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Other Voices Querétaro Dates and Faculty Announced

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Now in its third year, Other Voices Querétaro, launched by longtime Sunday Rumpus editor Gina Frangello, and boasting a host of Rumpus regulars as faculty, including Emily Rapp, Rob Roberge, and the newly added Jennifer Pastiloff, announces its 2015 dates: May 15-25.

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Notable NYC: 9/20–9/26

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Saturday 9/20: Amber Atiya, Keegan Lester, Emily Present, Cecily Iddings, Katie Fowley, Liz Clark Wessel, Lucia Stacey, Anna Marschalk-Burns, Alexis Pope, Amy Lawless, and Bridget Talone celebrate the latest issue of The Atlas Review. BookCourt, 7 p.m., free.

Paulo Scott, Katie Gerlach, and Eric Becker discuss Nowhere People (August 2014), Scott’s novel about a cross-cultural love story translated from the Brazilian.

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Writing Tomorrow Better

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Find yourself at the New York Times for Nick Bilton’s most recent article, a piece on the ways in which the sci-fi of the past has affected our real-life present. Moreover, Bilton highlights a recently formed group of writers, aware of literature’s future-shaping effects, interested in writing more auspicious future fiction:

One thing writers are pushing back against in particular is Hollywood’s depiction of the future.

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Michael Chabon’s Punk Rock Days

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[The] Bats were a fine little band, a unique assemblage of diverse strengths and quirks, anchored by one of the most rock-solid drummers ever to grace the Pittsburgh scene, and hampered only by the weakness of their goofball frontman.

That’s a quote from Michael Chabon, novelist, screenwriter, and “goofball frontman” of 80’s Pittsburgh punk band, the Bats.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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On Tuesday, Margaret Atwood released Stone Mattress, a collection of “wonderfully weird short stories.” Stone Mattress is Atwood’s eighth collection of stories, not to mention her 14 novels and other formidable volumes of poetry, children’s literature, and nonfiction.

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Angelheaded Hipsters Burning

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And we are, aren’t we, us fiftysomethings? We’re the pierced and tattooed, shorts-wearing, skunk-smoking, OxyContin-popping, neurotic dickheads who’ve presided over the commoditisation of the counterculture; we’re the ones who took the avant-garde and turned it into a successful rearguard action by the flying columns of capitalism’s blitzkrieg; we’re the twats who sat there saying that there was no distinction between high and popular culture, and that adverts should be considered as an art form; we’re the idiots who scrumped the golden apples from the Tree of Jobs until our bellies swelled and we jetted slurry from our dickhead arseholes – slurry we claimed was “cultural criticism”.

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Patriarchy’s Slow Unwinding

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For the New York Times Magazine, A.O. Scott argues about the “slow unwinding” of patriarchy in American culture, drawing on modern television, history, and literature. In part responding to Ruth Graham’s essay at Slate, in which she urges against adults reading young adult fiction, Scott offers a different perspective:

Instead, notwithstanding a few outliers like Henry James and Edith Wharton, we have a literature of boys’ adventures and female sentimentality.

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Sharing Our Words

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Writers often overuse a few unique words, creating a linguistic fingerprint. Vocabulary words are also exchanged between social groups. Some people contribute new words, while others adopt them. The process is not entirely random, though:

Diana Boxer, a professor at the University of Florida who specializes in sociolinguistics, says that when we find ourselves in a situation where someone uses language differently than we do, or words we’re unfamiliar with, we usually respond in one of two ways.

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Word of the Day: Woofits

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(n.); an unwell feeling, particularly in the head; a moody depression; c. 1918, from Nevil Shute’s The Rose and the Rainbow

The archetype of the mad genius dates back to at least classical times, when Aristotle noted, “Those who have been eminent in philosophy, politics, poetry, and the arts have all had tendencies toward melancholia.”

“Secrets of the Creative Brain,” Nancy C.

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Young Adults Still Go to the Library

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The Pew Research Center recently released a report about younger Americans’s (ages 16-29) attitudes toward libraries. As it turns out, young adults still read books, they still visit libraries—at least as much as older Americans—and many use library services. There are some key differences between younger and older generations when it comes to libraries—younger patrons, for example, are less likely to say a library closure would significantly impact them—but the findings still suggest libraries play important roles in communities.

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Read Slowly, Read Better

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Reading is healthy, but not all reading is created equally. Advocates of slow reading suggest that dedicated periods of thirty to forty-five minutes away from other distractions can lower stress and maximize reading benefits. And reading online content just isn’t as beneficial as reading in distraction-free environments:

One 2006 study of the eye movements of 232 people looking at Web pages found they read in an “F” pattern, scanning all the way across the top line of text but only halfway across the next few lines, eventually sliding their eyes down the left side of the page in a vertical movement toward the bottom.

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Simply and Swiftly

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In 1906, aged 21, D.H. Lawrence wrote to his future fiancée Louise Burrows with writing advice after reading an essay on art she’d sent to him. Among many other remarkable lines, the British author told Burrows that “[l]ike most girl writers you are wordy” and suggested not being “didactic; try and make things reveal their mysteries to you, then tell them over simply and swiftly, without exaggerating as I do.

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