Years ago, a troubled co-op board in Harlem rented me an apartment that was uninhabitable.
I wrote a few letters, stopped people in the laundry room, and tried to bargain kindly, until finally I went downtown to a courthouse. The woman who spoke to me was harried and tired. She asked three questions before concluding I had no rights in the matter. She shouted, “Next!”
Out of frustration, not willfulness, I stayed put. I kept talking. My eyes began to tear, then brim, like some damsel crashing a wedding with a gun.
“Oh, for Christ’s sake,” the woman sighed. “You wanna know what to do? I’ll tell you what to [...]
Matt Pericoli, a creative writing professor, teaches a course called the "Laboratory of Literary Architecture," which includes an assignment to "physically build the literary architecture of a text." The Times excerpted from his students' work last week, and the results are fascinating. Here's Pericoli describing the project:
Each student brings to class a novel, a short story or an essay whose inner workings he or she knows intimately. We start with the plot, the subject or simply a feeling that the student has about the text. We break the piece of writing down into its most basic elements and analyze the relationship of each part to the overall [...]
Inside the hallowed halls of Princeton University, an elite group of service-minded young newspaper editors spent much of 1965 laboring over a single question: where are the girls? And if and when you do come across one, what exactly are you supposed to do with her?
After years (days? hours?) of romantic toil, they compiled the results of their selfless lady-scouting into Where The Girls Are: A Social Guide to Women’s Colleges in the East, a field manual for finding and identifying The Girls in their natural environment. The collection is what John Audubon would have produced if John Audubon really, really wanted to have sex with birds. Not that [...]