In the protests at Mizzou and Yale and elsewhere, students have made it clear that the status quo is unbearable. Whether we agree with these student protesters or not, we should be listening: They are articulating a vision for a better future, one that cannot be reached with complacency.
Posts Tagged: The New Republic
“Conlang” is short for “constructed language,” which is just what it sounds like: a language that has been constructed… conlanging is an art as well as a science, something you might do for your own pleasure, as well as for the entertainment of others.
I can explain all the poems that were ever invented—and a good many that haven’t been invented yet.
No, that’s not the obnoxious guy from your Wallace Stevens seminar—that’s Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty, explaining “Jabberwocky” to Alice. Let Evan Kindley take you down the rabbit hole of literary annotation over at The New Republic—and for a contemporary examples, check out Margaret Atwood’s Genius annotation of an excerpt from her latest novel, The Heart Goes Last, at Lit Hub, or this excerpt from Scott Blackwood’s See How Small right here on The Rumpus....more
Cagey and brainy, Bellow wanted to be the novelist of both the streets and the faculty lounge. Alas, in too much of his work, he serves as a cautionary tale of how schools can open minds but can also sometimes trap the soul.
While the poetry world continues to grapple with the Best American Poetry controversy, perhaps its worth considering why anyone would try to game the system. Theodore Ross over at The New Republic explains how cheating is one of the best ways of getting published....more
Whoever the culprit, we clearly like our geniuses to be “consumed” by their craft, and we like them tortured—and if possible, drunk.
At The New Republic, Michelle Dean writes about the myth of the tortured, alcoholic writer and how that image carries a different weight if that writer is a woman....more
But do we actually scan the written word silently? Recent neurological research questions whether silent reading actually is silent. Evidence grows that the brain interprets “silent” reading as an auditory phenomenon.
Our ancestors most likely read aloud, in public, rather than quietly to themselves in the home....more
Kingsley Amis all but disappeared from the American literary consciousness after his death. Many of his novels were not even available stateside after their initial publication, although a new line of reprints is changing that. However, The New Republic asks whether American readers can handle Amis, a masculine, writer-as-worker persona:
With his talk of product and workbenches, Amis is trying to create the image of the writer as an ordinary worker, to dispel art’s associations with foppishness and pretentiousness and self-aggrandizement.
The Beautiful Bureaucrat intentionally or not taps into contemporary anxieties around Big Data: how (and why, and by whom) the minutia of our lives is captured, and to what ends.
Anna Wiener, over at The New Republic, dives into Helen Phillips’s new novel, The Beautiful Bureaucrat, and all its inner darkness as a narrative for our contemporary society of database farming, the mediation of the self, and all the common anxieties underneath....more
At The New Republic, Phoebe Maltz Bovy reflects on the implications of the recent #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter trend, taking note of two distinct categories of responses: those expressing outrage that someone assumed they do not make a living off of writing, and those expressing dismay at having to work for free....more
We’ve noticed a new wave of love for Clarice Lispector recently, and so has Benjamin Anastas at The New Republic. With the new translation and release of a complete edition of her stories, Anastas outlines how Lispector has been given the “Bolaño treatment—and the global acclaim she has long deserved.”...more
To go with her contribution, Didion had to provide a few sentences about herself. Excavated from the Mademoiselle archives, what she wrote shows a still somewhat green, aspiring writer with a sentimental attachment to home: “Joan spends vacations river-rafting and small-boating in the picture-postcard atmosphere of the Sacramento Valley.” Among her interests, she lists “almost any book every published.”
Over at The New Republic, Laura Marsh reviews The Last Love Song, in which biographer Tracy Daugherty combs through the archives at Mademoiselle, where a 21-year-old Joan Didion worked as an intern....more
You can’t put everything in the cloud. Over at The New Republic, William Giraldi makes the case for holding onto books in their physical form:
We might be reading them—although I find that an e-reader’s scrolling and swiping are invitations to skim, not to read—but fully experiencing them is something else altogether.
In the post-9/11 generation—a cohort caught between the promise of an economy that values creative work and the scarring, post-crash economic reality—[Adler] has, once again, found a small, devout audience.
Reviewing Mary Norris’s Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen for The New Republic, Julia Holmes reflects on her own experience as a copy editor, as well as her place in the magazine class system....more
A profile on Arthur Goldhammer, who has translated over 100 books from French to English.
As a translator, Goldhammer tries to find a pragmatic middle-ground between literalism and freestyle. The goal is to be faithful to the contents of a book but also find a style for it that works in English.
Somewhere amid the fray of criticism, support, and speculation over e-books, linguistics professor Naomi Baron thought to ask readers whether they even liked them:
…you have to ask: What do you want to measure? Do you want to measure comprehension? That’s a fairly plain, middle-school way of talking about what it means to read.
In January 1882, before he wrote “The Importance of Being Earnest, The Picture of Dorian Gray, or any of the great works for which we honor him today,” Oscar Wilde went on a tour throughout the United States, lecturing about interior decorating, craft-making, and home aesthetics....more
For The New Republic, Ryan Kearney responds to those claiming that American tourism and investment will ruin Cuba’s romanticism:
If you visit Cuba to puff cigars, get drunk on rum-and-cokes or mojitos, read Hemingway, and fetishize the country’s dilapidation with your brand-new Canon Rebel, you just might miss [its] uglier side.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In an excerpt from his upcoming book, linguist Dan Jurafsky analyzes the metaphors we use to describe different kinds of food. Turns out humans are pretty optimistic:
The Pollyanna effect has been confirmed in dozens of languages and cultures, and comes up in all sorts of nonlinguistic ways as well.
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....more