Posts by: Serena Candelaria

A Cyclops Searches for Love in the Digital Age

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In some way I think all the stories I write are love stories… Over at the New Yorker, writer Ramona Ausubel discusses “You Can Find Love Now,” her short story about a lonely cyclops who turns to the Internet in his quest for companionship. In her newest collection, Ausubel writes about mythical or unusual creatures […]

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Art That Goes Unseen

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Vivian Maier has been called one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th century, but during her lifetime, she worked as a nanny and kept her photography on rolls of film that went undeveloped. Over at The Millions, Janet Potter raises questions about Maier’s decision to keep her artwork to herself: “Why is someone […]

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Learning from Books that Are Supposedly Terrible

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As any lover of literature might tell you, all books are not created equal. But this does not mean that there is nothing to be gained from novels that are, in many ways, flawed. Over at the New York Times, writers Leslie Jamison and James Parker discuss “supposedly terrible books that left a lasting impression”: I will always love Go Ask […]

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Literature Is Not Medicine

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In The World Exchange, Alena Graedon’s debut novel, language is in danger, and reading becomes a means of salvation. Over at the New Yorker, bibliophile Peter C. Baker explains the problem with the idea that reading could be a panacea. In his words, “practical urgency and literature have little business mixing.” Baker believes that reading “cuts against the grain of […]

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Searching for Silence in a Crowd

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Any rowdies heading to the back room of Brooklyn’s Soda Bar for some mid-week carrying-on last Wednesday night were in for a surprise. In the large, living-room-like space—ringed by a mismatched assortment of couches, cushy chairs, and coffee tables—there was a civilized silence. In this New Yorker article, Jamie Burns, who organizes silent-reading parties, is […]

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Searching for Rafters in the Dark

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If sentimentality is a sin, it is only because feeling can be so beautiful. One moment of sentiment in literature is worth a thousand failures. We often cannot see the rafters in the dark, but what a shame it would be to never reach for them. In an essay published at The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone describes the fear he once had […]

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On Giving Birth and Making Sense of it All

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Before giving birth to her first child, Hannah Gersen had hoped to find an anthology of birth stories. At The Millions, Gersen writes that Labor Day is just what she was seeking, though she didn’t discover it until after she had given birth. But she found that reading this anthology after giving birth may have been even “more helpful” than it […]

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Meet the Internet Bard

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Steven Roggenbuck has been producing poetry “that is made, distributed, and viewed almost exclusively on the Web” since 2010. In this article in the New Yorker, Kenneth Goldsmith calls Roggenbuck’s videos, with their shaky camerawork and rough jump cuts, “meticulously crafted infomercials for poetry.” While some might question Roggenbuck’s improvised style, Goldsmith writes, “This type […]

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Don’t Let the Other Voices Get Too Loud

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Before Leslie Jamison was a New York Times bestseller, she was a student at Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In an interview with The Millions, Jamison said she has “a lot of faith and trust in the workshop process,” but this doesn’t mean she believes that the workshop process doesn’t come with its own set of limitations. […]

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Why Children’s Books Matter

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In a piece featured on the Paris Review’s website, Sadie Stein encourages readers to check out the New York Public Library’s exhibition “The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter.” The exhibition features original sketches and manuscripts of beloved children’s books. All these characters are complex, somewhat insolent, defiant, desperate for attention and love, and […]

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Plunge Into the Dark with Open Eyes

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Terrifying though the unknown may seem, there are benefits to plunging into the murky waters of uncertainty. In an essay featured in the New Yorker, Rebecca Solnit writes, “It’s the job of writers and explorers to see more, to travel light when it comes to preconception, to go into the dark with their eyes open.” There is so much we […]

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Still Writing Like a Motherfucker

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An article published in Flavorwire hails Cheryl Strayed (Rumpus’ very own Sugar) as a publishing hero. In Jason Diamond’s words, “Strayed is the rare type of writer who is both critically and commercially embraced, but also keeps her feet firmly planted in the literary world.” But how did this come to be? Diamond suggests that Strayed’s work ethic is the key. “Strayed has found […]

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Like, Considering the Other Side

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Critics might believe that “like” has infiltrated and degraded American English, but John McWhorter argues just the contrary. McWhorter claims that “like” is not a marker of the downfall of spoken language, but instead, a sign of its “growing sophistication.” He explains that “like” is not necessarily a sign of hesitation and indecision; it can […]

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On Writing and Uncertainty

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Is writing a fundamentally speculative act? This is one of the questions Jenny Offill was asked in an interview with the Paris Review. Offill discusses the uncertainty that comes with being a writer, working constantly at a craft that can never be fully mastered. In Offill’s words, “That is why so many talented people stop writing. […]

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Absent Characters

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People of color have been largely excluded from children’s literature. Of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 93 featured black characters. In his essay, “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” Christopher Myers speaks out against the trend of allowing members of certain racial groups to go unseen because of the color of their skin. […]

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