Posts Tagged: New York Times

Literary Layers

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In her review of Cynthia Ozick’s new essay collection, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, Zoe Heller quotes Ozick quoting Lionel Trilling in reference to Jonathan Franzen’s commercial-literary ambition: “a writer must ‘direct his words to his spiritual ancestors, or to posterity, or even, if need be, to a coterie.’” Heller is interested in Ozick’s endurance, and her persistent delineation of fame and recognition.

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This Year You Will Finally Read Ulysses

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You don’t like to quit, but need a nudge to wade back into the novel’s overflowing streams of character consciousness, arcane references and shifting structure to follow those people going about life in Dublin on June 16, 1904.

Yes, another Bloomsday has come and gone, and maybe you didn’t get around to finishing James Joyce’s epic masterpiece, Ulysses, as you had hoped.

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A Quiet Corner of the World

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At the New York Times, Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., writes about how a national park in Montana left an indelible mark on her and her marriage:

We were both intoxicated by the place, not only by its beauty but by the feeling of remoteness that is as much psychological as geographic.

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Defiantly Diski

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Over at the New York Times, author Heidi Julavits reviews the late Jenny Diski’s memoir, In Gratitude:

While I couldn’t read “In Gratitude” without a persistent lump in my throat, and without the persistent awareness that its author was … experiencing the very last days or hours or minutes of her life, Diski’s final book proves transcendently disobedient, the most existence-affirming and iconoclastic defense a writer could mount against her own extinction.

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On Writing “Chick Lit”

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At the New York Times, Jennifer Weiner writes about her experience with the gendered devaluation of popular fiction:

Somewhere between my birth and my novel’s publication, I’d gotten the message that there were books that mattered and books that did not; writers whom an Ivy League institution would be proud to claim, and those who would be asked for donations, but not invited back to speak.

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Tour of Today

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We follow Heffernan through the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Internet History, as she annotates the exhibits: the Kindle, with its lithe design and endless supply of books, usurper of the printed word; the MP3, compressing the rapture and idiosyncrasies of your favorite music, destroyer of the music business and the listening experience; YouTube, standing among the smoldering wreckage of the linear-minded ­entertainment industries, triumphant in its mesmerizing stunts, obscure clips and unboxing videos.

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Book Club Misogyny

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For Electric Literature, Tabitha Blankenbiller offers a critique of the recent New York Times article about “Man Book Clubs,” and analyzes how gendered book covers influence readers’ choices and experience:

We can debate the levels of hubris and/or drunkenness in the NYT editorial room all we want, but what we have is an article claiming real estate and resources in The New York Times’ Books section.

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This Week in Posivibes: Arthur Russell

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A new treatise on the importance of the genre-melting artist has been published by the New York Times, inspired by the New York Public Library’s acquisition of Arthur Russell’s archives.

The acquisition itself is massive, sprawling, and difficult to catalogue, according to the NYT piece:

[It] includes a thousand-or-so reels, cassettes, DATs, Beta and VHS tapes with hundreds of hours of unreleased and probably unreleasable material, representing how Russell made his work—laying down individual tracks, or practicing, or jamming—often in long sessions, and with musicians who may have had little idea what they were working on at the time.
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Probing into the Space Between

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At the New York Times, Karl Ove Knausgaard describes how Joyce’s Portrait included him in literature’s potential in a way that Ulysses didn’t: 

In “Portrait,” Joyce ventures inside that part of our identity for which no language yet exists, probing into the space between what belongs to the individual alone and what is ours together, exploring the shifts of mind, the currents of our moods and feelings as they flow blindly this way and that, and mapping the unarticulated, more or less salient presence of the soul, that part of our inner being that rises when we are enthused and falls when we are afraid or despairing.

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A Tale of Two Siblings

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For the New York Times’s Bookends column, Thomas Mallon and Leslie Jamison muse on the books that best capture the intricate and fraught relationships between siblings:

That’s what I felt Faulkner intuited about siblings: that there were all sorts of gaps and harms and distances that might befall them, that they might inflict on each other, but that they loved each other anyway.

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Beyonce - Lemonade | Rumpus music

The Recipe to Decolonized Love is in Beyoncé’s Lemonade

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“There is a curse that will be broken,” she promises. ...more

Of Ocean and Earth

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Over at the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani reviews Ocean Vuong’s new collection of heartbreakingly gorgeous poems, Night Sky With Exit Wounds. Kakutani writes:

There is a powerful emotional undertow to these poems that springs from Mr. Vuong’s sincerity and candor, and from his ability to capture specific moments in time with both photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things.

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Let the Men Have Their Book Clubs

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Taking a different stance on the men-only book clubs that have everyone rolling their eyes, Slate’s L.V. Anderson argues that feminists should applaud men embracing an activity that has been so coded as feminine—and eagerly await the day when men do not feel like they have to declare their masculinity in order to do so:

Men who deliberately take time to discuss literature with other men are subverting and challenging gender norms, no matter how jokily macho their book club names might be.

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More Money, More Problems

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What happens when writers suddenly face a windfall? Bad things. That’s why the Whiting Awards include a financial planning workshop for winners. Winners of the 2016 Whiting Awards each received $50,000. For authors who are struggling as freelancers or adjunct professors, that is a huge influx of cash.

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