Magic in Service of Truth: Rushdie pays tribute to Gabriel García Márquez

In The New York Times, Salman Rushdie writes a lovely tribute to Gabrial García Márquez:

We live in an age of invented, alternate worlds. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Rowling’s Hogwarts, the dystopic universe of “The Hunger Games,” the places where vampires and zombies prowl: These places are having their day. Yet in spite of the vogue for fantasy fiction, in the finest of literature’s fictional microcosms there is more truth than fantasy. In William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha, R. K. Narayan’s Malgudi and, yes, the Macondo of Gabriel García Márquez, imagination is used to enrich reality, not to escape from it.

 

Wally Olins, a tribute

Yesterday I shared a lively interview with Michael Wolff only to discover a few hours after I posted it that Wally Olins, the other half of legendary Wolff Ollins, had died. Creative Review has a lovely tribute.

Wally Olins, co-founder of Wolff Olins and chairman of Saffron Brand Consultants, has died aged 83. CR editor Patrick Burgoyne pays tribute

The Financial Times once described Wally Olins as "the world's leading practitioner of branding and identity" and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. Certainly Wally didn't as, in typical style, he placed it in a prominent position on his website.

 

Earlier this year Michael Wolff and Wally Olins were reunited at the Kyoorius Designyatra in India, which was chaired by Creative Review's editor Patrick Burgoyne. In this first video, Pat asks the influential pair what drove them mad about the other.

Parsing Is Such Sweet Sorrow: Shakespeare through the lens of statistics

Nate Silver re-launches a vastly expanded FiveThirtyEight and amongst the new content we find a gloriously nerdy essay by Emma Pierson that begins with: 

More than 400 years after Shakespeare wrote it, we can now say that “Romeo and Juliet” has the wrong name. Perhaps the play should be called “Juliet and Her Nurse,” which isn’t nearly as sexy, or “Romeo and Benvolio,” which has a whole different connotation.
I discovered this by writing a computer program to count how many lines each pair of characters in “Romeo and Juliet” spoke to each other, with the expectation that the lovers in the greatest love story of all time would speak more than any other pair. I wanted Romeo and Juliet to end up together — if they couldn’t in the play, at least they could in my analysis — but the math paid no heed to my desires. Juliet speaks more to her nurse than she does to Romeo; Romeo speaks more to Benvolio than he does to Juliet. Romeo gets a larger share of attention from his friends (Benvolio and Mercutio) and even his enemies (Tybalt) than he does from Juliet; Juliet gets a larger share of attention from her nurse and her mother than she does from Romeo. The two appear together in only five scenes out of 25. We all knew that this wasn’t a play predicated on deep interactions between the two protagonists, but still.

From there she goes on to explore all of Shakespeare's lovers and how much, or how little they talked to each other, making an interactive visualisation that brings new perspective to the plays (for example, see how in the comedies there are separate relationships that draw our attention whereas the tragedies have the lovers front and center.)