THE HOUSE OF SPEAKEASY IS A HOME FOR CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A LITERARY KIND: A PLACE WHERE AUTHORS AND THEIR AUDIENCES COME TOGETHER IN INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINING WAYS. MORE

June 15 | Seriously Entertaining Presents: Summertime Blues
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Put down your ukelele, step out of the heat, and head to City Winery for the finest literary cabaret this side of the Hudson Bayou…. It’s the Summertime Blues.
Choose Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh to set the tempo, and poet and critic Edward Hirsch to scale the heights. Pour another measure with philosopher-novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, gain a Sense of Style with best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, and master your creativity with art historian Sarah Lewis. We call, you respond. Sell your soul to the devil and sing with the angels at the House of SpeakEasy.
Stop by City Winery to pick up your prescriptions for another evening of brilliant literary cabaret – stories, riffs and ruminations by five Seriously Entertaining writers.
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Seriously Entertaining Upcoming Shows
9.21.15 ALTERED STATES

All events are held at City Winery • 155 Varick Street New York, NY
6PM Doors / 8PM Start (Schedule Subject to Change)

SPEAK the BLOG by Charles Arrowsmith

Steven Pinker On Style

The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
by Steven Pinker
Viking, 2014; 368pp

Is it better to err unwittingly or to be all crouching pedant, hidden snoot? This is perhaps a question more of lifestyle than writing style, but one I nevertheless contemplated throughout the happy week I spent surfing the pages of Steven Pinker’s new writing guide, The Sense of Style. He offers no easy answers — sometimes it’s definitely better to put your foot down; sometimes you’ll end up with egg on your face — but, having read it, I go back out into the world with a renewed sense of purpose and a better-calibrated sonar for the faux pas. Like Pinker, I’ve been known to dip into style manuals for pleasure. I pride myself on being pretty good at spelling, punctuation, and grammar (although I’ve stopped putting that on my dating profile — it turns me off, let alone potential candidates). But with great power comes great responsibility. You can crush someone with a correction, however subtly administered. To point out an error in grammar or punctuation is, to me, no better than to tell someone they look rough today, or to ask them if they were always soSee More >

WE SERIOUSLY LIKE
  1. Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike… Karl Ove Knausgaard’s gone to look for America. Check out his two-part New York Times saga here and here.
  2. LitHub has launched! And it’s awesome. Check out Alexander Chee on word-lust and the multi-volume trend, from Harry Potter to Elena Ferrante. There’re also excerpts from new books that you’ll probably then want to read. Sigh.
  3. W is for Welles! Josh Karp’s new book traces the 45-year epic of Orson’s last, unfinished movie. Read his Vanity Fair article and catch a little of The Other Side of the Wind.
  4. Looks like we picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue… The AV Club‘s Will Harris has written an incredible, epic, laugh-a-second oral history of Airplane!, perhaps — ? — the greatest of all the spoofs.
  5. Seymour Hersh compares the White House’s bin Laden story to Lewis Carroll in a dynamite essay for the LRB. Then it turns out The New Yorker had turned it down first. Then Hersh suggests that they go fuck themselves. It’s a long week for all concerned.
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