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Posts Tagged: Bookforum

Migrations Map

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Here is a map to help you visualize human migration over the course of our 200,000 year existence. Using data based on mitochondrial DNA difference, the map models migratory patterns as humans “moved outward from Africa into Asia, and later the Americas, Indonesia and Australia.” The visual distinguishes between land and water or temporary land/ice bridges, while highlighting genetic populations and the extent of ice.

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Young Artist, Mean World

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The art world is a rough place, which is the practical thought behind art schools offering courses on grant-writing and portfolio building.

Still, even with the presence of these utilitarian courses, when embarking on your formative artistic education, how can you conceive of the difficulties ahead?

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The Elusive Best Seller

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“The best seller is caught in a peculiar paradox: Its popularity can be understood as both proof and negation of its value.”

The term “best seller,” is in question. Bookforum has an essay on how the term is more of a hyperbolic designation with a shifting definition, than one that is clear-cut and quantifiable.

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Let’s Take a Walk Together

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James Yeh writes on the Spontaneous Society for Faster Times, Jon Cotner’s ambulatory, real-life interaction/art installation, inciting strangers to interact positively with one another.

The project was created in hopes of reigniting a certain kind of social spontaneity that is lost on all of us by way of headphones and fast-paced lifestyles.

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Reimagining The Memoir

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“That it is being considered as book of criticism, rather than as memoir, seems the luck of the draw. Some of the essays in it were originally published in the guise of book reviews, but they always jump the rails of literary journalism and go off on their own course — assessing not just the text but its place in the constellation of her own interests and personal history, which are (respectively) various and knotty.”

In light of all the back and forth about memoirs, I think this appraisal of Terry Castle’s The Professor and Other Writings is pretty enlightening.

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More Pacazo

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“It’s a shaggy-dog tale, one that eventually—boldly—invites comparison to its great progenitor, Don Quixote. In cutting a classic wide swath, Pacazo exposes itself to risk, a tricky balance between hilarity and horror. By and large, though, this rangy novel earns its claim to the old knight’s inheritance.”

John Domini at Bookforum gives a great review of the Rumpus January Book Club pick: Pacazo by Roy Kesey.

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The Fearless Book Vending Machine

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“Lane’s other invention, alongside the cheap, quality paperback, was the Penguincubator, first installed outside Henderson’s (the ‘Bomb Shop’) at 66 Charing Cross Road, which signaled his intention to take the book beyond the library and the traditional bookstore, into railway stations, chain stores and onto the streets.

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Totalitarian Kitsch

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“It is the official art of authoritarian governments, aimed at extending state control through propaganda. Totalitarian kitsch exists to glorify the state, foster a personality cult surrounding the dictator and celebrate ceaseless and irrevocable social and economic progress through images of churning factories and happy, exultant workers.”

I have long pondered the boundless evil of all things kitsch but now thanks to this article (via Bookforum) I have new reasons to fear it.

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Water Causes Cancer And Other Truths

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Time Magazine has already called it “The Decade From Hell.”

(Couldn’t have been worse than the 1940′s?! Could it? I mean the 40′s had Hitler AND Stalin.)

And if you have survived the “aughts” reasonably intact as we caterwaul our way into 2010 with a health care package being vigorously stripped of all its progressive promises, an escalating war(s) and the seemingly insurmountable problems of mass poverty, financial instability and ecological meltdown, you might find yourself like me going head to head with an even heartier enemy: belief.

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The Rumpus Book Blog Roundup

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Greetings! Your humble guest-editor Michael is back in the saddle for another round of negotiating the highly-addictive world of the book blogs. I had an interesting week, where I had time to contemplate my imminent move to Bernal Heights and whether I should apply to those blasted MFA’s again and what it means that I can’t seem to stop watching post-apocalyptic movies and reading depressingly dystopian fiction.

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