The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

February 17, 2016
by Dan
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New Directions Staying Small

Maria Bustillos visits New Directions and talks to publisher and president Barbara Epler about the business for The New Yorker: Today’s visitor to New Directions’ elegantly shabby offices, in Chelsea, may stand on the nineteenth-floor balcony beside Epler, who is in … Continue reading

October 30, 2013
by Dan
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Luc Sante on Lou Reed (1942 – 2013)

I wasn’t going to say anything about the death of Lou Reed — what is there to say? Like so many people, I discovered his music in my teens and was just as thrilled and confused by The Velvet Underground … Continue reading

November 25, 2011
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Jacob Covey’s stunning cover for Nancy Is Happy: Complete Dailies 1943-1945 due in March 2012 from Fantagraphics. Anxiety and Time — Adam Roberts, author of By Light Alone, on science fiction at The Browser: The common belief that SF is … Continue reading

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