Why am I Getting the Paper?

  Newspapers and their fans make a lot of noise about the professionalism of journalism, that journalism needs to be paid for, that the Internet is no substitute for the hard core objectivity and insightful commentary newspapers offer. and so on. Whether these arguments are true or not does not interest me. I have found distortions online and distortions in print. I worked at a newspaper and in trade publishing.…

ABC is developing the steampunk adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Yes, really.

As gimmicky as “steampunk Huck and Tom” sounds, the characters actually may be quite well suited for steampunk. Twain’s novel Tom Sawyer Abroad was a play on Jules Verne-style adventure stories, and featured a mad professor and his absurd, futuristic airship. And Tom Sawyer had his own mystery story with Tom Sawyer, Detective. However, Twain was poking fun at the conventions of these genres, not merely using them as vehicles…

Flannery O’Connor: “I am in a state of shock”

There’s often a moment in a lit class when a student says, “Since the professor says there’s no single ‘correct’ interpretation of a story, then pretty much anything goes, so I’m going to argue ‘Huck was a girl’ or ‘Hester was a witch.’ ” Of all the possible “correct” answers, the stronger ones are better supported by textual evidence. Then there are the truly wild questions… The famous author responded…