From du Maurier & Hitchcock to grudge-holding crows


Angry birds — and especially smart, angry birds — aren’t just the subject of my latest NYT Mag mini-column. Because my mom collected and bred parrots, they’re something I’ve spent far too much time pondering.
Did you know that crows develop grudges against individual people that they impart to their flocks? Or that African Greys are capable of labeling and counting objects and grasping the concept of zero? Or that birdsong appears to be in some sense grammatical? Often parrots use their powers for good, and not evil, of course. As far as we know.
Daphne du Maurier (above) said the idea for her avian-apocalypse novella, “The Birds,” came to her after she saw a farmer ploughing a field while seagulls dived above him, and she imagined the birds “becoming hostile and attacking.” Evidently she disapproved of Hitchcock’s also-harrowing, more famous adaptation.
Unfortunately, this BBC interview doesn’t seem to be viewable in the States these days. In it she talks about her life and work for almost 50 minutes. The clip opens at her typewriter, “the standard ‘the author at work’ establishing shot except for du Maurier’s super-strong finger-punching technique on the keys.”

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • There are lots of people out there in cyberspace right now, writing articles, blog posts and all manner of other things and making good money by doing so. So perhaps the answer to the question posed in the title should be whether you personally can make money doing this working...
  • Are you putting the final touches on your new creative masterpiece? If you want an easy, economically viable way to self-publish your text or manuscript, you should consider saving big through spiral book binding. A spiral-bound book is durable and functional, but cost significantly less to assemble than other binding choices available on the market. Plus, you can completely put your book together yourself, which means you know the job will get done according to your exact specifications. Here's your guide into the world of self-publishing at home or in the office with a spiral binding...
  • The basics of writing an article about cruise travel include choosing original content, researching the facts and following submission guidelines.
  • Company needs high quality service to reach their online business so that their website can reach to people.
  • What is your opinion about Web marketing? Have you carried out ample study into Web marketing to figure out if it’s a practical income opportunity for you? You can get specifics of marketing on the web in a plethora of spots, including television set, web, publications, and mags. So how can you start with your own prepare? It is most likely best to use a few of the much easier and a lot more inexpensive online advertising tactics at first. Making a great-top quality internet site is the first step to securing high rating on research engines’ results internet pages. This will be...

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

The contemporary important writing not of alphabetic type is that in Chinese characters, in which thousands of symbols are used, each representing a word or concept, and Japanese, where each character represents a syllable.