A Mown Lawn, by Lydia Davis

She hated a mown lawn. Maybe that was because mow was the reverse of wom, the beginning of the name of what she was—a woman. A mown lawn had a sad sound to it, like a long moan. From her, a mown lawn made a long moan. Lawn had some of the letters of man,…

The History Teacher, by Billy Collins

Trying to protect his students’ innocence he told them the Ice Age was really just the Chilly Age, a period of a million years when everyone had to wear sweaters. And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age, named after the long driveways of the time. The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more than an outbreak…

Two-Headed Calf, by Laura Gilpin

Tomorrow when the farm boys find this freak of nature, they will wrap his body in newspaper and carry him to the museum. But tonight he is alive and in the north field with his mother. It is a perfect summer evening: the moon rising over the orchard, the wind in the grass. And as…

Six 1962 Daniel Boorstin Quotes That Foresaw Events In 2016

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, media pundits have pinpointed a number of seeming prophets — philosopher Richard Rorty, Supreme Court justice David Souter, the TV show Black Mirror — that anticipated the conditions of the election before they happened. To me, the most salient prognostication of 2016 comes from historian Daniel J. Boorstin’s 1962 book The…

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