Souvenirs of a Literary Alchemist | Gabriel García Márquez’s Archive Goes to University of Texas

Read the full article | The New York Times

Gabriel García Márquez, who died in April at 87, was a strong critic of American imperialism who was banned from entry to the United States for decades, even after “One Hundred Years of Solitude” vaulted him to international celebrity and, in 1982, the Nobel Prize in Literature.

But now García Márquez, who was born in Colombia and lived much of his adult life in Mexico City, has “gone to Texas,” as they say. The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin will announce on Monday that it has acquired García Márquez’s archive, which contains manuscripts, notebooks, photo albums, correspondence and personal artifacts, including two Smith Corona typewriters and five Apple computers.


The 50 Best Independent Fiction and Poetry Books of 2014

[2014 will go down as a landmark year in independent literature, chiefly because a few longstanding “trends” or “developments” are hardening into verifiable traits of fiction and poetry beyond Big Publishing.]

Read the full article and see the books | FLAVORWIRE

Health of Our Elders in USA

Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey.

The United States also stood out among the 11 nations surveyed by The Commonwealth Fund for having more seniors struggling to get and afford the health care they need.

For the survey, the researchers collected responses from more than 15,000 older adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Read the full survey | MEDLINE PLUS

So-called “New Atheists”: Neither New Nor Atheists

Scholar Reza Aslan calls Harris, Dawkins anti-theists, and as dogmatic, fundamentalist as true believers

[Like religious fundamentalism, New Atheism is primarily a reactionary phenomenon, one that responds to religion with the same venomous ire with which religious fundamentalists respond to atheism. What one finds in the writings of anti-theist ideologues like Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens is the same sense of utter certainty, the same claim to a monopoly on truth, the same close-mindedness that views one’s own position as unequivocally good and one’s opponent’s views as not just wrong but irrational and even stupid, the same intolerance for alternative explanations, the same rabid adherents (as anyone who has dared criticize Dawkins or Harris on social media can attest), and, most shockingly, the same proselytizing fervor that one sees in any fundamentalist community.

This is precisely what Albert Einstein meant when he warned about “fanatical atheists [who] are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who — in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium for the people’ — cannot bear the music of the spheres.”]

Read the full article | SALON


Magical Thinking and Scientific Thought

How magical thinking haunts our everyday language, and fossilized ideas live on in even the most sophisticated science

[Personally, I shall maintain faith in the principle of eternal folly, comforted by the thought that nearly every idea that ever crosses my mind is most likely unoriginal or wrong, or both – though just occasionally our grey matter is actually capable of producing something new. A suitably humbling sentiment as I set up my telescope for another night of astro-whatever.]

Read the full article | AEON


American Universities as Accomplices | A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA

Abuse and its infinite planes of immanence

Jackie was just starting her freshman year at the University of Virginia when she was brutally assaulted by seven men at a frat party. When she tried to hold them accountable, a whole new kind of abuse began |

Photograph by  Tigran Tsitoghdzyan

43 Portraits of Mexico’s Missing Students

In Iguala, a city in Mexico, it’s impossible to forget what’s happened. Everywhere, there are reminders of Sept. 26, the day when local police and drug cartel gunmen killed six people and kidnapped 43 students at La Escuela Normal Rural Isidro Burgos de Ayotzinapa. The 43 are still missing — presumed dead and buried in a mass grave somewhere in the state of Guerrero.’

These are the faces of the disappeared: All 43 missing students | GLOBAL POST