Ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of a famous writer or literary character in their journey across the country? Well now you can. Richard Kreitner for Atlas Obscura hand-cataloged the road trips — more than 1,500 entries — from twelve works of literature and Steven Melendez mapped the paths.
Many student movements seem to fizzle out, but they build shared experiences and extended networks that lay the foundations for coherent, sustained resistance.
Every Man Dies Alone
By Hans FalladaThe most fascinating book I’ve read about surveillance and its crushing effect on political dissent is Hans Fallada’s Every Man Dies Alone. Based on the real story of a working-class German couple who left a trail of anonymous postcards throughout Berlin calling for civil disobedience against the Nazis, the book is a page-turning spy thriller, love story and moving testament to the human capacity for small acts of breathtaking courage in the face of relentless repression. The couple, Otto and Anna Quangel in the book, are tracked by Gestapo agents who come to believe they must represent a vast network of underground resistance. Far from sentimental, the novel shows the Quangels to be unsophisticated and even inept, though no less heroic for their flaws and the futility of their mission. The ending carries the full force of tragedy. Incredibly, Hans Fallada wrote the novel in 24 days after being released from a Nazi insane asylum. Beset with severe alcoholism, he died before it was published.
Do you still need a working knowledge of the ideas of Michel Foucault to hold your own on the cocktail party circuit? Probably not, but the ideas themselves, should you bring them up there, remain as fascinating as ever. But how, apart from entering (or re-entering) grad school, to get started learning about them? Just look above: Alain de Botton’s School of Life has produced a handy eight-minute primer on the life and thought of the controversial “20th-century French philosopher and historian who spent his career forensically criticizing the power of the modern bourgeois capitalist state.”
Books loom large in Wes Anderson’s movies. Several of his films open with opening books and Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on an actual book. Here’s a nicely edited selection of bookish moments from Anderson’s films.