But even as the Rubik’s Cube conquered the world, the publicity-averse man behind it has remained a mystery. “Cubed,” which comes out this week, is partly his memoir, partly an intellectual treatise and in large part a love story about his evolving relationship with the invention that bears his name and the global community of cubers fixated on it.
“I don’t want to write an autobiography, because I am not interested in my life or sharing my life,” Rubik said during a Skype interview from his home in Budapest. “The key reason I did it is to try to understand what’s happened and why it has happened. What is the real nature of the cube?”
Before I was a translator, I was a musician, and I have always been attracted to texts in which sound is important—a certain rhythm, a certain feel for how language can sing more than say: the understanding of language on which poetry rests.
I hold my father’s copy of Mein Kampf in my hand and wonder if it should be saved, donated, or burned in the backyard. Will the day arrive when I attempt to hack my way through Hitler’s turgid opus? Or do I want to observe the look on the face of the clerk at the local donation center when she sees that noxious title? And what was Leo Greenland, husband, father, grandfather, successful advertising executive and generous supporter of multiple charities—some of them Jewish—doing with a paperback edition of Mein Kampf anyway? Bequeath, retain or incinerate: Our choices.
Any opportunity to contemplate Lorde would be a cause for celebration. “The Selected Works of Audre Lorde,” edited and introduced by Roxane Gay, arrives at an especially interesting moment, however. Lorde’s writing has rarely been more influential — or more misunderstood.
When the strange girl skips rope her hair flies
like a porpoise. She collects things that melt