Although it marks a turn away from the hit-heavy model of a record industry money-maker, Rihanna’s Anti is still a calculated capitalist move, and the Atlantic explains how. In an editorial examination of record release strategies, the Atlantic connects the dots between Samsung’s sponsorship of the new record and how Rihanna is making money by giving the new album away for free....more
Posts Tagged: The Atlantic
At the Atlantic, Adrienne LaFrance defends teenagers’ ever-maligned contributions to the lexicon, citing a recent student that examines the extent to which teens influence linguistic change:
And the thing about linguistic changes is they can’t exactly be stopped in any sort of deliberate way…Even old-school grammar geeks are warming up to “they” as an acceptable gender-neutral pronoun, understanding that culture doesn’t just trump language rules, it creates them—then destroys them, then creates new ones again.
An actress of color is predicted to play Nancy Drew in the upcoming CBS adaptation of Nancy Drew. At the Atlantic, Lenika Cruz reflects on this decision:
The announcement will do little to quell fears that the future of entertainment will primarily be reboots, sequels, origin stories, prequels, and remakes; dooming audiences to year after year of studios excavating material from the past and trying to make it all feel new again.
Over at the Atlantic, Colleen Gillard takes a critical look at the differences between British and American children’s stories. While British stories for children tend to be rooted in fantasy and folklore, she writes, American children’s classics tend to be more grounded in realism....more
The Atlantic examines adulthood and how we get there, including a close look at the life of a writer:
Henry published his first book…when he was 31 years old, after 12 years of changing jobs and bouncing back and forth between his parents’ home, living on his own, and crashing with a buddy, who believed in his potential…He may have floundered during young adulthood, but Henry David Thoreau turned out pretty okay.
Patience. Curiosity. Repetition. Looking again and again. Not imposing a story line. Letting composition emerge through pattern, rhythm, shape, sound, movement. Occasionally … you hit upon a moment of grace. You can’t plan for it. You just have to practice enough so that you’re ready when it comes.
At the Atlantic, Joe Fassler speaks with author Kevin Barry about the future of fiction. According to Barry, the “best hope” for building interest in fiction in a world “distracted” by technology is through audio storytelling:
But one thing can still arrest us, slow us down, and stop us in our tracks: the human voice.
Perhaps it is because there are so few proven paths to success, and so little success to go around, that when an acclaimed novelist actually succeeds on a large scale, highbrow critics can become vicious.
While the novels praised as “literary” by the critics rarely fly off bookstore shelves to become commercial successes, novels that do become commercial successes are often the ripe targets of critics’ ire....more
Nick Ripatrazone on why writers need to run:
While on sabbatical in London in 1972, a homesick Oates began running “compulsively; not as a respite for the intensity of writing but as a function of writing.” At the same time, she began keeping a journal that ultimately exceeded 4,000 single-spaced, typewritten pages.
Everyone says Anna Karenina is about individual desire going against society, but I actually think the opposite is stronger: the way societal forces limit the expression of the individual.
Academics aren’t exactly known for their simple prose. At the Atlantic, Victoria Clayton details the movement to make scholarly writing more clear and accessible:
Bosley, who has a doctorate in rhetoric and writing, says that academic prose is often so riddled with professional jargon and needlessly complex syntax that even someone with a PhD can’t understand a fellow PhD’s work unless he or she comes from the very same discipline.
In recent years, many reputable publications have taken to charging reading fees and earlier this year, Nick Mamatas set off an Internet kerfuffle over The Offing‘s reading fee policies. The ethical quandary surrounding reading fees persist—not only are reading fees obstacles to diversity in writing, but the system is structured to ensure the continued success of successful writers rather than discovering and fostering emerging voices....more
Does anyone go on book tours anymore? Should they? Over at the Atlantic, Noah Charney makes the case for preserving the institution, if only for the three people who showed up to your reading:
Tours are often the only chance for writers to spend time with the actual people who read their books.
At the Atlantic, David R. Wheeler examines recent attempts to limit freedom of the press on college campuses, tracking conflicts between university officials and college newspapers and court cases:
In 2005, students at Governors State University in Illinois lost a lawsuit claiming that their First Amendment rights had been violated over the censorship of the school newspaper, The Innovator.
At the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates unflinchingly analyzes and condemns the history of mass incarceration in America and its disproportionately devastating effect on black families:
The blacks incarcerated in this country are not like the majority of Americans. They do not merely hail from poor communities—they hail from communities that have been imperiled across both the deep and immediate past, and continue to be imperiled today.
At the Atlantic, Megan Garber proposes a new word to describe words and phrases that have come to mean their opposite, like “honestly,” “no offense,” and “literally”:
So here’s one proposal: Let’s call these words “smarmonyms.” Because they’re the words that exist because we English-speakers can be, at times, awkward and passive-aggressive and jerky and, yes, a little bit smarmy.
If you’re going to spend so much time on social media, you might as well make art out of it. The Atlantic‘s Olivia Goldhill looks at the inevitable rise of maybe-joke, maybe-for-real Twitter fiction....more
Take that, Mom and Dad. Turns out studying literature can be practical. The Atlantic looks at the evolution of climate fiction, a new genre that’s getting readers interested in environmental issues and inspiring students to study STEM subjects:
In this respect, cli-fi is a truly modern literary phenomenon: born as a meme and raised into a distinct genre by the power of social media.
Just when you thought long-form communication was dead. The city of Melbourne gave email addresses to trees, which has incurred an outpouring of love letters and even exchanges between people and their addressee-trees....more
The Global Language Monitor estimates that the English language has over a million words. In contrast, the invented language Toki Pona has just over a hundred—a feature “designed to change how speakers think.” Its simplicity, besides making the language easy to learn, forces the speaker to creatively talk around concepts using metaphors, merge related concepts into one word, and take into account the other person’s perspective....more
If you win, then you talk to the other winners, congratulating and praising them. If you lose, then you read through your submission, noting mistakes that weren’t there five minutes before, wondering where you went wrong,” she adds. “You tell yourself, ‘It doesn’t really matter.
Remember the literary packaging that Jonathan Safran Foer developed with Chipotle? Well, someone at Yale has decided it’s worth holding onto—the Beinecke Rare Book Library will soon add a complete set of the cups and carry-out bags printed with the work of Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and others to its collection of “publications combining poetry and unusual printing formats.”...more