Posts Tagged: The Atlantic

Rihanna’s Anti Capitalist Strategy

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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.

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It’s Literally Fine

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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.

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A New Nancy Drew

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An actress of color is predicted to play Nancy Drew in the upcoming CBS adaptation of Nancy Drew. At the AtlanticLenika 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.

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When Does a Writer Grow Up?

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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.

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Greatest Hits of the Heart

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Dean Koontz

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Dean Koontz talks about his newest novel, Ashley Bell, overcoming self-doubt, and “what this incredibly beautiful language of ours allows you to do.” ...more

Why Commercial Success Gets Criticized As Sentimental

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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.

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Striving for Simplicity

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Kate Bolick

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Kate Bolick talks about her new book, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, writing and the nuclear family, and whether women are finally people yet. ...more

Do Reading Fees Exploit Writers?

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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.

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Censorship in College Newspapers

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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.

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The Rumpus Interview with Melissa Gira Grant

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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

Imperiled Across Both the Deep and Immediate Past

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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.

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Language as Passive-Aggression

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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.

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Apocalypse Now

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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.

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Economy of Language

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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.

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Preserving Poetic Packaging

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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.”

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