Posts Tagged: The Atlantic
“I once asked a talented and fairly famous colleague how he managed to regularly produce such highly regarded 8,000 word features. “Well,” he said, “first, I put it off for two or three weeks. Then I sit down to write. That’s when I get up and go clean the garage.
According to a recent Pew poll, 23 percent of Americans didn’t read even a single book last year.
That number has been rising steadily, from 8 percent in 1978, to 16 percent in 1990, to the current figure.
The Atlantic‘s Jordan Weissman says “the downturn might be over”—but the prognosis isn’t looking great....more
Poetry is always already revolutionary, then. What it says hardly matters. Poetry is useful because of its useless essence, not because of its individual meaning.
Of course, this is nonsense.
The way Noah Berlatsky sees it, mainstream culture and poets agree with each other that poetry is useless—it’s just that most people see that as a bad thing while poets see it as a good thing....more
We have written about the dangers of reading the comments before online. There are times however when it can be beneficial. Simone Supekar writes over at The Atlantic about how the comments on the internet helped her cope with a disease:
“In an ideal world, there’d always be a George Clooney nearby, reassuring us of our inner strength during rough times.
Editor of The Atlantic, Scott Stossel, suffers from anxiety, and he’s hardly alone. In an essay called “Surviving Anxiety,” Stossel chronicles his lifetime battle with the nation’s most common mental illness, describing himself from the age of two on as “a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears, and neuroses.”
After failed attempts to use therapy, drugs, and booze to manage his condition, Stossel describes his essay as a “coming out” story, and writes in hopes of providing others with evidence that they too can “cope and even thrive” in spite of the illness....more
Sometimes, during the sparkly onslaught of holiday-season diamond commercials, someone you know might remark that diamonds aren’t inherently very valuable and that there’s a conspiracy among diamond dealers to keep supply low and demand high.
As Edward Jay Epstein detailed in this classic Atlantic article from the archives, that conspiracy not only exists—it goes way, way deeper than you ever imagined....more
It will make them smarter! Elaine Reese writes at The Atlantic about the slew of benefits to your children when you share family stories with them, including being able to tell a more complete narrative to others and a better understanding of thoughts and emotions....more
The Atlantic gave the Rumpus’s own Sari Botton, Melissa Febos, Mira Ptacin, and Cheryl Strayed a chance to delve deeper into their contributions to the anthology “Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.”
In a roundtable discussion with Marie-Helene Westgate, they discuss what it’s like to leave a city that, as Westgate puts it, “is a human entity unto itself: one capable of offering earth-shattering sex, endlessly stimulating conversation, and eventual transcendence, too.”
Hear their takes on questions like: “Is there a sense that leaving New York…constitutes a failure of character?” and more—and be sure to check out our two excerpted chapters from the book, one by Elisa Albert and one by Melissa Febos, right here on the Rumpus....more
It’s no secret that in this day of instant everything, society as a collective whole have lost a lot of patience. Jessica Lahey at The Atlantic talks about how an assignment from her son’s school made her realize the lack of patience in schools and society today....more
Like it or not, the meanings and uses of words are constantly shifting, because language.
At the Atlantic, Megan Garber writes about how the word “because,” normally a subordinating conjunction, is increasingly being used as a preposition, with examples and possible linguistic explanations:
However it originated, though, the usage of “because-noun” (and of “because-adjective” and “because-gerund”) is one of those distinctly of-the-Internet, by-the-Internet movements of language.
Are you like John Irving, who outlines his novels to the last detail? Or are you more like Flannery O’Connor, who works the story out through multiple drafts?
There are many thoughts on the internet about the pros and cons of outlining a story before you write it but when it comes down to it, it is about the writing:
We’re all born with an imagination.
Most Americans probably enjoyed the extra hour of sleep they got this weekend when daylight saving time ended, but was it the product of an antiquated, inconvenient method of timekeeping?
The Atlantic‘s Allison Schrager says yes, but she doesn’t stop there: she advocates not only doing away with daylight saving time but reduce the contiguous United States’ four time zones to two, one for the West and one for the East....more
Gabriel Metcalf, writing for the Atlantic‘s Cities blog, has some thoughts about what caused the problem and what we might try to do to solve it:
Many outspoken citizens did—and continue to do—everything possible to fight new high-density development or, as they saw it, protecting the city from undesirable change.
The Atlantic has been hosting a series called “By Heart,” where authors discuss their favorite quotes in literature.
Edwidge Dandicat talks about her immigration experience and chooses a passage from a novel by Patricia Engels, which articulates that “trying to start a life in a strange land is an artistic feat of the highest order, one that ranks with (or perhaps above) our greatest cultural achievements.”
Dandicat says, “This brings art into the realm of what ordinary people do to in order to survive....more
Officials in Pasco County, Florida, have considered squeezing athletic budgets for each of the past six years. They’ve so far agreed to cut about 700 education jobs, and they extended winter break in 2011, but sports have been left mostly untouched.
In 1983, “Silicon Valley” meant something different: different tech companies were dominating for different reasons, in different areas of California’s Santa Clara County.
The Atlantic’s Alexis C. Madrigal went to look at what remained of that Silicon Valley from thirty years ago, and what he found is actually kind of shocking:
I explained myself to him, trying not to sound completely ridiculous.
The Atlantic has begun curating a series of authors’ favorite passages, poems, and lines.
The series is called By Heart and includes an essay on each selection and an illustration by Doug McLean.
Many authors discuss their favorite line from their favorite author, others share the quotes that get them through the writing process, and some reflect on why they love the lines they love....more
With the recent announcements of two male gay professional athletes, there has been a general feeling of widening acceptance for the LGBT community.
But, just as the election of a black president does not mean the end of racism, these two cases of acceptance do not mean the end of homophobia....more
As strange as it might sound, according to an article in The Atlantic, American humorist David Sedaris included several vignettes in his new book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, Etc. that he specifically wrote for high school speech competitions called “forensics.”
Students take published short stories and essays, edit them down to a predetermined length, and recite them competitively.
Here is an actual thing said by an actual sports marketing executive to a group of commissioners trying to reform college sports:
“You sold your souls, and you’re going to continue selling them. You can be very moral and righteous in asking me that question, sir…but there’s not one of you in this room that’s going to turn down any of our money.
Megan Garber gives an exceptionally detailed breakdown of applause in this essay, which analyzes the history and evolution of the everyday gesture.
So the subtleties of the Roman arena — the claps and the snaps and the shades of meaning — gave way, in later centuries, to applause that was standardized and institutionalized and, as a result, a little bit promiscuous.
It always feels like society is crumbling when big linguistic changes occur, but as Megan Garber points out, even notorious grammar stickler William Safire advised rewriting sentences to avoid using the objective-case equivalent of “who.”
If “whom” really did die out, traditionalists would mourn, but at least they wouldn’t have to deal with people overcorrecting in an attempt to sound formal....more
Though the apples in your local supermarket may seem homogeneous (they are, in fact, clones), wild apples come in a shocking number of sizes, colors, and flavors.
Intrigued by their variety, artist Jessica Rath embarked on a multiyear project photographing apple trees and reproducing apples in porcelain, from the speckled Dulcina to the serpentine Yellow Bellflower....more
Byliner’s list of spectacular nonfiction articles of 2012 highlights two complementary essays from the Atlantic‘s Civil War issue.
First, Yoni Appelbaum uses a hyperrealistic “cyclotron” painting of the Battle of Gettysburg as a pin to puncture the national narrative that the Union and the Confederacy were equally noble, and that veterans from both sides had only to recognize their mutual heroism to become “comrades.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on the same battle and the same narrative (as well as the same Faulkner passage) from a different perspective....more