Posts Tagged: new yorker
The New Yorker’s Jill Lepore laments the devaluation of truth in politics with the rise of “big data”:
The era of the fact is coming to an end: the place once held by “facts” is being taken over by “data.” This is making for more epistemological mayhem, not least because the collection and weighing of facts require investigation, discernment, and judgment, while the collection and analysis of data are outsourced to machines.
I had considered envying men before—I pretend to envy things like their higher incidence of ungrounded confidence and monomania, but I don’t really envy those things, and I’m not sure I even believe in them…
In an excerpt published in the New Yorker from her forthcoming book, Rivka Galchen writes about her first experience of real gender envy....more
For a black woman in a white world, a conversation with the self is crucial: for when she walks through that often-unwelcoming world she is subjected to confining perceptions of who she might be. When that world insists on racist and narrow paradigms, the diary gives these women a chance to scratch out and rewrite such definitions.
We need to know that the dictionary, as an institution, has a cultural power beyond the sum of its parts…And that does carry with it a responsibility to realize that we exist within that tension, and to not always hide behind the idea of descriptivist lexicography
Over at the New Yorker, Nora Caplan-Bricker compiles stories of problematic dictionary definitions and ultimately calls for dictionaries to reexamine their construction and eliminate sexist definitions....more
“I keep trying to imagine a universe in which too many public figures declaring themselves feminists would be a bad thing,” Roxane Gay, the novelist and the author of an essay collection entitled “Bad Feminist,” wrote, before concluding, “Of all the words that should be spoken more, ‘feminist’ should be at the top of the list.”
Over at the New Yorker, Adelle Waldman explores how men and women authors write about marriage. Citing examples from Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elena Ferrante, and many others, Waldman writes:
Ideas about love, about its essential nature and its causes, are highly idiosyncratic and often unstable.
For the New Yorker, David Denby listens to Jane Austen’s Emma and reflects on how listening to the book highlights the insincerity of the its characters:
Austen was one of the first modern writers, one of the first thoroughly to understand the unconscious and such things as insincerity and false candor.
Reporter and writer Svetlana Alexievich recently won the Nobel Prize for literature. In a piece for the New Yorker, Philip Gourevitch brings up some questions that this poses about the relationship between reportage literature and other forms—is one more necessary or relevant in our current times?...more
Can one speak about suffering if one hasn’t experienced it?
Kenneth Goldsmith has long been a figure of tension in the literary community: at once a savior for the conceptual intellectualists and avant-garde, and a malicious clown bent on provocation and appropriation....more
Another school year has begun leading to age old questions like: is this degree worth it? The New Yorker takes a look at college degrees and how over the last century, the liberal arts degree that once served as a ticket to white-collar, upper-middle-class careers has since become a basic resume builder for service jobs like barista....more
Once your journal exists, it will wing its way into a world already full of journals, like a paper airplane into a recycling bin, or onto a Web already crowded with literary sites. Why would you do such a thing?
People have been starting literary magazines for centuries—and they certainly don’t do it for the money....more
All of Italy, it seems, is gearing up for a serious, extended celebration in honor of the 750th birthday of the beloved poet Dante Alighieri. John Kleiner writes for the New Yorker about the festivities and the country’s intense relationship with Dante, and attempts to put it all in context for an American audience:
The obvious comparison is to Shakespeare, but this is like trying to make sense of Mozart by means of Coltrane: the number of centuries that divide Dante from Shakespeare is practically as large as the number that separates Shakespeare from us.
That night, I found myself seriously questioning this assumption I’d held since childhood: “You have to try to forget that while you’re reading.” You do? Why? And, more to the point, how?
How do you approach literature when you find it racist or elitist?...more
After the United States Postal Service misattributed a quote to Maya Angelou on a commemorative stamp, many suggested that the Postal Service “had simply believed too readily what they read on the Internet.” Now, for the New Yorker, Ian Crouch argues that although the Postal Service received approval from the Angelou family to publish the quote, the stamp points to the influence of the Internet on misattribution, as the Internet causes “minor falsehoods [to] metastasize at an alarming speed.”...more
Two weeks ago, Franzen wrote a piece for the New Yorker that, among other things, condemned the Audubon Society for focusing too much on climate change and not enough on conservation, the society’s original mission....more
For the New Yorker’s “Page Turner,” Adam Gopnik argues “why an imperfect version of Proust is a classic in English.”...more
The future of the Warburg Institute, one of London’s most influential and strangest libraries, is examined at length in this week’s New Yorker. Adam Gopnik covers the history of the center, from its founding in pre-Nazi Germany through the height of its influence on the world of art history, and attempts to articulate the particular properties of Warburg, the philosophy and aesthetics and modes of scholarship, that make it unique....more
The two men are physically incongruous. Key is tall, light brown, dashingly high-cheek-boned, and L.A. fit; Peele is shorter, darker, more rounded, cute like a Teddy bear. Peele, who is thirty-five, wears a nineties slacker uniform of sneakers, hoodie, and hipster specs.
Down at the New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh asks where the black critics are (and whether we ever had any to begin with, and how the field is irrelevant until they come back):
Sociologists who study black America have a name for these camps: those who emphasize the role of institutional racism and economic circumstances are known as structuralists, while those who emphasize the importance of self-perpetuating norms and behaviors are known as culturalists.
At the New Yorker, Valeria Luiselli gives us an essay in defense of monuments, libraries, park benches, daughters, Dickinson, and ‘simplicissimusses’:
In that first New York of my early twenties, I decided that I despised writers who admitted to crying over art or beauty or solitude, those who indulged in elevated states of mind.