Posts Tagged: slate

Kid’s Lit: Team Order or Team Nonsense?

By

Children’s literature as a genre has grown exponentially from early morality-racked lesson books to modern goofy masterpieces such as Captain Underpants—how did we switch from Order to Nonsense, and have we completely switched over? At Slate, Katy Waldman sits down with literary critic and professor Seth Lerer to discuss the evolution of children’s literature and the indefinable nature of the genre.

...more

Where Writers Rule

By

At Slate, Laura Miller discusses the TV showrunner as novelist, focusing specifically on Noah Hawley. Hawley, showrunner for the FX show Fargo, has also published multiple novels, including Before the Fall:

By contrast, the flawed, struggling, conflicted male characters in both seasons of Fargo register as real people, despite the darkly farcical tone the series takes from the Coen brothers film that inspired it… Before the Fall shows Hawley to be far from oblivious to such concerns, but also so tangled up in his own ambivalence about the mastery and heartlessness of traditional masculinity that a lot of his readers seem to be missing his message.

...more

Gimme Gimme JSTOR

By

The question of access continues to plague the academic community—if academia is truly about knowledge and discovery, why are there still so many barriers to the unfettered sharing of information? The architects of digital “pirate libraries” around the world are trying to resolve that contradiction, violating copyright laws to bring expensive scholarly materials to the researchers (and data-hungry laypeople) who need them.

...more

In Favor of Reading the Literary Canon

By

The canon is what it is, and anyone who wishes to understand how it continues to flow forward needs to learn to swim around in it.

Responding to Yale students’ protesting the English department’s course requirements, Slate’s Katy Waldman argues that English majors should still have to read the “sexist, racist, colonialist, and totally gross” canon of English literature, in addition to a broader range of perspectives.

...more

Naturally Emily Dickinson

By

I became tantalized by the idea of a genius poet whose talent was nourished not by extensive travel, nor by formal literary training, but rather by an intimacy with the kinds of creatures Americans routinely encounter and rarely appreciate.

For Slate, Ferris Jabr dives deep into the imagery of Emily Dickinson’s poetry to find new appreciation for the level of detail Dickinson’s knowledge of nature lent to her work.

...more

Let the Men Have Their Book Clubs

By

Taking a different stance on the men-only book clubs that have everyone rolling their eyes, Slate’s L.V. Anderson argues that feminists should applaud men embracing an activity that has been so coded as feminine—and eagerly await the day when men do not feel like they have to declare their masculinity in order to do so:

Men who deliberately take time to discuss literature with other men are subverting and challenging gender norms, no matter how jokily macho their book club names might be.

...more

Lost Labor

By

Certain ways of avoiding a childbirth scene in contemporary fiction have become almost predictable, as clichéd as the clothes scattered on the floor in a movie rated PG-13: the frantic car ride to the hospital, followed by a jump cut to the new baby; or the played-for-laughs episode of the laboring woman screaming at her clueless husband, followed by a jump cut to the new baby.

...more

No New Friends

By

A connection so fundamentally optional doesn’t provide the same ambivalence and tension you get with alcoholic parents, narcissistic spouses, or resentful bosses. If your friend abuses you or your trust, you can just walk away.

Slate’s Laura Miller explains why nobody writes memoirs about their friends, and then looks at two recent books that take up the challenge of doing so.

...more

total noise feature

Total Noise and Complete Saturation

By

For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested, in a clinical way, in silence. ...more

Living Wages Cost More Money

By

A new study has revealed why academic adjuncts are paid so little: living wages would cost universities a lot more money. A new study says that converting adjunct faculty to tenure track positions would cost $27 billion dollars. The study also suggested that as more faculty became full time, as many as 450,000 adjuncts could lose their jobs.

...more

Hating Your Own Book Trailer

By

Slate is on the case, looking at why so many book trailers are self-loathing:

Behold Jonathan Franzen, opening his book trailer for Freedom with the words: “This might be a good place for me to register my profound discomfort at having to make videos like this.” Behold Slate editor Gabriel Roth, who transformed the trailer for his novel The Unknowns into a comment on the existential futility of book trailers.

...more

Fireflies, Tweets, and Jolts of Nostalgia

By

Over at Slate, writer Elizabeth McCracken muses about what people miss most about home and how reminiscing on Twitter creates a shared experience. She writes:

Previously I would have said that nostalgia can never be experienced secondhand, but it turns out Twitter is the perfect delivery system for other people’s nostalgia: each tweet was a little pressurized jolt of somebody else’s longing for something lost.

...more

For Men and By Men

By

Slate’s Rebecca Onion and Andrew Kahn analyze the overwhelming maleness of both the subjects and authors of history books, discussing their findings with book publishers:

Our data set revealed some answers about the publishing of popular history that we expected: Authors are largely male, biographical subjects too; “uncle books” make up a third of the total titles published.

...more

melissa gira grant_authorphoto1

The Rumpus Interview with Melissa Gira Grant

By

Melissa Gira Grant talks sex workers’ rights, labor politics, the novelty of women’s sexuality, and her book, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work. ...more

Why Internet Comments Suck

By

Wittgenstein explains why discourse on the Internet sucks. And it’s not just because of your crazy uncle.

So, language is quicksand—except it’s not. Unlike the parlor tricks of the deconstructionists who bloviate about différance and traces, there clearly are rules that shouldn’t be broken and clearly ways of speaking that are blatantly incorrect, even if they change over time and admit to flexible interpretations even on a daily basis.

...more

Can’t Read Italian? Ask Mom To Translate

By

After reading the first two books in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, Sara Goldsmith enlisted her mother to translate the third book from Italian so that she didn’t have to wait another year for the English release. Now, for Slate, Goldsmith shares how the experience generated a new respect for the scope and craft of Ferrante’s novels, as well as how the project influenced her relationship with her mother:

For my mom and me—who, like all mothers and daughters, sometimes have a difficult relationship—the novels have given us a way to stay in closer touch and a subject to return to and discuss.

...more

We Wish to Go to the Festival

By

After 13 years, another Milan Kundera novel has been translated into English for all us provincials who never learned French. At Slate, Benjamin Herman praises The Festival of Insignificance for its lighthearted wisdom:

Insignificance is the work not of a grumpy old man but of a grinning old man.

...more

Intergenerational Cycle of Crap

By

Gabriel Roth has some hard truths about The Poky Little Puppy, and he’s not wrong.

Millions of people enjoyed The Poky Little Puppy as children, because it was cheap and because, being children, they had no standards. They grew up to be parents, remembered the book fondly from childhood, and purchased it for their own children.

...more

Bringing Up Baby

By

Shirley Jackson’s bone-chilling story “The Lottery” is probably the last thing anyone wants to associate with Mother’s Day, yet her lurking plot twists and sharp character insights are the perfect tools to write about parenting. In this month’s Slate Book Review, Dan Kois explains how Jackson’s books depicted family life well before any of us knew what to expect when expecting:

Airy unconcern about the state of one’s home, marriage, or children, masking a deeper unspoken acknowledgment that all will forever exist in a state of chaos?

...more