Using Italian author Alessandro Baricco’s recently translated novellas, Mr. Gwyn and Three Times at Dawn, as a starting point, Matt Seidel goes deep over at The Millions into the subject of portraiture in literature....more
Posts Tagged: The Millions
The approach coupled with the scope (covering, as it does, a huge swath of time) results in maybe the most complete history of the novel in English ever produced.
(n); an embellishment or ornament in speech; to speak in flowery language; c. 1651
Trouble. Trouble is a great dustpan of a word. Its roots are found in Latin in the verb turbidare, to make turbid … Trouble branched off to mean that quality or state of being in distress or annoyance, of having malfunctioned; it’s a condition of debility, or ill health, a civil disorder, an inconvenience, a pregnancy out of wedlock.
In a culture where everything is assigned a market value, imagination isn’t in high demand. Over at The Millions, Chloe Benjamin wonders why some of imagination’s most vivid manifestations—dreams and fiction—fall so low on our priority list:
But in the absence of conclusive evidence, sleep’s utility—like that of fiction—is still in doubt.
But what if your entire book is based on another one? What if a certain piece of information (in the cases of these books, a writer or a specific novel) is foundational to your text? How, then, should you proceed? Should you explain the referenced work so that those unfamiliar with it can enjoy your book?
How much time should be spent on a single work of art? Or inversely, how will the amount of time spent on a work ultimately shape what that work will become and what it will mean to the creator? What it will mean to us?
It seems impossible to say that someone was quietly assembling a story collection over a decade and a half when they’ve been publishing each of the stories one by one over at a little place called The New Yorker. And yet, that appears to be exactly what Donald Antrim has done....more
Should a writer submit to a literary magazine that only “pays” in contributor copies? What does it mean that we, in the literary community, have accepted lack of monetary payment as commonplace?
At The Millions, Tracy O’Neill deconstructs the Ritz-Carlton’s new “Six Word Wows” ad campaign. The hotel chain calls for guests to describe their stay in six words or less, using the hashtag #RCMemories, and claims to be ““Paying Homage to a Classic Ernest Hemingway Line.” O’Neill frames her essay with Thomas Frank’s assertion that, since the mid-90s, corporations have targeted consumers by playing up their nonconformity, creating the “Culture Trust: a corporate America that deploys the sensibilities of counterculture for profit.” However, O’Neill goes a step further, wondering if the campaign works, perhaps, because it gives patrons “an authorial role” and allows them to describe what they see as their extraordinary vacations....more
(n.); cunning in words; skill in adorning speech; the arbitrary or capricious coinage of words; from late Latin and Greek, log (“speech, word”) and daidalos (“skillful, ingeniously formed)
Every society we’ve ever known has had poetry, and should the day come that poetry suddenly disappears in the morning, someone, somewhere, will reinvent it by evening.
Since I arrived, two years ago, I’ve grown more interested in works about American expats, especially those in which the characters are not quite comfortable in their settings. I wanted to see what this literature said about the ways in which expat life in Europe evolved over the course of American history.
A lot of poems are sad, but over at The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone thinks he’s found the saddest: “Spring and Fall” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Ripatrazone explores Hopkins’s poem, and while doing so, gives his thoughts on what good poetry can do:
I think the best poetry is a form of interrogation of self.
Although Americans’ love for poetry has yet to reach the wild heights of Abu Dhabi’s hit reality show Million’s Poet where 70 million global viewers watched dueling versifiers vie for a $1.3 million cash prize, Americans are actively involved in reading it—particularly outside the traditional literary arenas of bookstores and libraries.
At The Millions, Anna Solomon asks what it means that “literature is filled with disappearing mothers”:
Why so much motherly abandonment? It makes for good conflict, of course. It can help define characters and set plots in motion. Most importantly, it’s an act that even in 2014 remains, in many ways, the ultimate taboo.
Growing up all over the place makes you skilled at adapting, but it also makes you hungry to belong, something that in part motivates my writing: carving out a space I know, trying to understand what I’m witnessing around me. The experiences of others everywhere.
In an essay at The Millions, Alex Kalamaroff praises the growing number of LGBTQ characters in young adult fiction. He wonders, however, why there’s such a disparity between YA and adult fiction, especially considering that many between the ages of 18 and 44 read books intended for teenagers....more
At The Millions, Jonathan Russell Clark ruminates on the idea of the epigraph. Over the past decade, Clark has kept a Word document filled with quotes from literature, and the amassed 30,000 words, he admits, are less for insight and inspiration than a source of potential epigraphs for his own work....more
Vivian Maier has been called one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th century, but during her lifetime, she worked as a nanny and kept her photography on rolls of film that went undeveloped. Over at The Millions, Janet Potter raises questions about Maier’s decision to keep her artwork to herself: “Why is someone who takes so many photos a nanny?...more
Founded in 1986, independent publisher Soho Press has built its reputation on engaging literary novels, a catalog of international authors, and a crime fiction imprint. The press has thrived even through an era of upheaval in the publishing and book retailing industries....more