"A kiss in the dark, that’s what this first line is – Wait. What just happened? Who? – a confusing first kiss. We all would like to think that with one line, one brush, we could make a reader fall madly in love, and there are writers that illicit such a response with the appropriately gorgeous. I read a piece where a writer described her stories as beasts gnawing off the lovely clothes she had carefully dressed them in. I, too, find the stories that I will to be beautiful and charming end up, despite my efforts, strange creatures running for the woods. I’m asking you to kiss this strange creature in the dark, dear reader. And after, I want you to think, ‘A little weird, unnerving, but I’d do it again.’"
I’ve written before about the First Sentence series at Granta. The magazine asks a prominent writer to explain how they came to write an opening line. Recently, they asked Bear Down, Bear North author Melinda Moustakis to talk about the beginning of her story “River So Close”: “She’s a good-for-nothing chummer.” You could also read Jonathan Russell Clark on the art of the opening sentence. (via millionsmillions)
“Washington Square gives less sense of the neighborhood than of interiority.”
A man briefly disrupted the Jeff Koons retrospective at the Whitney Museum this afternoon, splashing red paint against a wall and signing his name. He did not vandalize any artworks.
When will they learn
Making a racist joke is not a prank. It’s being a dick.
Leaf from a Quran, al-Andalus, late 12th century.
This Qur’an belongs to a small group of similar Qur’ans all of which were copied in Southern Spain. They are all fairly small, this being one of the larger of the group, and are similar in layout and illumination. All are square, and written in a small neat script which has been described as the Valencian script. Nine of the group have colophons, of which six were copied in Valencia. They have an opening page or pages of illumination, which here is sadly lacking. The sura headings are in gold kufic with illuminated palmettes and the text is written on rather white parchment with tightly spaced lines of around 21-28 lines to the page. […]
Spanish Qur’ans are few in number compared to North African Qur’ans as many were deliberately destroyed by the Christian conquerors of Spain. None exists in Spain itself with but few remaining in libraries in North Africa and the East, poignant reminders of Spain’s glorious Islamic heritage.
(via Columbia University)