Posts Tagged: The Millions
Take a look at this review of Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys over at The Millions. There’s something endearing about Lewis’s project to unmask and reveal:
The task Lewis sets for himself in Flash Boys is to pry the American financial system loose from those black boxes and reimagine it for us on a human scale.
After centuries of shuffling papers, biographers must now deal with the sudden digitization of the self, and the behavioral changes that have followed.
Over at The Millions, Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin considers how email technology has affected biography—and what’s gotten lost in the shift from paper to computer....more
Despite the challenges writers face with debut novels, the second novel is generally considered the most difficult to write. Some second novels fail to exceed the first, and plenty of authors never even write a second novel. But we might be living in the golden age of sophomore novels, declares Bill Morris over at The Millions. He cites Rachel Kushner, Jonathan Miles, and Charles McNair as examples of successful second novelists, adding:
Of course one could argue that a half dozen books do not constitute a trend or herald a new golden age.
Poetry and music share a word of process — composition — and are linked by negotiations of melody, harmony, rhythm, proportion, and discord.
While some poets require silence to compose, many others find that listening to music and writing go hand-in-hand....more
At The Millions, Michael Bourne writes about the stunning success of poet Tess Taylor’s debut collection, The Forage House, and technology’s hand in making it happen:
When writers talk about literature in the digital age, they tend to lay out one nightmare scenario after another: books losing value as they migrate onto screens, publishing houses shedding jobs, readers snuggling up with cable shows on their iPads rather than books.
In her deeply personal essay on The Millions, Allison K. Gibson explains some of the intense literary cravings she experienced during her pregnancy. Some of them were unexpected, even violent, but all were led entirely by intuition.
“Now I had a voracious appetite to consume certain books I’d read long ago, revisiting passages that had always been especially moving.
Over at The Millions, Rumpus contributor Nick Ripatrazone looks at the many and varied paths that bring writers to the profession and considers the benefits of time spent studying subjects other than creative writing:
Although I have drifted toward the science of syntax, I think about the positives of studying content that is not literary.
The #TwitterFiction Festival kicked off yesterday, and over at The Millions, Elizabeth Minkel takes a look at the genre’s historical relationship with the social media network. Is Twitter “a place where fiction thrives?” Minkel isn’t so sure:
There’s no single correct way to use any social media platform.
You’ve heard the rules of writing before. You probably know them well enough to recite “a litany as deeply embedded as the Lord’s Prayer.”
Show, don’t tell. Write what you know. The first sentence is key. The last sentence is key… You should never write in the second person.
Over at The Millions, Sam Allingham writes about his longstanding love of books on tape (or in modern parlance, audiobooks).
At its best, the book on tape leads the listener into a kind of reverie. By shifting the locus of linguistic labor onto the reader’s voice, the listener receives the vision of the story directly.
You might have noticed the recent trend of character personality quizzes filling up your social media newsfeeds. These quizzes promise to let you know which character you are most like, making it seem as if we read and watch television to find traces of ourselves fleshed out in fictional form....more
Gila Lyons has a strikingly vulnerable essay at The Millions about her decision to start taking anti-anxiety medication. Typically, artists who suffer from mental health issues opt to ride against the current and let their creativity take precedent. Yet, Lyons took the road less traveled and chose mental stability over waxing genius....more
What role can a knowledge of scientific concepts play in understanding literature? It comes as no surprise that “biological science remains more-or-less completely un-talked about in English seminar,” as M.M. Owen writes in a piece featured on The Millions, but does this mean that science should be ignored in discussions of literature?...more
This conversation at the Millions between Edan Lepucki and her copyeditor Susan Bradanini Betz is a beautiful paean to the editing process—and enlightening for anyone who wonders what precisely a copyeditor does.
Lepucki and Betz discuss author/editor compatibility, obsessive style sheets, and Donna Tartt’s anti-copyediting broadside....more
C. Max Magee from The Millions has collected the most “favorited” tweets of many writers and lit website. The collection, featuring Rumpus interviewees Colson Whitehead, Susan Orlean and The Rumpus itself!
We know you now want to discover what our most favorited tweet is, so, check the list out!...more
What if classic authors had been raised in the era of Upworthy headlines and titled their books accordingly?
At the Millions, Janet Potter rewrites book titles as clickbait.
Who wouldn’t, for example, want to read Jane Austen’s masterpiece He Didn’t Want to Dance with Her When They First Met....more
Those who are careful about their grammar run the risk of seeming pretentious. Strict adherence to grammar rules is sometimes written off as stuffy and elitist. There is a greater danger, however, in falling into the trap of being careless with language, or so Fiona Maazel writes in a piece called “Commercial Grammar.”
Imprecision allows you to say one thing when you really mean another…
Adam Dalva found his story in the pages of Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch (reviewed by The Rumpus here). In his essay featured on The Millions, Dalva explores the uncanny similarities between his own life and that of Theo Decker, a fictional character who shares his age, race, sex, and locale....more
Last month, three of J.D. Salinger’s unpublished stories were leaked. One of these stories, “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,” includes a young Holden Caulfield, and describes his brother’s death, “an incident only alluded to in the novel.”
In an essay featured by The Millions, Ian Rogers discusses the importance of respecting Salinger’s wishes to view “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls” as an experiment rather than a prequel to The Catcher in the Rye....more
Over at The Millions, several esteemed editors discuss their journals’ rejection policies. Magazines represented include The Paris Review, Hobart, The Rattling Wall, The Harvard Review, and others. It is wonderfully humbling as a writer to be reminded how difficult the task of rejecting good work can be....more
“Does anybody outside of our circle care?” asks The Millions’ Nick Ripatrazone in a post about literary magazines. “What is the wider cultural influence of literary magazines?”
To try to figure it out, he looks at pop-culture depictions of lit-mags, from a George Plimpton cameo on The Simpsons to a whole episode of Cheers about submitting—and then receiving rejection letters for—poetry....more
Teaching is a complicated profession, especially in the field of creative writing where emotions run high.
Does teaching hurt your writing? What if you’re an able writer but a mediocre teacher?
Joyce Hinnefeld tackles her ambivalence about the job she’s been doing for two decades with admirable honesty in this essay at The Millions....more
If you can’t describe the color red to someone born blind, here are some scents you can’t describe to someone born anosmic, or without a sense of smell: “feet, chalk, lilacs, gardenias, sour milk, rain, new cars, Chanel No. 5, Old Spice, greasepaint, [and] napalm.”
In a strangely fascinating essay at The Millions, Rebecca Steinitz describes what it’s like believing for years that smells are a poetic fiction invented for books—and how lacking this particular sense may somehow make her a better editor....more
Alors, Mademoiselle, have you noticed how we French, unlike our Anglo-Saxon friends, use all the muscles in our face and mouth when speaking? Raise your upper lip toward your nose. When performed correctly, this action will cause the nostrils to flare.
The Millions “asked nine English scholars to choose one novel as the greatest our country has ever produced.”
The results span a wide range subjects, authors, and time periods.
Most you’ve heard of, a few you haven’t, but all of them dig into the American experience in rich and troubling ways....more