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Inaugural Address

Amazing Sentence

Chinua Achebe

In The Chronicle Peter Monaghan interviews Chinua Achebe as he looks back at Things Fall Apart and the course of his career.


I know, I know, why even ask? But is Maureen Dowd’s job just to make shit up?


In The Walrus Deborah Campbell has a fascinating essay about Dubai.

There’s an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by John Gravois that purports to be about “impostor syndrome” among academics, but it is really about the phenomenon of top-tier universities sponsoring seminars for their graduate students and junior faculty about ways to overcome impostor syndrome.


Norman Mailer

My copy of Norman Mailer’s Cannibals and Christians came from my grandfather’s bookshelf.

Looking through my files the other day, I came upon one of the autobiographers’ applications and realized that our recent (brief) discussion of cover letters would be a completely foreign discussion to its writer. Where we emphasized brevity, he wrote a 4-page, single-spaced cover letter and tacked onto the end a 3-page, single-spaced autobiography. Where we emphasized writing our letters to readers, he wrote to everyone and no one at all. Where we might consider brevity and clarity to be virtues for any good cover letter—well, you can see for yourself.

Cover Letters

After my previous job search, I think I learned the cover letter genre pretty well, but I’m certain I didn’t learn everything. What are your cover letters like, Internet? What seems to work best; likewise, what works though it probably shouldn’t? Horror stories? (Stories need not be limited to job applications.)

Haruki Murakami on Writing

Haruki Murakami had an essay in the Times this weekend, in which he writes about writing and compares writing to jazz.