The British Library says it has a window of 15 years to preserve an invaluable cache of sound recordings, but unless fundraising can help pick up the pace, the archives could take as many as 48 to complete. The artifacts represent a range of obsolete formats, some of them long dead; from wax cylinders of Florence Nightingale to open reel recordings of children’s songs, and of course countless classic author interviews and readings....more
Posts Tagged: NPR
In an interview with NPR about his new book, It’s Been Said Before: A Guide to the Use and Abuse of Cliches, Orin Hargraves acknowledges the utility of well-worn shorthand even as he counsels against its use. Clichés work because their prepackaged meaning is immediately accessible, making them ideal tools for journalists trying to convey information quickly but counterproductive for the creation of fresh, resonant prose....more
I think there’s a lot of dissonance for women, where there’s how we want to live, and how we want to see ourselves, and then what our real circumstances are. And I think the more we can close that distance between who we want to be and who we really are—the happier we are.
With the Canadian publication Descant announcing it will come to an end this month, Juan Vidal reflects on the state of literary magazines for NPR....more
This American Life spinoff Serial is a nonfiction podcast told over multiple episodes. Premiering back in October, Serial explores the case of Adnan Syed, who has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Much of the intriguing drama around the story stems from the fact that many aren’t convinced Syed actually murdered Lee—or at the very least, that the prosecution didn’t prove him guilty....more
In an interview for NPR, director Paul Thomas Anderson shares his experience adapting Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice for the big screen:
I approached it in the most straightforward but laborious way I could come up with. I transcribed the dialogue… And there were multiple times when I thought, “Why don’t I just call the publisher and get a PDF and cut and paste this on the computer?” But there was something about typing it out again that made me — it made me get to know the book, you know, really deeply.
I think I was pretty nervous about it as a kid. I think I did [have] that fear of the world coming to an end. I think also it’s kind of how kids exist anyway, you know? You’re always fearing change; you’re always fearing the wrath of a parent; you’re always fearing that something is going to go wrong somewhere.
The Oxford Dictionaries “Word of the Year” has been announced, and young people around the world will be called upon to explain the word “vape”—and its significance as part of cultural shifts surrounding marijuana and tobacco—to their older relatives in the coming days....more
(n.); the moral appended to the end a story or fable; from the Greek epi (“upon”) + muthos (“story, fable”)
“Once upon a time there was a princess who went out into the forest and sat down at the edge of a cool well.
Millennials may love their listicles, memes, and Internet kitsch, but they also love books. A new Pew study has shown the Millennials are more likely to read than older generations. And all those books are fodder for less serious content, like spoof rap videos, with books as their muse....more
“I just immediately thought, ‘Oh God, Scarlett O’Hara with a cell phone would be horrifying,'” Ortberg says, clearly as amused as she was horrified.
In the new Penguin Book of Witches, Katherine Howe assembles documents from three centuries of witch hunts—including arrest warrants, trial transcripts, and even apologies from a judge and jury in Salem. Per Genevieve Valentine at NPR, the historical record opens up to reveal that, far from being a spooky anomaly or simple mirror of McCarthyism, the echoes of the witch hunts are immediately present in coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, MO, where journalists struggled to present nuanced reporting amid a wave of impassioned social unrest....more
Lena Dunham launched her collection of personal essays, Not that Kind of Girl, yesterday. At NPR, the filmmaker, actress, and author discusses oversharing, sexual assault, and pornography. Dunham did not get through the week without controversy, though. Gawker wrote up a click-bait attack on Dunham criticizing her book tour....more
…short stories [are] a venerable form, but it’s diabolically hard to master. There’s a lot of apprenticeship in writing stories. And sometimes a story can take such a long time to write — I mean, months and months. … It’s only 10 or 15 pages, but still you got to get it right.
“It’s sort of like comparing making a fire and building a house,” he says. “A song is fire. You react to it primarily, instantly. You don’t have to decide whether you like it, and you don’t really have to sit down and think about it much after you’re done listening to it.
The words we never think about reveal a lot about what we’re saying. Filler words—this, though, I, an, and, that, and there—are so common we never really think about them, but they give away a lot of information....more
NPR reports that floating library pop-up is coming to New York City in the Hudson River. The Floating Library is the work of artist Beatrice Glow and will feature books and chapbooks of underrepresented authors and poets as well as an outdoor reading room. The project will run from Saturday, September 6th through October 3rd and will be housed on an old steamship....more
Homogeneity in the literary scene isn’t a recent development. Earlier this year, Junot Diaz caused a stir by branding the unbearable too-whiteness of his workshop experience. Justin Torres and Ayana Mathis couldn’t help but contribute:
“One of the characters is sort of referred to as having something like almond skin, something that would identify the character as black.
In a quest for meaning, NPR compares the Ebola epidemic to Albert Camus’s The Plague.
The Plague doesn’t have a happy ending, of course, though it’s not quite as hopeless as you might think. Initially, Dr. Rieux is a little resigned to the disease that’s threatening his city: “One hardly knows what a dead man is, after a while,” Camus writes.
Michael Gove, Britain’s Education Secretary, is rewriting Britain’s public school curriculum to be more British. To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and The Crucible are among the titles being dropped from required reading lists.
“I put this in the context of what’s going on in Europe and the world at large, which is a growing nationalism, a growing suspicion of other people’s perspectives and ideas and values,” says Christopher Bigsby, professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia and author of a biography of Miller....more
NPR has an interview with author Tom Robbins about his new memoir, Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life. He gives some insight into his experience as a novelist-turned-memoirist, saying that writing a memoir is like driving down a once-familiar road,
…but there are potholes in it now, and some fast-food franchises sprung up along the way, and there’s occasionally a blind curve that you might not remember.