Posts Tagged: New York Times

Does Poetry Matter?

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Yesterday’s New York Times posed this question to poetry superstars Tracy K. Smith, Martin Espada, William Logan, Paul Muldoon, Sandra Beasley, Patrick Rosal, and our own David Biespiel. Whether by “educat[ing] the senses,” combatting irony, or “ritualiz[ing] human life,” suffice it to say, the answer is Yes.

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Indie Bookstores Win Amazon/Hachette War

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The ongoing battle between Amazon and Hachette has been a boon for independent booksellers. Hachette’s refusal to capitulate to Amazon’s demands has meant that big-name books, like J.K. Rowling’s latest mystery The Silkworm (published under the pen name Robert Galbraith), can’t be pre-ordered from the online giant.

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Handwriting Matters

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A new scientific study has demonstrated that learning to write by hand before learning to type helps in developing children’s brains, and the benefits stretch from childhood to adulthood memory-wise. Psychologist (and Rumpus interviewee) Maria Konnikova explains on the New York Times:

Cursive or not, the benefits of writing by hand extend beyond childhood.

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Lightning and Lawn Debris

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No spoilers here, but Patricia Lockwood’s new poetry collection Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals is garnering significant praise. In the New York Times, Dwight Garner writes that:

Patricia Lockwood’s sexy, surreal and mostly sublime poems seem to have been, as James Joyce said in “Ulysses” about a batch of folk tales, “printed by the weird sisters in the year of the big wind.” They scatter lightning and lawn debris across your psyche.

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The Power of Being Unknown

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In the New York Times Book Review, Roger Rosenblatt shares some of the humiliations of being an often unrecognized writer. From poorly attended readings to interviewers who don’t know who he is, Rosenblatt could easily be jaded, but instead, he puts a positive spin on his relative anonymity:

It is much better for a writer to be underrecognized than over, in terms of keeping one’s head down, like the proverbial Japanese nail, so that one might observe the world unhammered and unimpeded.

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Few Ever Venture As Far As the Border

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Since I was old enough to set out on my own I have been an avid traveler. I turned this obsession into a profession seven years ago when I became a foreign correspondent for the New York Times

Nicolas Kulish, the East Africa correspondent for the New York Times, co-authored a book on Aribet Heim, “a Nazi concentration camp doctor who fled postwar justice in Germany.” In order to put together a book that, in many ways, is a biography, Kulish spent over half a decade traveling through Denmark, Austria, Egypt, Morocco, and Germany.

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The Writer’s Writer

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Karl Ove Knausgaard, the handsome Norwegian writer, is traveling through the U.S. giving talks and readings and interviews. It’s as good a time as any to start reading his 6-part autobiography, My Struggle, especially if you are a writer. As the New York Times reports, Knausgaard’s American counterparts are all raving about this writer—Jeffrey Eugenides, Lorin Stein, Sheila Heti, Zadie Smith, and others are caught up in the brilliance of Knausgaard:

Why has My Struggle so excited the literary world?

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The Hippie Pack Rat on Display

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A New York Times journalist recently got a sneak-peek at “roughly 170 linear feet of manuscripts, reporter’s notebooks, newspaper clippings, sketches and other materials” that will comprise an upcoming archive of Tom Wolfe’s work at the New York Public Library. Thanks to Wolfe’s pack rat tendencies, the archive will preserve not only his vision but also the way he was (and still is) viewed by others:

Running through his papers, the library’s archivists say, is an unusually rich vein of incoming correspondence showing just how editors, literary agents, research subjects and ordinary readers—to say nothing of his tailors, for whom he sometimes sketched out elaborate instructions—saw him.

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Trigger Warning Literature

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Requests by students at University of California Santa Barbara, Oberlin College, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, George Washington University, and other institutions for ““trigger warnings” on classroom literature has sparked an interesting debate.

The New York Times has the full story.

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Rumpus Round-Up: All the Abramson News Fit to Print

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Jill Abramson, the first woman to head the New York Times as executive editor, was abruptly fired Wednesday and replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet.

The New Yorker attempted to explain why, with the leading theory being Abramson’s discovery several weeks ago that she earned less than her male predecessor.

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Prevent the Dog from Barking with a Juicy Bone

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What is it that you do? What is at stake, and where is your heart? Remember Kafka’s imperial messenger? Are you sitting at the window, dreaming?

Between the broken satellites, below jaundiced clouds pumped fat with sulfate, through the hazy smog of the smokestacks, between the San Francisco and Los Angeles scrapers, in the midst of wars, where the economy is wheezing, when representation is key, somewhere in Berkeley by Strawberry Creek, Dr.

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Taking Physics from Einstein When You Want to Be Mrs. Einstein

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Writer Lisa Scottoline was an English Major at University of Pennsylvania when she attended, in the 70s, two seminars with a very special teacher: Philip Roth.

Now, she tells on the New York Times’s Sunday Review what it was like to have her celebrity crush teaching the “Literature of Desire”—actually not so erotic, but still the learning experience of a lifetime.

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The Girl with the Hair in Her Mouth

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“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness: those moments when another human being was there in front of me, suffering, and I responded sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly,” George Saunders said in his 2013 commencement address at Syracuse.

The New York Times printed the speech and it has, since then, raked in hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

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Writing “the very stuff of life”

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Today in unusual writing jobs: an inside look at what it’s like to be an obituary news writer for the New York Times.

Each day, it is our job to come to know such strangers intimately, inhaling their lives through telephone calls to their families, through newspaper and magazine profiles culled from electronic databases and through the crumbling yellowed clippings from the Times morgue that can fall to dust in our fingers as we read them.

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