The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

Something for the Weekend


Typographica’s favourite typefaces of 2011 (pictured above: A2 Beckett designed by Henrik Kubel for A2-TYPE).

The Coroner`s Report — John Banville reviews The Complete Poems by Philip Larkin for The Guardian:

A “Complete Poems” is a death certificate and memorial combined. After the Selected and the Collected, the Complete marks the poet’s official demise and at the same time erects a carven monument designed to outlast the ages. In the case of this mighty volume of the all of Larkin, there is something too of the coroner’s report.

A twopart interview with William Gibson, author of Distrust That Particular Flavor, in the Wall Street Journal.

And finally…

Go Outside — Ian Leslie responds to criticism of his essay on serendipity:

The inherent limits of older formats like newspapers or bookstores are a feature as well as a bug. They make things a bit difficult for us, and because of that they often push us towards unsought-for discoveries.The modern internet makes each of us like a rich man in his mansion who has the finest food flown in from every corner of the world and whose favourite singers and artists come and perform for him in his bedroom at a moment’s notice. He has a nagging feeling that he ought to go outside and experience the city and its manifold surprises first-hand. Nothing is stopping him from doing so. But it feels like such an effort.


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