In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Jonathan Safran Foer (award-winning author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) contemplates the implications of living in a society full of “iDistractions,” arguing that the increased daily use of new technology might be limiting our capacity for empathy and compassion....more
Posts Tagged: New York Times
Ever since Michel de Montaigne, the founder of the modern essay, gave as a motto his befuddled “What do I know?” and put forth a vision of humanity as mentally wavering and inconstant, the essay has become a meadow inviting contradiction, paradox, irresolution, and self-doubt.
If writing and rock music go together like peanut butter and jelly, this New York Times essay is the diagonally cut sandwich bread that delivers them to your taste buds.
In it, J. Robert Lennon probes the economic and artistic similarities between the two art forms, and recounts his experiences as both an author and a musician....more
If the Strand is a palace for books, then Ben McFall is king—of its fiction section, at least.
“It seems like a feat, but if it were your house, you’d know where things are, too,” Mr.
Publishers, including big guns like Penguin and HarperCollins, have begun to target teen readers by reinventing the cover design of many classic pieces of literature.
Like Penguin’s new edition of Romeo and Juliet which features a “Romeo in stubble and a tight white tank top”, the new covers intend to latch onto the popularity of the young-adult genre, the most vigorously growing genre in publishing....more
In The New York Times, Jason Diamond writes about celebrating having his work published, while the rest of the world still remembers him for his former barista days.
“And while I may always be more recognizable on the city streets for my great steamed milk than for my killer prose, there are worse things than having a legacy, even one so strange and aromatic.”...more
“The e-book hasn’t killed the book; instead, it’s killing the ‘page.’ Today’s e-readers scroll text continuously, eliminating the single preformed page, along with any text defined by being on its bottom.”
In this New York Times essay, Alexandra Horowitz discusses the footnote, speculating on its place in the future....more
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the British phone hacking scandal is the lack of coverage in the US press.
Among the US newspapers, the NY Times is the only one I can find which has done significant reporting on the story, though the best work on the story comes from (no surprise) the Guardian....more
“I can’t help wondering if ugliness is not indispensable to philosophy. Sartre seems to be suggesting that thinking — serious, sustained questioning — arises out of, or perhaps with, a consciousness of one’s own ugliness.”
In a recent installment of the New York Time’s philosophy column The Stone, Andy Martin ponders the ugliness of Jean-Paul Sartre (and other philosophers) and Sartre’s tragic haircut that started it all....more
“An ugly paradox of the 21st century is that some of our elegant symbols of modernity — smartphones, laptops and digital cameras — are built from minerals that seem to be fueling mass slaughter and rape in Congo.”
Nicolas Kristof has an op-ed in the New York Times about the relationship between technology and the really, really atrocious campaign of mass rape, torture, and murder — a disturbing amount of it of and by children — in the Congo....more
“Studying the humanities improves your ability to read and write. No matter what you do in life, you will have a huge advantage if you can read a paragraph and discern its meaning (a rarer talent than you might suppose)…
“Studying the humanities will give you a wealth of analogies....more
“The way I was trained, reporters went toward the story, just as firemen rush toward the fire. It is a duty. As it happens, I am a coward and would rather write about a bird or a tree. But, I don’t know how to be aware of such a slaughter and not report it.”
Charles Bowden is back with another book about the contradictions and struggles of the U.S.-Mexico Border, Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields and he talks to The Book Bench about it....more
The Daily Rumpus is an email Rumpus editor Stephen Elliott writes and sends out anywhere from two to five times a week. Most of them are not posted online, but subscribing is free. Just send an email here. This is an excerpt from the one he sent out this morning:
Joe Lieberman is introducing something he calls the Terrorist Expatriation Act–TEA Act for short, though the redundancy seems lost on them–which would make it possible for the State Department to strip the citizenship from anyone they determine is “involved with terrorist activities.”
Lieberman claims that he’s simply trying to update existing law....more
“Such encounters are becoming increasingly difficult. With a growing number of people turning to Kindles and other electronic readers, and with the Apple iPad arriving on Saturday, it is not always possible to see what others are reading or to project your own literary tastes....more
“Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chief of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism.”
From the inimitable Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wu Dunn in The New York Times Magazine of August 23, 2009....more
“A few years ago the Mexican novelist Mario Bellatin attended one of those literary conferences here where writers are asked to talk about their own favorites. Unwilling to make a choice, he invented a Japanese author named Shiki Nagaoka and spoke with apparent conviction about how deeply Nagaoka had influenced him, fully expecting the prank to be unmasked during the question-and-answer period.”...more
In the last few months, Wikipedia has been in debate with psychologists who are upset that Rorschach inkblot plates can be easily found online.
Because the Rorschach tests are displayed with common responses to the open-ended questions doctors pose while using the plates, several psychologists have voiced concerns that the materials are being undermined....more
Bruno, the flamboyantly gay Austrain fashion reporter played by Sacha Baron Cohen, has a feature length film. Due to many wild premiers – from bull-fighting in Madrid to dressing as a Buckingham Palace guard in London - and a unique stunt with Eminem at the MTV Movie Awards, The Bruno Movie has already earned much attention....more
John Wray, author of the novel Lowboy, recently wrote “The Making of Zach Galifianakis” for The New York Times Magazine. Wray takes a long look at how the scruffy comedian, who leans more on performance art than old school stand up, became the “comedic hope of his generation.” He also writes about Zach’s beard:...more