The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

April 27, 2017
by Dan
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The Prophet of Dystopia

I am terribly late to this, but Rachel Mead, author of My Life in Middlemarch, profiled Margaret Atwood for The New Yorker earlier this month. Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale has just been released as a TV series starring Elizabeth Moss: … Continue reading

April 13, 2017
by Dan
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Dystopia

Tom Gauld for The Guardian.

May 10, 2013
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Arresting Charm — Writer and artist Howard Chaykin on the late Carmine Infantino who died April 4th: My best friend Michael Abramowitz was a huge fan of Carmine’s, and I held and hold his tenure on The Flash from 1956 … Continue reading

October 19, 2011
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Buzzwords of the Incurious — Evgeny Morozov, author of The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, delivers a searing review of Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live by Jeff Jarvis.  A must-read: The ubiquitous … Continue reading

August 3, 2011
by Dan
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Whither the Library?

Going to the library is one of my earliest memories. I don’t remember much about the books, but I remember the building — its steps and its smell — and I remember the funny pinkish orange library tickets for children. … Continue reading

March 18, 2011
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Pushing Paper — Ben Kafka asks why is there no Norton Anthology of Paperwork?: My Norton Anthology of Paperwork would include some of the finest historical examples of boilerplate, alongside selections of letterhead, fill-in-the-blank forms, fine print, and the history … Continue reading

February 17, 2011
by Dan
3 Comments

Margaret Atwood : The Publishing Pie

Author Margaret Atwood used to come by the bookstore where I worked in Toronto. It was always slightly surreal selling books to her, but certainly no more so than watching her on YouTube (YouTube!) deliver a great keynote speech at … Continue reading

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