Posts Tagged: The New Republic

The Real Crisis

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Along with the other onslaught of reactions to The New Republic’s mass resignation, George Packer offers his own response at the New Yorker, suggesting that the “collapse” (along with the recent Rolling Stone debacle) shows a “crisis” in journalism:

The crisis in journalism is a business crisis, and it’s been going on for twenty years; the outcome remains far from obvious.

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Journalism vs. Silicon Valley

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What is really at the heart of the debate over The New Republic?

The tension between an engineering culture and an editorial culture is …damaging and oversimplified … but definitely real. At the recent Newsgeist conference – a coming-together of technologists, educators, journalists and executives – one of the most animated sessions was called “Product versus Editorial” and, if there had been an option for us to express ourselves with primal screaming, it would have shattered the windows, such was the frustration of those who have to work with both.

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Brecht in Love

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Who would’ve thought Bertolt Brecht would turn out to be such a romantic? While his newly released Love Poems are surprisingly erotic compared to his better-known plays, they retain that Marxist flair we know and love:

Brecht’s love poems might just as easily be dubbed the death of love poems, since he is concerned with the vicissitudes of love, with the manner in which one is first defined and then destroyed by love.

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Blind Lie

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Over at The New Republic, Hanna Rosin pens a piece on her buddy, Stephen Glass—former Republic colleague, one-time prodigy, and probably the most lucrative fabricator in recent journalistic history:

I didn’t know when he called me that he’d made up nearly all of the bizarre and amazing stories, that he was the perpetrator of probably the most elaborate fraud in journalistic history, that he would soon become famous on a whole new scale.

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The Market Decides

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In the midst of debate over Amazon’s place in the publishing industry, Margo Howard raises questions about the authority of its consumer-based literary criticism. When it comes to art, the retail giant’s capitalist-populist approach may do more harm than good:

These people were not reviewing my book, they were reviewing me.

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The Neverending Story

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For years, film buffs have been devouring companion material to the original works that captured their interest—deleted scenes, commentary, bloopers, most eagerly that much-loved paean to auteurism, the director’s cut. To accept this practice is to acknowledge the impossibility of artistic perfection; as the saying goes, “art is never finished, only abandoned.” The New Republic wonders why the literary world is so hesitant to make the same admission.

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J.K. Rowling’s Literary World

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A boozy editor; a powerful though closeted publisher who retreats to the countryside to paint naked youths; a jealous literary agent whose own writing is “deplorably derivative”; a much-revered but pompous and sexist novelist; a writer of “bloody awful erotic fantasy”; and the victim’s wife, who ignores his books until they have “proper covers.” Then there’s Owen Quine himself, a middle-aged writer riding out his career on a novel published years before—the only decent work of literature he’s produced.

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Rumpus Round-Up: All the Abramson News Fit to Print

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Jill Abramson, the first woman to head the New York Times as executive editor, was abruptly fired Wednesday and replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet.

The New Yorker attempted to explain why, with the leading theory being Abramson’s discovery several weeks ago that she earned less than her male predecessor.

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The Ex-Nazi Poet You’ve Never Heard Of

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Prussian poet Gottfried Benn landed on the wrong side of history, supporting Hitler’s government in the early 1930s when it promised solutions to the global economic collapse. But by 1934, his allegiance to the regime ended as it became clear the Nazi party were not “cultural pessimists” but rather “criminal politicians.” Over at The New Republic, Adam Thirlwell points to Benn as a “case study in disgrace.”

He gives disgrace its aesthetic form.

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“The Czar and the Poet”

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When the people followed the Communists at the beginning of the twentieth century, they gave up Christ, but they found it impossible, as the revolutionary poets exhorted them, “to throw Pushkin overboard the steamboat of modernity.”

Prominent Russian writer Mikhail Shishkin has an essay up at The New Republic, translated from Russian, about the fundamental conflicts between his country’s society, its government, and its literature.

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Only the Lonely (Have Serious Health Problems)

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Loneliness is more than just a feeling, according to an article in the New Republic. It’s a biological process that activates your physical pain responses and trashes your immune system.

Here’s one of many fascinating (and, okay, probably depressing) examples of the very tangible effects of loneliness, from a study of gay men with HIV during the ’80s:

The social experience that most reliably predicted whether an HIV-positive gay man would die quickly, Cole found, was whether or not he was in the closet.

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In Defense Of Negative Reviews

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“A book arrives that in the opinion of the reviewer outrages a principle of politics or philosophy or history or art, and will lead its readers into error or illusion, and will coarsen discourse or experience—for such are the stakes in books, the power of books, and the real nihilism is to deny it.”

Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic defends his own frequently “negative” criticism, specifically of Franzen’s Freedom.

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