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Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Miller’

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman Through His Writing

arthurmillerOscar winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died today at the age of 46.

The actor’s work had many literary connections. He won an Oscar for his appearance as Truman Capote in Bennett Miller’s biopic Capote. Hoffman starred in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. In addition, he starred as Willy Loman in Mike Nichols’ revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman on stage in New York.

Hoffman also wrote the foreword for A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller. Here is an excerpt:

I thought, sure, but even though Miller was commenting on post-war America and the working class and everything that concerned the laboring, fighting man, what always touched me more than the particulars of their struggles was that they cut to the bone. Their sins may have been prompted or exacerbated by the postwar era or outside circumstances, but in the end, the particulars fall away. The tragedy of being “known” in this way is timeless, universal, and unforgiving.

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How High School Reading Has Changed Since 1907

Renaissance Learning has released its fifth edition of the What Kids Are Reading report. Among the many topics covered in the free report, it compared high school reading across the last century.

Below, we’ve linked to free eBook copies of the most popular books in 1907, 1923 and 1964. The complete report noted “a decline over time in the complexity of required texts for high school students.” Follow this link for an infographic summary of the research. Here’s more from the report:

Although our analysis is restricted to the  period of 1907 to 2012, there is evidence that writing has become less complex over the last several hundred  years. Complexity is impacted in part by average sentence length; books with longer sentences tend to be more  difficult to comprehend than books with shorter sentences … it is worth noting that just because the books students are being assigned to read are less complex than in  prior years, this does not necessarily mean that they cannot read or comprehend books at higher levels, nor can  we assume that assigning more complex texts would necessarily lead to improvements in achievement.

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Rachel Maddow Wins John Steinbeck Award

Author and The Rachel Maddow Show host Rachel Maddow has won the John Steinbeck Award.

Previous recipients included Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Studs Terkel and Garrison Keillor. Maddow is the third woman to receive the prestigious award and the first recipient under the age of 40.

Thomas Steinbeck, son of the great John Steinbeck, had this statement in the release: “My father would have adored Rachel Maddow … Listening to Rachel Maddow is like listening to Walter Cronkite. We have that kind of trust in her. When I watch Rachel Maddow, I feel like I’m part of an alliance. I hope she’s in it for the long haul, because we really need her.”

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