Five from 4th Estate

To make up for a missed post last week, today we err from the trodden path of five best internet things and bring you the six articles, videos and ideas that we’ve been sharing and discussing this week. We hope you enjoy sharing them too. dfw1-300x187

Pulchritude, Fervent and Feckless. In an extract from David Foster Wallace’s Both Flesh and Not DFW compiles a list of the words -and their usages- which delight and irritate him. Hairy has the longest entry of all. It shows DFW flexing his linguistic muscles and inspires a quickening desire to make use of flocculent and tomentose, the latter handy for describing the feet of hobbits.

If you’ve ever found someone else’s photograph, postcard, bookmark or strand of hair in an old book, this article is for you. Wayne Gooderham’s discovery of forgotten objects slipped into the pages of second-hand books is one of the best arguments against the ereader, where mementos of the past cannot be preserved to conjure other, unexpected stories in the text. The telegram reading ‘IT WILL PREVAIL. I LOVE YOU.’ is haunting. See also, Ian Sansom’s meditation on the power of paper, Paper: An Elegy.


We recently celebrated James Gleick winning the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books for The Information. But why are all the Science prizes going to American writers? Philip Ball investigates in this Prospect blog post.

Are you an emerging writer? Do you believe the short story is underrated? Where else can the form go; in which direction would you take it? Answer these questions by entering The White Review’s Short Story Prize, which will be judged by Deborah Levy, Karolina Sutton and Alex Bowler.


Next year we will publish the highly anticipated new novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah, and we can’t stop talking about it and everything it contains: race, Obama, blogging, immigration, hair braiding. Chimamanda recently took part in TEDxEuston and we’ve unearthed this equally excellent TED Talk she gave in 2009 entitled ‘The danger of a single story’.


Our sixth offering features an infinite scroll revealing more and more images of books. On shelves. In half-light, candlelight and black and white. Near windows. And beds. And wooden ladders. Find a corner on your own and indulge in a few hours of Bookshelf Porn.

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