BURN PILE: Elena Ferrante, Deaths, Books to Film, 10th Grade Reading, and the Classics

Enigmatic, pseudonymous Elena Ferrante gives the Guardian a rare interview, discussing the creative freedom afforded by anonymity, her relationship with the "sociocultural ladder," and the "ransacking of the enormous warehouse that is literary tradition."

Authors Harper Lee and Umberto Eco passed away last week on the same day; although the two were from vastly different backgrounds, each brought precision and passion to the world of literature, and shared the commonality of adapting a book (Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Eco's The Name of the Rose) to the big screen. Now, the LA Times looks at how that legacy might operate in a cinematic scene experiencing a renaissance in book-to-film adaptations (Room, Brooklyn, and Mr. Holmes, to name just a few of this year's critical successes). 

Flying in the face of the long-heralded "death of print," artists' books -- texts that mingle literature and art, with a special emphasis on the book as cultural object -- are experiencing a resurgence. Here are ten of the most impressive.

David Denby, writer and former New Yorker film critic, explores the effect of foisting great literature on a generation reared on tablets in his new book, Lit Up: One Reporter, Three Schools, Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives, based on what he witnessed while shadowing 10th-grade English teacher Sean Leon's students at the Beacon School, an alternative public high school in Manhattan.

If you're thinking about what you read in 10th grade and then put down forever, perhaps now's a good time to revisit this iconic instruction manual for reading the classics laid out by Italo Calvino in 1986. His final question: "While they were preparing the hemlock, Socrates was learning a tune on the flute. 'What good will it do you,” they asked, β€œto know this tune before you die?'"