AuthorAurora

Kirsten Bakis on the Undersung Life of Anna Fort ‹ Literary Hub

“This woman cannot think, she feels.” An observation made in passing by Theodore Dreiser about the wife of a friend, Charles Fort; a casual summing-up by the famous novelist of a woman he considered of little importance. I was reading about Fortan unusual cult figure from the early twentieth century whose books have inspired countless UFO chasers, conspiracy theorists, and lovers of the...

Mariah Stovall on the Role of Repetition in Music and Fiction ‹ Literary Hub

Without repetition, there is no music. Entire genrestrap; bachatarely on reworking characteristic instrumentations, rhythms, and beats, beats that are themselves the stuff of repetition. Blues has its signature chord progressions. Disco and its danceable descendants lean into the power of synthesized loops. Harsh or ambient, noise music confidently gazes in on and repeats itself. Themes, canons...

How Art and Science Inspire Each Other ‹ Literary Hub

While much science fiction is based on theoretical physics, occasionally literature returns the favor and inspires scientific ideas. A perfect symbiosis between the two came about in the early 1980s, when astronomer-turned-novelist Carl Sagan was researching his fictional work Contact and turned to his friend physicist Kip Thorne for advice. Sagan wished to devise a way the main character of his...

Rebecca Boyle on Would It Be Like to Return to the Moon ‹ Literary Hub

Since the beginning of time, the Moon has controlled life on Earth and shepherded the human mind through a spectacular journey of thought, wonder, power, knowledge, and myth. But this frenzied, multifarious, Earthly history disguises the truth of the Moon. As vivid and lively as our history with it has been, the Moon itself is quiet, barren, and still. This was not always the case: When the Moon...

How an Icelandic Bird Led to the Discovery of Human-Caused Extinction ‹ Literary Hub

In 1858, the great auk (Pinguinus impennis) was reported to be in serious decline. William Proctor, keeper of the bird collection at Durham University, had traveled to Iceland in 1833 and 1837, partly in order to seek out great auks, but reported that sightings were now rare in Iceland and that he had not seen any of the birds. Later, student William Milner inquired about great auks on his...

Taylor Swift has announced a new album, entitled The Tortured Poets Department. ‹ Literary Hub

February 5, 2024, 3:02pm You’ve probably heard by now that last night, during the Grammys ceremony, as she was accepting an award, Taylor Swift announced that she has a new album coming out. Many thought that if she were revealing anything, it would be the release date of her re-recording of her Reputation album. Instead, she announced an album of totally new music. Regardless of the dubious...

The Tremendous Power and Lasting Impact of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill ‹ Literary Hub

Raised in South Orange, New Jersey, by a musical family, Lauryn Hill was destined to be a star from her childhood. At the age of thirteen she performed on Its Showtime at the Apollos amateur night. In high school she founded the gospel choir and led the cheerleading team. At the age of seventeen she played the recurring role of Kira Johnson on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. And when her...

On What We Do (And Dont) Understand About Tornadoes ‹ Literary Hub

My son picks up a flat package that arrived in the mail. He can tell its a book and wants me to open it. I dont think its for you, I say warily. I open the package and hand him the thin blue volume. Its a history book, I hedge. He flips through ithe cant readand immediately finds an illustration showing a twisting cloud beneath a dark sky. Its a tornado, he says with surprise, and continues...

Of Unborn Ghosts and Ancestral Murder; Or, Celebrating the Chaos That Led to Us ‹ Literary Hub

On June 15, 1905, Clara Magdalen Jansen killed all four of her children, Mary Claire, Frederick, John, and Theodore, in a little farmhouse in Jamestown, Wisconsin. She cleaned their bodies up, tucked them into bed, then took her own life. Her husband, Paul, came home from work to find his entire family under the covers of their little beds, dead, in what must have been one of the most horrific...

On the Essential Elements of Artistic Creation ‹ Literary Hub

Once at Englewood High School my English class was given an assignment to compose a poem. We each had to stand up in front of the class and read what we’d written. One of the girls was the first to go. She stood up at the blackboard and started explaining what she’d tried to do. “This is a poem about—” The teacher cut her off right away. “Stop,” he said. “Just read the poem. Don’t tell us what...

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