweeping band perilously close to mundanity. But the band’s touch with allegory didn’t disappear, it simply grew lighter. There is a suburban war at the heart of the album, but the lyrics observe the conflict in the manner of a television left on in the next room. “By the time the first bombs fell/ We were already bored,” Butler sings on the opening song. The album rewinds and scrambles itself multiple times—the opening invitation of “Grab your mother’s keys, we’re leaving” repeats itself towards the end, and in the record’s emotional pinnacle, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains”), Chassagne rides her bicycle forever, futilely seeking the end of the rows of houses. The emotional thrust comes from the characters’ decisions to unball their fists and seek a higher peace with their surroundings—“I’m moving past the feeling,” Butler croons, at both the beginning and end. But like the endlessly falling bombs, the forever-restarting car, or the scrolling rows of houses, he never stops moving. Regret sits with us, like arthritis or sciatica, and the only viable option is to learn to live with it. —Jayson Greene


~   The 100 Best Albums of the Decade So Far (2010-2014) | Pitchfork (via inchepoyeneimi)

(via winbutlersbutler)

James Dean photographed by Roy Schatt.

(via jamesdeandaily)

21st Aug 201414:43143,455 notes
Opaque  by  andbamnan