Posts Tagged: New York Times
At the New York Times, Dana Stevens and Benjamin Moser debate whether or not we romanticize writers who die young. While Moser argues that we should not remember a writer for his death, Stevens admits that she is attracted to the “mythic tale” of writers who die prematurely....more
For the New York Times, Ayana Mathis and Thomas Mallon explore whether or not fiction based on historical events has a “responsibility to the truth.” While Mallon discusses how to remain within “the situational ethics” of historical fiction, Mathis differentiates between “truth” and “fact,” suggesting that fiction “is an expression of some recognizable and resonant iteration of experience.”...more
A recent New York Times report showed that e-book sales are declining while printed book sales are doing well. Over at Lit Hub, Adam Sternbergh argues that the printed book is going nowhere, for at least another 500 years:
Whatever medium the music is delivered in, the song remains the same—once it gets to your headphones, it doesn’t really matter what form it arrived in (esoteric preferences for the “warmth” of vinyl notwithstanding.
All at once there is nothing funny, but something all too sad and true, in this highly comic, highly affecting novel.
Over at the New York Times Sunday Book Review, author Julia Pierpont reviews Sloane Crosley’s first novel The Clasp, drawing comparisons to Guy de Maupassant’s short story, “The Necklace.”...more
Some movies just aren’t all that good. A.O. Scott makes the case for film snobbery:
You see the problem. “Snob” is a category in which nobody would willingly, or at least unironically, claim membership. Like the related (and similarly complicated) term “hipster,” it’s what you call someone else.
Ebook sales have fallen 10 percent in the first five months of 2015. The surge of electronic books between 2008 and 2010 coupled with the stress of economic depression on independent bookstores seemed a portent of an all-digital future, but print books remain and many digital consumers are returning to physical books....more
Public libraries have been growing into much more than just repositories of books. The New York Times finally gets in on the action and examines the various changes the public library system has undergone, especially the growth of libraries dedicated to specialty items or catering to the needs of niche hobbyists....more
A pervasive, and frustrating, myth is that dancing pays enough for us to stop complaining—that we get paid enough to be cool with however we’re treated. But that’s not true.
The publication of Dr. Seuss’s What Pet Should I Get? is a welcome surprise for kids of all ages. But the question of why the book was not published during Seuss’s lifetime remains unanswered. Was it lost in the shuffle? The New York Times Sunday Book Review explores a more interesting explanation....more
We all know the rise of Wikipedia and its always-accessible treasure trove of information was the decisive nail-in-the-coffin for those dusty, hardcover encyclopedia sets. But for the people behind Print Wikipedia, there’s the desire to collect all of Wikipedia (at least its English form) into a shape like those reference tomes of yesteryear....more
The dream of a global literary community is not new. But as globalization has not meant greater political or economic equality, cultural cosmopolitanism has not been guaranteed by instant communication and inexpensive travel. These do, however, present significant new opportunities for literary activism.
At the New York Times, Alice Gregory and Pankaj Mishra discuss the role of moralism in the novel—and conclude that authors should seek to question and provoke rather than preach:
Not only does moral preoccupation corrupt the artfulness of fiction, but fiction is an inefficient and insincere vehicle for moralizing.
Language is a shape-shifting thing. For some, it is purely the written word, and for others, it is movement, color, texture, light. In its art-themed Sunday Book Review, the New York Times explores how five artists react to five different books through visual compositions....more
Over the weekend, newspapers across the country shared headlines of forgiveness from the families of the nine slain. The dominant media narrative vigorously embraced that notion of forgiveness, seeming to believe that if we forgive we have somehow found a way to make sense of the incomprehensible.
The American imagination has never been able to fully recover from its white-supremacist beginnings. Consequently, our laws and attitudes have been straining against the devaluation of the black body. Despite good intentions, the associations of blackness with inarticulate, bestial criminality persist beneath the appearance of white civility.
“It’s like peeping over the edge of the world while remembering you’ve left your spectacles on the kitchen table,” she writes of her cruelly paradoxical situation: knowing that death is on its way without knowing when exactly it will arrive.
Jenny Diski has inoperable lung cancer—and the prolific British essayist has chosen to write through it, often addressing her cancer in a “pull-me, push-me” structure alongside the three years she spent as the foster daughter of Doris Lessing....more
In my thought, a book reviewer was sitting in front of a pile of books, trying to decide which ones to review. Coming upon mine, the reviewer looked at the cover skeptically, about to fling it aside, then flipped to the author photo and became confused.
So begins a piece on NPR from Roxane Gay on the New York Times’s newly released summer reading list, which features zero authors of color. Gay argues that national outlets with wide-ranging audiences, like NYT or NPR, should not and cannot afford to continue leaving out extraordinary works by a diversity of authors....more
That morning, Blume, in a pink baseball cap and sneakers, was taking her daily two-mile walk on a path that snakes along the beach. At 8 a.m., the sun was already strong, but the more Blume talked, the faster she walked, and everything sped up whenever the conversation turned to her new book, “In the Unlikely Event,” which will be published next month.
As I worked, filing reports every night from a hotel room, the details nagged at me. Her mother, Japa Tamang, was living in an open-sided shed once used to store grain, in hills still shuddering from aftershocks. My husband had the idea of giving her a ride back to Kathmandu and a plane ticket to Delhi, and this idea cheered me up greatly.