Posts Tagged: Hazlitt

It’s Okay that You Haven’t Read Finnegans Wake (Really)

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Over at Hazlitt, Sarah Galo and Elon Green have cornered a handful of authors, from Renata Adler to Celeste Ng, into admitting their literary gaps, from Finnegans Wake to To Kill a Mockingbird. Something we should keep in mind is that there is more work produced every day than a single person can get to in their lifetime; it’s harder now than it was for Milton—let that soothe you when you feel a pang for having never got to Don Quixote.

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Handwriting is Dead; Long Live Handwriting

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Type is the same, instance after instance, and the font you choose today will look the same when you type in it again tomorrow. The same is not true for crafting prose or poetry by hand, each looping connection between letters mapping out the inherently linear, temporal nature of language: the fact that for it to “work,” you must always be in the tumbling forward of reading.

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Not From This Dimension

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Sarah Gerard interviews Ottesa Moshfegh for Hazlitt—among other concessions, Moshfegh admits that she’s “not from this dimension”:

I’m like an alien in a human body. I come from a different place, a different plane of existence. I can’t explain that other place because I don’t know it in this lifetime, I don’t have memories of it, but I know it is a softer place.

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Word of the Day: Eschaton

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(n.); the last thing, as a theological reference to the climax of history at Judgment Day; the day at the end of time following Armageddon when God will decree the fates of all human beings; from the ancient Greek eskhatos (“end”)

“My mind moves toward apocalypse fictions the way we think about a forgotten friend, or a partner that’s left us—grief becomes its own comfort.”

–Adnan Khan, “Finding a Home in the Apocalypse”

The past decade has seen a fantastic resurgence of the apocalypse—thankfully, only of the fictional variety.

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Inherited Fear

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Perhaps I never was a brave person, but I know that I was bolstered by the fact that if something didn’t bother my mom, I didn’t need to be bothered by it either. Now, our anxieties have bubbled up at the same time, like she’s finally realized that she can’t protect me and it’s time for me to be worried for myself too.

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The New Proust

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I’m a Proustian in that sense, I believe in memories outside of consciousness, and this is just a way to find them. Writing is a way to get access to them. The thing you feel if you smell something, or hear something, if you hear music from the ’80s, and then you are back there with your whole body for maybe ten seconds, and it is very good.

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On Social Capital and Staying Hidden

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Meander to Hazlitt for Linda Besner’s recent reading of Alfred Hermida’s Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why it Matters. Besner’s critique is particularly concerned with the role of anonymity in a new, social-media-dominated landscape:

Social media, in other words, is a gift economy, in which we share information both in the expectation that others will share important information with us and in the hopes of increasing our social capital .

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Racists Are Less Creative

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Comparing cognitive tests like the Duncker Candle Problem against views of racial essentialism reveals that racists lack certain problem solving skills, reports Hazlitt:

Creativity is fundamentally the ability to recombine old ideas, moving beyond preexisting categories in order to create things that are genuinely novel.

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Internships and the Hegemonic Authority

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While the unpaid internship is finally facing scrutiny from courts and government commissions, simply eliminating those positions doesn’t solve the problem of privilege. Further, reliance on a privileged class threatens both the publishing industry and society as a whole:

Media organizations, like all organizations and especially prestige ones, are rife with pernicious attitudes and biases that go undetected by those who hold them.

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