Friday roundup

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Happy Friday! From my perch here in Massachusetts, outdoors is the best place to be, but if you’re looking for things to read, feed your mind with the following things:

  • I don’t know how I managed to miss this for so many years, but an ad on A&L Daily directed me to the fact that Lingua Franca magazine is back! And has been for some time, as a blog that’s now affiliated with the Chronicle of Higher Education. Regardless of whether or not you’re familiar with the original version — which lived up to the “common language” of its title by tackling a wide swath of cultural and academic topics and died in 2001 — be sure to peruse the new version and its equally appealing mix of subjects.
  • In the more recent past, A.O. Scott had a great piece in The New York Times on the death of the middlebrow and its effects on culture. “Like the later, sociologically related terms “yuppie” and “hipster,” middlebrow is a name you would never call yourself, but rather a semantic shoe that belongs on someone else’s foot. It is also, however, a workable synonym, in the sphere of art and culture, for democracy.”
  • Feeling green? Check out Jeff Abbott’s review of J. Herbin’s Vert reseda ink at the Pen Addict blog. “When I ordered it, I didn’t think I would use it very often, but I’ve actually used it quite a bit for general writing and notes. It’s an everyday ink for me. It’s not eclectic enough to take a backseat for special occasions.”
  • If you, too, have a vacation coming up, consider imitating Palimpsest and packing a pen-and-pencil first-aid kit. As she says, you might not need it, but it’s nice to know you’ll have it handy if you do.

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