Posts Tagged: salon

Topless Bookclub

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The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society is a New York-based book club founded five years ago. The club, with dozens of members, meet bare-chested in public places around the city. New York law allows women to be topless anywhere men can be, and the book club takes advantage of the fact to challenge expectations and the double standards of gender norms.

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A Memo to Exclusionary Feminists

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Feminists should accept and embrace Caitlyn and all trans and gender non-conforming people and see them wherever they define themselves on a broad gender spectrum.  The project of ending misogyny and patriarchy is one that not only inextricably includes them, but should center around trans women, because the violence and rejection society throws at them is not for being a man, but for being an othered woman.

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Irony Genius Vs. Realism Hero

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If Franzen is our genius realist, and DFW our genius postmodernist — how might they meld irony and sincerity?

In an excerpt over at Salon from his new book, Keep It Fake: Inventing an Authentic Life, Eric G. Wilson talks irony, realism, postmodernism, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen.

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Word of the Day: Miasma

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(n.); noxious exhalations from putrid organic matter; poisonous effluvia or germs polluting the atmosphere; a dangerous, foreboding, or deathlike influence or atmosphere

“If the Internet is a bridge to the greater world, a troll is the beast who lives under it, extracting a toll in hurt feelings, outraged sensibilities and fear from all who pass.”

–Laura Miller, “We’re All Trolls Now”

If you’ve ever had occasion to visit an online discussion forum—be it the comment section of your local newspaper or a niche community of Northeastern birdwatchers—you’ve likely encountered the nasty phenomenon of the Internet troll.

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When It Rains, It Pours

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Whether you’re singing, dancing, or making out with Spiderman, there’s something different about doing things in the rain. In an excerpt from her book Rain: A Cultural and National History published at Salon, Cynthia Barnett analyzes rain as a narrative device:

Rain is such a compelling literary and cinematic trope that it’s easily and often overdeployed, as many critics have mirthfully pointed out.

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Show Me the Money

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It’s no secret that writing doesn’t pay. Ann Bauer wants to talk about where the money comes from:

In my opinion, we do an enormous “let them eat cake” disservice to our community when we obfuscate the circumstances that help us write, publish and in some way succeed…I do have a huge advantage over the writer who is living paycheck to paycheck, or lonely and isolated, or dealing with a medical condition, or working a full-time job.

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In the Name of Fear

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It’s very hard to imagine a president getting up and talking about how damaging the fear of terrorism has been to us, culturally and politically, and how much it’s horribly undermined us. Looking at torture and all the other things that have been done in the name of counterterrorism, it’s really quite disturbing what we’ve done in the name of our own fear.

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Getting Difference Wrong

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In an interview with Salon, the always-wise Roxane Gay offers her opinions on Bill Cosby, Lena Dunham, and the challenges of writing characters whose experiences differ from one’s own:

We can imagine spaceships and different planets and aliens, but when it comes to writing about someone who is of a different race or a different gender or a different sexuality then all of a sudden we’re very confused…I think that it’s terrifying to worry about getting difference wrong.

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Not That Kind of Narrator

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The problem with unreliable narrators — and the thing that makes them so delightful to read in fiction — is that by design, you never quite know when they are telling the truth. Which makes it a stunningly poor choice of conventions to employ when writing about sexual assault, a crime that victims are often accused of fabricating, either wholesale or in parts.

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Gotta Serve Somebody

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In an excerpt from his recently released book Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas, Adam Kirsch positions David Foster Wallace as a quintessentially American writer: self-conscious and ironic, but at the same time frenzied, earnest, and above all contradictory:

A clue to the answer can be found in a question Wallace asked in “Infinite Jest:” “Why is the truth usually not just un- but anti-interesting?” In that excessively interesting book, the interesting is always suspect.

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Seriously, Though

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At Salon, Lydia Millet gets serious about sexism, climate change and extinction, and the literary establishment’s dismissal of funny books:

“Important” serious books often seem to be picked based on the simplicity and safety of their content as a barometer of upper-middle-class cultural preoccupation, and humor’s too complex and ambiguous to be a flagship like that.

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Indie Bookstore Road Trip

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Independent bookstores will save the world, or at least the publishing industry, maybe. Josh Weil and Mike Harvkey took a road trip across the country, exploring independent bookstores. They found a collection of dedicated shops and local literary communities, but that didn’t answer the fundamental question: how important are independent bookstores are to writers?

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