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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Risky Sex, by Claire Lowdon, Times Literary Supplement

There is no reason why good writing should exclude arousal, but any sex scene that reaches for stock phrases – or even stock words – can forget about its literary credentials. The stakes are higher than usual; “quivering member” is not just a cliché, it’s a cliché that tips you straight into another genre. Nor is it possible to play it safe.

How To Listen To Music, by Hua Hsu, New Yorker

There’s a distinct possibility that I would never have been able to finish reading “Moby-Dick,” in my early twenties, had it not been for the Guns N’ Roses song “November Rain.”

Favorite Recipes Of Famous Women, by Meryl Cates, The Paris Review

Years ago, I came across this title by way of one single recipe—an anecdotal, two paragraph wonder by Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, described by Stratton as “wife of author of ‘The Beautiful and Damned,’ ‘The Jazz Age,’ etc.” It was an entry called “Breakfast.”

See if there is any bacon, and if there is, ask the cook which pan to fry it in. Then ask if there are any eggs, and if so, try to persuade the cook to poach two of them. It is better not to attempt toast as it burns very easily.

Art For Instagram’s Sake, by Katharine Schwab, The Atlantic

Increasingly, shows feature big, bold, spectacular works that translate into showy Instagram pictures or Snap stories, allowing art to wow people who might otherwise rarely set foot inside museums. But the trend toward accessibility has its critics, who wonder whether the sensationalist works being exhibited are worthy of all the attention, not to mention whether the smartphone photography is getting in the way of people looking and thinking about the art in front of them.

Candyland, by Kimberly Ann Southwick