Posts Tagged: The Atlantic
I couldn’t believe there could be a famous book that was so radically unsatisfying. I remember thinking, how can he even be a famous author if he fucks you over this badly? It just seemed like a disaster.
At the Atlantic, Jonathan Lethem writes about discovering Franz Kafka as a teenager....more
At the Atlantic, Vann R. Newkirk interviews Hugo-winner N.K. Jemisin about her novel The Fifth Season and the hardline conservatives who boycotted it:
It’s the same sort of reactionary pushback that is generally by a relatively small number of very loud people.
Is it because rather than keeping us almost entirely out of the empty room, as Lee did, Ocean chose to let us in through hints and ephemera? And more broadly, what are we owed by an artist whom we profess to love?
At the Atlantic, Adrienne Green spoke with research librarian Theresa Quill about how the profession is changing and the traits that bring librarians of different generations together:
I don’t know that I agree that a person is born to be a librarian, but most librarians that I know seem to really love what they do.
At the Atlantic, Nathan Scott McNamara provides an optimistic view of the symbiotic relationship between massive corporate publishers and small indie houses. Profiling energetic presses like Graywolf, Coffee House, Two Dollar Radio, and Dorothy, McNamara argues:
…by inventing new models rather than trying to repeat past success, by valuing ingenuity over magnitude, by thinking of sales as a way to make great books possible rather than the point—indie presses aren’t just becoming the places where the best books are published; they’re already there.
The Atlantic explains how Kurt Vonnegut’s lectures about story arcs influenced a group of researches to classify works of fiction based on six “core narratives” in order to find the “emotional trajectory of a story.” The research group hopes the data helps scientists to “train machines” to write original works....more
When I began to write, it was to tell other survivors to write. All we have is words.
The Atlantic recounts the extraordinary life and legacy of Elie Wiesel—Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate—in a loving tribute....more
When today’s crime writers are in doubt, they have a woman come through the door with a passive-aggressive zinger on her lips.
At the Atlantic, Terrence Rafferty writes about the history crime fiction, from pulp writers in the 20s and 30s through Raymond Chandler to Gillian Flynn, and how women are writing the best crime out there today....more
At the Atlantic, Amy Weiss-Meyer discusses debut authors Rebecca Schiff and Abigail Ulman, placing them, along with writer Lena Dunham, in a group of authors that critic Harold Rosenberg calls a “mass culture of individuals:”
Theirs is a literary ecosystem fueled by the dream of achieving viral acclaim—of appealing to the masses by parading one’s exquisite, insecure individuality.
Self-publishing has never been easier, and that means plagiarism has never been easier. Thieves are using self-publishing services like Amazon to republish back catalog or out-of-print books to sell for a profit. In some case these “authors” change minor things like character names, but not always....more
I saw half of Hamilton. I walked… It’s history lite, and musical lite, and it’s just … It’s horrible. [laughs] Maybe I should be more open-minded. I just hate it.
David Graham interviewed Laurie Anderson about her recent shows and the current state of American politics....more
At the Atlantic, Bert Clere reflects on Arnold Lobel’s children’s books, Frog and Toad and Owl at Home, the lessons these stories try to teach, and the representation of the self in each of them:
Although Frog and Toad’s world is perhaps more pastoral than that of their average reader, most can recognize and relate to the situations the duo find themselves in.
Using Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel, Sphinx, as a springboard, Stephanie Hayes explores the superpowers of gender-blank characters for the Atlantic. Sphinx’s recent translator, Emma Ramadan, describes how what began as an Oulipan constraint to avoid gender became a freedom from preconceived notions of male and female, and sometimes, a guessing game....more
Make sure no one else is awake. Turn off the lights. Your windows can stay open. Now turn on your phone and begin reading. Repeat as necessary each night. Do not stop until the very last word of the very last volume.
Some would argue that the loss of privacy is a small price to pay to have your voice heard on an international scale. But over at the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes honestly and unpretentiously about his difficulties returning home as a prominent literary figure, and how his sudden visibility carries a safety concern particular to being a black man who regularly speaks his truth:
But the world is real.
Library use has been declining, but that decline probably isn’t due to a decreasing interest in reading. Plenty of pundits blame the rise of digital technology, but even libraries that offer digital services like ebook lending have seen declines. The real culprit is the same crisis afflicting all of American infrastructure: a lack of investment....more
Moleskine has recently come out with a digital notebook and smart-pen that transcribes one’s writing onto their smartphone—seemingly going against their ethos of the importance of pen and paper. Katharine Schwab reckons with this new development, and the fascinating popularity of Moleskine, over at the Atlantic:
It’s easy to wax philosophical about the role paper can play in creativity, regardless of its veracity.
Ever since Zoe Saldana was set to play Nina Simone in the upcoming biopic Nina, controversy has surrounded the casting choice. Writing in the Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates says that the issue isn’t just about Saldana’s lighter skin tone, but the erasure of Simone’s facial features and what it says about America’s racist beauty standards:
Saldana has said that others actors who better resembled Simone passed on the role, and that she herself declined it for a year.
The MFA is only two to three years out of a writer’s life. Those years don’t outweigh decades of signaling from the publishing industry, major newspapers, and magazines about what type of fiction is popular and publishable.
The refusal of such a woman, who lived in such a time, to be silent created a new mold for the self…
Karen Swallow Prior, writing for the Atlantic, shares her essay on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and its roots in the Protestant Reformation that contributed to the Western idea of the self—and so, inevitably, selfies....more
Libraries are major hubs that serve the community, and even more so in times when people are looking for help. Over at the Atlantic, Deborah Fallows details the efforts to preserve the San Bernardino library, which has seen an increased sense of community after the tragic shootings last year:
When I asked people what felt different in [San Bernardino], some of the language was new.
Elegance is a refinement of simplicity rather than a flourish of excess. Elegance prompts wit rather than comedy, sentiment rather than sentimentality. Such restraint is the lens through which all the diffuse sensations of desire are focused into the flame of passion.
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