Posts by: Graham Todd

Secret Cinema in Saudi Arabia

By

Though cinemas and movie-making were made illegal in the 1970s after religious conservatives declared many cultural activities sinful, it has not stopped Saudi Arabians from making and showing films that undermine SA’s puritanism today. A few renegade film makers in Saudi Arabia called Red Wax have created an underground movie group that shows films on […]

...more

1

Chicken Soup for the Hungry

By

Early in 2013, Chicken Soup for the Soul book publisher will be releasing a line of “nutritious, quality comfort foods” to supermarkets and other food retailers across the nation. The first products on the line will be seven soups, naturally, and in 2014 the line will expand to include over 100 products in many categories. […]

...more

Sympathy for Sale

By

The Germans have developed a suit that helps medical students understand what it’s like to be old that doesn’t require walking in the snow with only burlap shoes and up hills to and from everywhere. The suit throws off the user’s balance by placing a large amount of weight in the head, so that simple […]

...more

The Saints Stink

By

Miranda Popkey of The Morning News on why American football is so attractive and quickly becoming the country’s most watched sport for the wrong reasons. Popkey investigates the realities behind the popular and easy narratives applied to the sport and its players and teams, calling into question the moral and humanitarian deficiencies that the narratives […]

...more

Guthrie Still Elusive at 100

By

Leonard Cassuto of the Chronicle of Higher Education discusses the absence of Woody Guthrie in the university because of his political stance, his views on copyright and shying from the spotlight, and the “aw shucks” Oklahoman personality he cultivated. Cassuto outlines Guthrie’s life in reference to his works, which include over 3,000 poems and songs, […]

...more

No Dinos!?

By

In really disappointing dinosaur news today, an Australian university found that DNA cannot survive more than 6.8 million years and so dashed the dreams of many a 90’s kid. Sadly, Jurassic Park will never happen. After Michael Crichton’s bestseller and Spieldberg’s film, the world of DNA science was forever changed according to Mike Dunce, the […]

...more

1

Language is Simpler Than Previously Believed

By

A new Cornell study indicates that language is made of small sequential structures that string together to make meaning. The study may debunk the 50 year old belief that language is hierarchical — that a sentence is made of small parts that are in turn made of smaller parts. If language is sequential, then it […]

...more

Women Writers on Arabian Nights

By

Erica Wagner interviews Hanan Al-Shayk, Lebanese author, and Marina Warner, cultural historian, on what the modern world can learn from 1,001 Nights for Guernica Magazine. The three feminist-minded writers champion 1,001 Nights for its giving voice to the oppressed and as a demonstration of how the weak are to use cunning and wiliness as their […]

...more

Agreement Reached in Google Books Case

By

Several major publishers, including Penguin Groups and McGraw-Hill, and Google announced this morning that they have reached an agreement in the Google Books copyright infringement case. The private settlement brings a close to the case for publishers, though the claims of the Author’s Guild have yet to be resolved. Filed almost seven years ago when […]

...more

BookCrossing

By

If you’re into the extremely rad tradition of sharing books, which we know you are, you’ll probably be thrilled by BookCrossing… BookCrossing is a social media network that facilitates the sharing of books and the establishment of connections between fellow readers. Users label their books, share with friends or strangers, and can track their books’ […]

...more

Alice Walker on Censorship

By

Guernica interviews Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple and one of the most censored contemporary writers, in honor of Banned Books Week. The Color Purple has been voted off school curriculums and out of school libraries many times since its publication in the early 1980s. Many more of her short stories and essays that […]

...more

1

Davy Rothbart in The NYT

By

Recent Rumpus Interviewee, Davy Rothbart, caught up with the NY Times during his current tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of FOUND magazine and his new memoir My Heart is an Idiot. Rothbart has become well known for his role as creator and curator of FOUND, one of the first of many publications to focus on exposing […]

...more

The Art of The Hobbit

By

It turns out J.R.R. Tolkien also had a knack for doodling. While he wrote The Hobbit, he drew several illustrations, ten of which were included in the first printing of the book. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the soon-to-be Peter Jacksoned fantasy masterpiece tomorrow, The Art of The Hobbit is being released. The […]

...more

The Death of Anna Kournikova Era: The State of Women’s Sport

By

Grantland addresses the change in media coverage and marketing of women’s sports today given the success of so many female athletes this summer at the Olympics and beyond. “Kournikova has long since exited the public eye, but those years during which all female athletes had to somehow answer to Anna’s hotness had a lasting effect […]

...more

1

How Books Clubs Went Indie

By

“Forty-something Betsy Birdsall jokes that she likes the Rumpus group because it enables her to hang out in her bathrobe and slippers while pretending she has friends. She says Elliot encouraged her to get active with the club’s discussion group. ‘This is the first online community I’ve been a part of,’ Birdsall, a paralegal from […]

...more

Happy Roald Dahl Day!

By

The Guardian has put together a very awesome link round-up of Dahl-inspired activities for the writer’s birthday today, including pictures of Dahl’s childhood and family, the man himself reading the BFG, and a walk through the Roald Dahl Museum via a Google interactive.

...more

Abrams At The Millions

By

The Millions featured David Abrams in their Post-40 Bloomer column and chronicle the 49-year-olds long road to literary success. Fobbit, Abrams’s first novel, came out from Grove/Atlantic on Sept. 4 and is “is a tale of the Iraq war that manages to be as dark as it is funny, which is to say considerably.” Abrams spent […]

...more

Exotic Dancing Tax-Exempt Art?

By

Yesterday, an Albany, NY based strip club argued for exemption from certain state taxes because its dancers are performance artists. The club, Nite Moves, owes the state about $124,000 in a 2006 audit after the club did not pay proper sales tax. The club’s lawyer presented video evidence of the dancer’s performances and training to […]

...more

New Photo of Emily Dickinson Discovered

By

The newly found daguerrotype, taken around 1859, is only the second known photograph of Dickinson and features the poet with her newly widowed friend. The first photo, from 1847, is of the young poet at 16 and has been featured on countless book covers. This new photo is of the poet all growed up in […]

...more

100 Years of Bookmobiles

By

Here’s an LA Times slideshow of bookmobiles of past and present, starting with Germany’s ultra-mod ROBI bookmobile, which was created to serve the library-less towns in the Heilbronn area. According to Frameweb.com, ROBI is an eco-friendly update to the area’s former mobile library, which lent 3.5 million books over the past 30 years. ROBI visits […]

...more

Putin Flies Away Home

By

Vladimir Putin guided a flock of Siberian cranes to their winter habitat this week by piloting a motorized hang glider while dressed in a Siberian crane costume. This marks a resurgence of photoshoot worthy exploits by the Russian president after he had eased off his propogandizing during his reelection campaign. In recent years, Putin rode a […]

...more

Brown’s Modernist Journals Project

By

Greer Mansfield of Bookslut checks out the Modernist Journals Project, a literary site launched in 1995 by Brown University that acts as a digital library of magazines associated with Modernism. The Modernist Journal Project contains a wide variety of oft-written about Modernist periodicals like The Egoist and The English Review amongst others that were associated with a […]

...more

China Miéville: the future of the novel

By

Last week, in the keynote speech at the 2012 Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference, China Miéville spoke about the novel’s many possible futures in cultural, political and digital terms – and concluded with a demand for state-supported salaries for writers: “So an unresentful sense of writers as people among people, and a fidelity to literature, require […]

...more

What Did You Want To Accomplish When You Grew Up?

By

The Awl‘s “What Did You Want To Accomplish When You Grew Up?” series just posted its first article where they asked a large swath of writerly tech- and science-minded people, “When you were young, what did you want to invent, discover, or accomplish in the future?” Sam Biddle, the senior staff writer at Gizmodo opened: “I […]

...more

NYR’S Apocalpyse Now

By

Malise Ruthven of the New York Review of Books blog ruminates on the history of apocalyptic rhetoric in literature, art, and politics from the Enlightenment to now. Ruthven focuses on the paradox of apocalyptic thinking where “prophets who predict the end of the world can also be great initiators and innovators. The fear of catastrophe, […]

...more

The Unified Field

By

The new Fleet Foxes backed arts and lit magazine, The Unified Field, launches on September 18th and proceeds go to 826 National. The new lit mag will come with an 10″ vinyl pressing of unreleased, raw tracks from the likes of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the Grizzly Bear-related Department of Eagles among others, while the 60 […]

...more

Melville in Jerusalem

By

Herman Melville was not a happy camper after Moby Dick was panned by critics and failed to have any financial success (only 3100 copies were sold during his lifetime), but instead of pouting about it in America, he pouted about it in Jerusalem. David Sugarman writes about the post-humously famed author’s trip to the Holy Land and […]

...more

Albert Camus: Solitude and Solidarity

By

LA Review of Books’ Robert Zaretsky reviews Albert Camus: Solitude and Solidarity:  “…the book is a remarkable effort at recapturing — or, for many readers, simply capturing for the first time — a man whose life and work matter as greatly today as they did in his own era.” This new biography of Camus, published […]

...more