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Lapham's Quarterly: Lines of Work

Lapham's Quarterly: Lines of Work - Lewis H. Lapham A provocative, ideological and literary reader's digest on the topic at hand. I read every word of Harper's while Lapham was editor, and have found this, his current venture, to be worthwhile. Can be read at random and is a fine filler of wait or down time. You can check the publication out at: http://www.laphamsquarterly.org

Two of my favorite things about the quarterly: it reminds me of books I've loved and is a source of more great finds. For example, the excerpt from Frankenstein. I forgot how much I love that book. And Bartleby! It's like running into old friends. And I'm pleased to meet Sei Shonagon and want to read more from her Pillow Book about 9th century Japanese court life.

A lesson learned: "If you wear athletic shoes, chances are you have worn a pair that was made at the Yue Yuen factory in Dongguan. The Taiwanese-owned factory is the biggest manufacturer of Nike, Adidas, and Reebok, along with smaller brands like Puma and Asics . . .70,000 people work at the Dongguan factory . . . the entire population of Santa Fe under the age of 30 making athletic shoes." -Leslie Chang, from "Factory Girls"

On workmanship: "Today we refer to anything useful, from computer programs to ideas, as tools. This was not always the case. In antebellum America the word 'tool' denoted an implement that could make one thing at a time . . . 'Like the nails on a beast's paws,' Eric Sloane writes, 'the old tools were so much an extension of a man's hand or an added appendage to his arm, that the resulting workmanship seemed to flow directly from the body of the maker and to carry something of himself into the work,'" - Donovan Holm, from "Lost Symbols"

On work, by William Faulkner: "One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day, nor drink for eight hours a day, nor make love for eight hours."