Posts Tagged: the new york times
For the New York Times, Alexandra Alter interviews Salman Rushdie about his new novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. Their discussion covers the stylistic choices that went into the novel, as well as the role of mythology and polytheistic religions in Rushdie’s larger body of work:
Ideas are interesting to me, and religions are a place where ideas have been very subtly embodied for thousands of years.
“The year without a summer,” as 1816 came to be known, gave birth not only to paintings of fiery sunsets and tempestuous skies but two genres of gothic fiction. The freakish progeny were Frankenstein and the human vampire, which have loomed large in art and literature ever since.
When we read this poem in an anthology, we tend not to think of the chickens as real chickens, but as platonic chickens, some ideal thing,” William Logan, the scholar who recently discovered Mr. Marshall’s identity, said in an interview.
It’s a rare feat to be able to locate the tangible sources of inspirations of poetry....more
All of which adds up to a place that produces writers the way France produces cheese — prodigiously, and with world-class excellence — a place that calls on its writers’ talent and inspiration and, in turn, is reflected back into the world through their words.
In a world where the selfie has become our dominant art form, tautological phrases like “You do you” and its tribe provide a philosophical scaffolding for our ever-evolving, ever more complicated narcissism.
Jacqueline Woodson responds to Daniel Handler’s racist watermelon joke at the National Book Awards with a moving and direct piece in the New York Times. She neither condemns nor forgives Handler, but instead focuses on her personal history with the watermelon joke, the positive direction of diversity in publishing, and her mission in writing:
This mission is what’s been passed down to me — to write stories that have been historically absent in this country’s body of literature, to create mirrors for the people who so rarely see themselves inside contemporary fiction, and windows for those who think we are no more than the stereotypes they’re so afraid of.
Before he became an acclaimed novelist and political commentator, Gore Vidal was just a guy trying to make ends meet. Under three different pseudonyms, Vidal wrote a romance novel, three mysteries, and a crime thriller. Now, over 50 years later, Thieves Fall Out, a pulp novel set during the 1952 Egyptian Revolution, is being re-issued, this time with Vidal’s name on the cover....more
Interactive digital storytelling: fiction’s next frontier? In the New York Times, Chris Suellentrop examines interactive technologies as used in Blood & Laurels, by Emily Short:
Exploring those possibilities is one reason Ms. Short became a writer of interactive fiction rather than of more conventional stories.
As any lover of literature might tell you, all books are not created equal. But this does not mean that there is nothing to be gained from novels that are, in many ways, flawed. Over at the New York Times, writers Leslie Jamison and James Parker discuss “supposedly terrible books that left a lasting impression”:
I will always love Go Ask Alice for the very qualities that make it an aesthetic failure.
Think your love of certain passages will never fade? The New York Times Sunday Book Review argues that perhaps not all passages will withstand the test of time. How much does age change what we love?
If you’re the sort of person who has always marked up your books — written comments in the margins and underlined passages that you particularly like — you will end up, in middle age, owning a lot of books inscribed with the remarks and reactions of a much younger you.
People of color have been largely excluded from children’s literature. Of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 93 featured black characters. In his essay, “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature,” Christopher Myers speaks out against the trend of allowing members of certain racial groups to go unseen because of the color of their skin....more
At the end of last month, Nicholas Kristof published a piece in the New York Times calling for academics to come out from their insular bubble and participate in the mainstream conversation—especially with respect to writing. Joshua Rothman responded in the New Yorker that academic writing is only as “knotty and strange, remote and insular, technical and specialized, forbidding and clannish” as the academy itself....more
Did you know that Mark Twain is one of the best known foreign writers in China? Neither did we. There is a well earned, and unabashed image of Mark Twain as the quintessential American author and for good reason. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains in the American cannon and is taught all over the country however it was a lesser known story of his that has him being taught along side of Mao Zedong....more
You’ve probably seen this regional-dialect quiz from the New York Times making the rounds on your social networks. You answer questions about your vocabulary and pronunciation, and it tries to determine where in the United States you’re from.
But the New Yorker‘s Shouts & Murmurs blog is really upping the ante with their own dialect quiz, which asks questions like “What do you call sweetened carbonated beverages?” Do you use “soda,” “pop,” or “Coke”?...more
The shape of journalism has been changing rapidly in the past several years, but it still comes as a shock to hear that a media company as dominant as Time Inc. is bulldozing the barrier between business and news.
According to the New York Times, “the newsroom staffs at Time Inc.’s magazines will report to the business executives....more
There are a lot of terms writers have to be aware of these days. A lot of them seem like marketing words but they can come in handy when trying to explain to the non writers in your life what the hell you are trying to do....more
Andrea Elliott’s five-part New York Times essay “Invisible Child” is a brutal but absolutely necessary read.
In it, Elliott follows Dasani, a bright, athletic girl who, along with her parents and seven siblings, struggle through daily life in savagely underfunded homeless shelters and public schools....more
If certain books are to be termed immigrant fiction, what do we call the rest? Native fiction? Puritan fiction? This distinction doesn’t agree with me. Given the history of the United States, all American fiction could be classified as immigrant fiction.
If there’s anything worse than accidentally CCing someone on an unflattering email about them, it’s receiving an unflattering email you weren’t supposed to see.
When Tim Kreider discovered such an email in his inbox (disparaging the choice he had made to rent a herd of goats “for reasons that aren’t relevant here”), he felt terrible at first....more
“Tip the waitress or barman well, ‘cause you’re going to need their toilet.”
Taxi drivers made strides this year at the PEN World Voices Festival.
For a handful of weeks, a group of long-standing New York City taxi drivers have been meeting to poetically reflect on their adventures shuttling passengers throughout the boroughs....more