Posts Tagged: slate

Think (and Think Some More) Before You Speak

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Notably, there are a few verbal tics that we mistakenly think index insecurity, even though they don’t. These (mostly feminine) quirks—uptalk, vocal fry—are often subtle expressions of power, innovativeness, or upward mobility. In fact, Adam Gopnik recently wrote about how verbal fillers like “um” and “you know” underscore a speaker’s conscientiousness, her sensitivity to the details she must, for reasons of economy, leave unsaid.

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The Greatest Short Story of All-Time

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“Kipling,” says a psychiatrist friend of mine, “was always pretending to be something other than he actually was—which was a 10-year-old boy.” His work, the best of it, has a boy’s barbarism and a boy’s conservatism. “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi” succeeds so spectacularly because it is, in a sense, written by that 10-year-old boy—by little Teddy, the quietest character in the story but the one with whose special boyish loves and terrors the narrative is saturated.

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Privilege vs. Privilege

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In an excerpt from her book The Shelf, Phyllis Rose illustrates the systematic dismissal of women writers through the imagined figure of Prospero’s Daughter: wealthy and educated yet burdened by the demands of a family life whose quotidian challenges, having monopolized her time, become central concerns in her work.

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Who Are We Writing For?

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Sandwiched between fictions on one side and instructions on the other, a woman is often denied the breathing room necessary to find her individual sexuality. In a conversation at the Nervous Breakdown, Rumpus contributor Ashley Perez and author Cris Mazza discuss sexual pain (both mental and physical) and the damaging standards fabricated by literature and expected in life:

I want every woman who wrote [an unrealistic sex scene] to sit in a therapy group with me and describe her own sexual experience, so I can gauge these fictional ones.

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By Its Cover

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Jennifer Weiner’s recent claim that a serious author photos indicate serious literature is submited to scientifically unsound empirical testing over at Slate. Comparing the head shots of “Women’s Lit” writers to those of “Literary Fiction” best-sellers, Eliza Berman discovers an unexpected trend in the process: the mysterious middle ground of the indecipherable author smirk.

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Rumpus Round-Up: All the Abramson News Fit to Print

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Jill Abramson, the first woman to head the New York Times as executive editor, was abruptly fired Wednesday and replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet.

The New Yorker attempted to explain why, with the leading theory being Abramson’s discovery several weeks ago that she earned less than her male predecessor.

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Long Story Short

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Author Joshua Ferris is about to release his third book, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, and Reagan Arthur, his publisher at Little, Brown, has been with him from the very beginning.

After more than 8 years of collaborating, the two talk over at Slate about the writing and editing process—and how changing this new novel’s genre led Ferris to cut a whole 200 pages from the manuscript.

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The Repercussions of Modern-Day Witch Trials

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We like to think mass hysteria about black magic in the US died with the Salem witch trials, but 300 years afterward, starting in the 1980s, childcare providers across the country were accused of “Satanic abuse.”

One such case involved Fran and Dan Keller, who ran a daycare center in Austin and went to jail after being accused of using children in outlandish “Satanic rituals” involving murder, cannibalism, grave robbery, and sexual abuse.

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The Stockholm Syndrome of Sexual Assault

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For SlateAmanda Hess examines yet another first-person confessional: sexual assault victim Jenny Kutner’s essay “The Other Side of the Story,” published in  Texas Monthly.

The power of Kutner’s story is that it lends insight into a particular type of victimization—the kind that happens when the victim doesn’t see herself as one.

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