Posts Tagged: stassa edwards
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How to Be a Genius (Or, How to Contract Syphilis and Be An Artist)

It seems that James Joyce was not the simple hypochondriac he’s often assumed to be. Rather, with his panoply of debilitating symptoms, he was something far more romantic: a syphilitic. According to a new biography, if the long-whispered rumors about Joyce’s burden are true, he had the French Curse, the Spanish Itch, the Canton Rash, or whatever delicate nickname he preferred to use.

Artistic genius and syphilis are strange but habitual bedfellows. (For men, of course; women with syphilis are just diseased prostitutes.) Joyce was in good, grossly infected company: Charles Baudelaire, Vincent van Gogh, Beethoven, Francisco Goya, Oscar Wilde, Gustave Flaubert, Édouard Manet, Guy de Maupassant, and Friedrich [...]

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A Short History of the Really Bad Valentine Missive

If we’re to believe the American people, “Tweet Me” is one of the most romantic utterances of our era. That was one of the many expressions chosen by Sweethearts manufacturer NECCO after their 2010 crowd-sourced competition for new romantic missives that were then featured on their ubiquitous Valentine’s candies. Other sweet nothings candy eaters chose included: “Text Me” and “You Rock.” They joined the even more swoon-worthy “Email Me” and “URA QT” already in circulation.

If conversation hearts are any indication of our capacity for romantic sentimentality, then we are a decidedly unsentimental bunch. But it’s not our fault: Valentine’s Day itself is probably to blame. Before the 1840s, Americans [...]