weekend links: surrealist humor, sprezzatura, classical intrigue

weekend links image 3
weekend links image 3

Rene Magritte, Les Compagnons de la Peur (1942). Image courtesy of The Guardian.

In case you missed it: artist Rene Magritte as comedian—or perhaps, rather, anti-comedian. Charlie Skelton explores the humor inherent in Magritte’s enigmatic surrealist images and provides you with the beginnings of a knock-knock joke for your next cocktail party. [The Guardian]

McPhee is a master, but he misses the mark in advising against the use of esoteric language. Avoiding actors and characters, sure—there's no easy way to look up "Rufus in Knoxville." But what a joy it is to learn that sprezzatura means "studied nonchalance." Think of all the great situations you can use that word in, now that it's entered your lexicon. [New Yorker]

Mamoru Samuragochi was hailed as Japan’s Beethoven, but the allegedly deaf composer harbored secrets that would ruin his career. This may be the most intriguing story of fraud since this 2008 New Yorker piece on Frédéric Bourdin. [New Republic]

The 11th annual Staple! Independent Media Expo, which features independently produced comics, zines, animation, and more, takes place this weekend at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre. This year’s convention will celebrate women’s contributions to media. Local author/illustrator E.K. Weaver spoke to the Austin Chronicle about the state of women in the male-dominated world of comics. [Austin Chronicle]

On politics and poetry: Robert Huddleston discusses W. H. Auden's assertion that "poetry makes nothing happen." [Boston Review]

Have you ever wondered what William Eggleston's favorite food is? Neither did we, until we saw this picture. [feature shoot]

—Alyssa G. Ramirez and Sean Redmond