All of Bourne’s enemies, as well as his potential allies, are colleagues of one kind or another, and his very existence is a horrifying reductio ad absurdum of life on the corporate treadmill.
Cities get the types of crime their design calls for.
Excited for Manaugh’s book to hit my mailbox in a few days.
Our notion of places — which is to say the romances and images we project onto them — are always less current and subtle than the places themselves. […] That disconnect is even more acute because so many travelers have been everywhere (if only on-screen), which in turn means that reality — all that is unmediated and nonvirtual — holds a greater premium than ever.
If the words nerd and geek can be rehabilitated — if legions of misunderstood enthusiasts can march from the margins of respectability to the heart of the mainstream — then why not snob as well?
Rationally, no one should be happier about a score of 96 out of 137 (70 percent) than 72 out of 100, but my students were. And by realizing this, I was able to set the kind of exam I wanted but still keep the students from grumbling.
“I asked him, how does it feel when people say [Phil Jackson] won only because he had Jordan, Pippen, O’Neal and Bryant? He brightened. “Feels great!” he said. “I’m so glad I had those players. Made all the difference.””
There are a lot of ways for a novelist to create suspense, but also really only two: one a trick, one an art.
The trick is to keep a secret. Or many secrets, even. In Lee Child’s books, Jack Reacher always has a big mystery to crack, but there are a series of smaller mysteries in the meantime, too, a new one appearing as soon as the last is resolved. J. K. Rowling is another master of this technique — Who gave Harry that Firebolt? How is Rita Skeeter getting her info?
The art, meanwhile, the thing that makes “Pride and Prejudice” so superbly suspenseful, more suspenseful than the slickest spy novel, is to write stories in which characters must make decisions.
A reservation can cost up to $220 per night for a minimum two-night weekend stay in midsummer. Coffee delivered at your tent-flap is $9 extra. This is the worst thing to happen to public camping since poison ivy.
I love this essay about a two-day bender at the movie theaters.
Henry Higgins has a song in “My Fair Lady” in which he talks about how even-keeled his life was before Eliza Doolittle came along and messed it up. That is true at the movies, too. Alone, you can respond any way you want; the only negotiation is between you and the screen. Let another person in, and everything changes. My friend was gracious, but I could tell that he wished the seats were farther back and that he was repelled by what he perceived to be the unpleasant jingoism cascading around the theater. I felt responsible, because the movie had been my idea.
That was a bummer. I began to believe that maybe art is better experienced alone, which is not a healthy belief.
And this too:
The movie was “Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb,” and it was pretty bad. It was a perfect thing to see alone, because I really liked it and would not have wanted to explain myself to anyone.
If they’re going to be open to a real relationship, they have to stop asking where this person rates in comparison to others and start asking, can we lower the boundaries between self and self.