“Sid and Sarah were of a line of unimaginative, one-acre farmers who very often had not owned the land they worked, and whose life’s spring was less connected to the proverbial love of the land than twisted somehow around a vague acceptance of work, God’s will and the hopeless, unsurprising emptiness of life. The only book in their little house was the Bible, which they never read.”
—Terry Southern, from “The Sun and Still-Born Stars.” Illustration: Robert Culff.

“Sid and Sarah were of a line of unimaginative, one-acre farmers who very often had not owned the land they worked, and whose life’s spring was less connected to the proverbial love of the land than twisted somehow around a vague acceptance of work, God’s will and the hopeless, unsurprising emptiness of life. The only book in their little house was the Bible, which they never read.”

Terry Southern, from “The Sun and Still-Born Stars.” Illustration: Robert Culff.

“While it may initially strike us as astonishing that a mystic visionary should have more official Twitter pages than Jay-Z, the online world has more in common with medieval Norfolk than you might think … As @tweetyng_teres puts it: ‘dey seyn this creatur cryin / dey haytin.’”
This week’s staff picks, including Margery Kempe’s Twitter presence, Ben Wheatley’s latest film, and experiments with the longue durée.

“While it may initially strike us as astonishing that a mystic visionary should have more official Twitter pages than Jay-Z, the online world has more in common with medieval Norfolk than you might think … As @tweetyng_teres puts it: ‘dey seyn this creatur cryin / dey haytin.’”

This week’s staff picks, including Margery Kempe’s Twitter presence, Ben Wheatley’s latest film, and experiments with the longue durée.

Aharon Appelfeld on when he started writing. “I was very alone. No parents, no friends. I asked myself, What do I need? Why am I working in the fields? What will happen to me? Where is my life going? I had nothing. So then one day I made a list. My father, his name, Michael—I wrote that. My mother, Bunia. My grandfather, Meir Joseph. I wrote, I was born in Czernowitz and my mother was killed. This list gave me a ground I understood. I was not alone. I still had my family. They exist in me. I made myself a family on paper. I wrote it down, and they became real.”

Aharon Appelfeld on when he started writing. “I was very alone. No parents, no friends. I asked myself, What do I need? Why am I working in the fields? What will happen to me? Where is my life going? I had nothing. So then one day I made a list. My father, his name, Michael—I wrote that. My mother, Bunia. My grandfather, Meir Joseph. I wrote, I was born in Czernowitz and my mother was killed. This list gave me a ground I understood. I was not alone. I still had my family. They exist in me. I made myself a family on paper. I wrote it down, and they became real.”