Art


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Why Is The Font From The Covers Of Old Pulp Novels Suddenly Popular Again?

“In its first era of popularity, [Lydian] was all pop and pulp, but now it seems reserved for the task of adding just the slightest bit of a smirk to extremely straight-faced endeavors: elegant magazines, important books, experimental theater, and $80 ceramic pipes.” — Vox
Tags: Art, Words, 01.17.19


Nasty, Brutish, And Short: Early Children’s Stories Were Shockingly Violent

“The history of children’s literature is a shocking affair, offering death, murder, abuse, death, racism, death, and damnation. … For most of history, authors have used their words to render children speechless. Some of the books scarred generations; some merely gave their readers insomnia that would last until puberty.” — Literary Hub
Tags: Art, Words, 01.14.19


Women Writers: Busting The Preconceptions For Commercial Success

Ann O’Loughlin: “All women writers face an uphill struggle to have their work recognised in the same way as their male counterparts, but for those of us writing bestselling commercial fiction, there is a mountain to trudge up every time.” – Irish Times
Tags: Art, Words, SJ, 01.16.19, Ann O Loughlin


Is Amazon Killing Incomes Of Writers? No, Protests Amazon

Amazon is frequently blamed for not just disrupting the way people buy books, but for making it difficult for writers to make a living. Now the company is fighting back, taking aim at an Author’s Guild report last week that detailed a catastrophic drop in author incomes. – The Guardian
Tags: Amazon, Art, Words, Guild, 01.16.19


Lecturing About Proust In A Soviet Prison Camp

Jozef Czapski was a Polish officer fighting the Nazis in 1940 when he and his fellows were captured by the Red Army and shipped to a gulag (and thus barely avoiding the Katyn Massacre). To pass the evenings, the officers took turns giving lectures about what they remembered best, and Czapski chose Proust. Here’s why. — The New York Times Book Review
Tags: Art, Nazis, New York Times, Red Army, Words, Katyn, 01.16.19, Jozef Czapski, Czapski, Proust Here


Last Words — What Do People Really Say Before They Die?

“We have a rich picture of the beginnings of language, thanks to decades of scientific research with children, infants, and even babies in the womb. But if you wanted to know how language ends in the dying, there’s next to nothing to look up, only firsthand knowledge gained painfully.” — The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Words, 01.16.19


The End Of Authors? Hardly!

“The dictionary meanings of words are only potentially meaningful until they are actually employed in a context defined by the relation between author and audience. So how did it happen that professors of literature came to renounce authors and their intentions in favor of a way of thinking — or at least a way of talking — that is without historical precedent, has scant philosophical support, and is to most ordinary readers not only counterintuitive but practically incomprehensible?” – Los Angel...
Tags: Art, Words, 01.13.19


Academy Of American Poets Gets $2.2 Million Gift From Mellon Foundation

The funds are divided into two grants. The first will help start a new fellowship program to support poets laureate of states, cities, United States territories or tribal nations across the country. … The second grant will go toward the Poetry Coalition, a national alliance of more than 20 poetry organizations.” — The New York Times
Tags: Art, United States, Words, Mellon Foundation, 01.15.19


As Drag Queen Story Hour Spreads, Christianists Stage Protests (And Scream At Children)

“Drag queen storytime began popping up in 2015 in San Francisco and have spread across the country to libraries, community centers, and increasingly, bookstores. … Protests are commonplace at the readings and some communities have even seen lawsuits attempting ban such readings, though these efforts have largely been thwarted by the courts.” — Publishers Weekly
Tags: Art, San Francisco, Words, 01.15.19


Editing Marcel Proust Was A Nightmare (Especially After He Died)

“Proust composed by an immensely complex process of writing and rewriting, weaving together passages sometimes composed years apart, filling his margins with additions and, when the margins ran out, continuing on strips of paper glued to the pages.” Carol Clark writes about the challenges of editing and translating The Prisoner, one of three volumes the author didn’t live to see through publication himself. — Literary Hub
Tags: Art, Words, Marcel Proust, Carol Clark, 01.08.19


New Push To Locate Books Looted By Nazis

Given the scope of the looting, the task ahead remains mountainous. In Berlin, for example, at the Central and Regional Library, almost a third of the 3.5 million books are suspected to have been looted by the Nazis, according to Sebastian Finsterwalder, a provenance researcher there. “Most major German libraries have books stolen by the Nazis,” he said. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Nazis, Berlin, Words, 01.14.19, Regional Library, Sebastian Finsterwalder


Could A Font Help Your Remember More of What You Read?

Sans Forgetica is purposefully hard to decipher, forcing the reader to focus. One study found that students recalled 57 percent of what they read in Sans Forgetica, compared with 50 percent of the material in Arial, a significant difference. No word yet on the retention rate of Comic Sans. – Wired
Tags: Art, Words, Arial, Forgetica, 12.17.18


Chinese Censorship Is Complicated. It’s Why Orwell Isn’t Censored…

Here’s the rub: Monitors pay closer attention to material that might be consumed by the average person than to cultural products seen as highbrow and intended for educated groups. (An internet forum versus an old novel.) As a result, Chinese writers are watched more closely than foreign ones. 
Tags: Art, Words, 01.13.19


When Contemporary Lit Professors Decided To Agree That The Author Is Dead

Whether or not most lit professors agree with that (Roland Barthes) statement now, “authors certainly had it coming.” – Los Angeles Review of Books
Tags: Art, Words, Roland Barthes, 01.13.19


The Latest Reading Accessory Is A Candle (Or Twelve)

Reading: It’s a lifestyle thing. “Candles are also now a common impulse purchase at independent bookstores, along with tote bags and coffee. There are shelves upon shelves of literary-themed ones at the Strand in New York, which famously brags of 18 miles of books.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, New York, Words, 01.11.19


Stephen King Angrily Tweets At Paper For Cutting Book Reviews, And Then Boom

The paper, Maine’s Portland Press-Herald, tweeted that it would restart regional book reviews if King – a Maine writer, of course – could bring in 100 new subscriptions. As of Sunday, the number was at 200 and counting. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Stephen King, Maine, Words, Audience, Portland Press Herald, 01.13.19


Quit Using ‘Relatable’ As A Criterion To Judge (Women’s) Writing

“The point of this is—women own the things that happen to them, even if these things happened between them and much more powerful or well-known men. Writing about these things does not make women narcissists.” – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, 01.10.19


Going Inside The World’s Most Beautiful Bookstore

The bookstore in Argentina, which opened in a building modeled after the Paris Opera, won the title in 2019 – 18 years after NPR’s Bob Mondello first filed this report. – NPR
Tags: Art, World, Argentina, Npr, Words, Bob Mondello, Paris Opera, 01.12.19


The Rise Of Realistic Self-Help Literature

Perfection isn’t real, and now publishing is starting to push “realistic” self-help books (possibly because everyone into the category had already bought, and then Konmarie’d, all of the ones that said humans were perfectable?). – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Audience, 01.12.19, Konmarie


Was Modernist English Literature Deliberately Written To Keep The Riff-Raff Away?

Yes, argues scholar Jonathan Rose. “The intelligentsia was driven to create literary modernism by a profound loathing of ordinary common readers. The intellectuals feared the masses not because they were illiterate but because, by the early twentieth century, they were becoming more literate, thanks to public education, adult education, scholarships, and cheap editions of the great books.” — JSTOR Daily
Tags: Art, Words, Audience, Jonathan Rose, 01.09.19


When Herbert Hoover’s FBI Declares Writers Enemies Of The State

Reading through dossier after dossier on 16 American writers contained in Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, what strikes you immediately is the terrifying absurdity of Hoover’s obsession with anyone who didn’t follow his patriotic party line and dared to express critical concern about the national psyche in well-written words.  – New Statesman
Tags: Art, Fbi, Words, Hoover, Herbert Hoover, 01.09.19


When J Edgar Hoover’s FBI Declared Writers Enemies Of The State

Reading through dossier after dossier on 16 American writers contained in Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, what strikes you immediately is the terrifying absurdity of Hoover’s obsession with anyone who didn’t follow his patriotic party line and dared to express critical concern about the national psyche in well-written words.  – New Statesman
Tags: Art, Fbi, Words, Hoover, J Edgar Hoover, 01.09.19


When J Edgar Hoover’s FBI Declares Writers Enemies Of The State

Reading through dossier after dossier on 16 American writers contained in Writers Under Surveillance: The FBI Files, what strikes you immediately is the terrifying absurdity of Hoover’s obsession with anyone who didn’t follow his patriotic party line and dared to express critical concern about the national psyche in well-written words.  – New Statesman
Tags: Art, Fbi, Words, Hoover, J Edgar Hoover, 01.09.19


It’s Increasingly Difficult To Make A Living As A Writer. Why?

There was a time when writers – of books, of magazine articles – could make a decent middle class living. That’s increasingly rare. And yet, if anything, we’re reading more. So what has happened? – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Words, 01.05.19


Fighting Hindu Nationalism With Urdu Poetry

As prime minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party continues to encourage an exclusionary Hindu version of Indian nationalism, more liberal-minded Indians (by no means only Muslims) are reading, writing, reciting, and listening — in venues from tea shops to stadiums — to poetry in Urdu, the (to oversimplify) Islamized version of Hindi that has a revered, centuries-old tradition of verse across the subcontinent. — The Guardian
Tags: Art, Narendra Modi, Words, Urdu, Bharatiya Janata Party, 01.11.19


When The First Lesbian Novel Was Banned, Its Author Got Support From All Over The Globe

Following a particularly nasty campaign from certain book critics, Radclyffe Hall’s 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness was blocked from publication and circulation in the UK as “obscene libel.” But thousands of letters poured in to Hall from supporters; one such read, “No one could finish your book, Miss Hall, without donning a sword and shield forever in the cause of inverts.” — The Guardian
Tags: Art, UK, Words, Globe, 01.10.19


The Design Of A Book’s Interior Is As Important, And As Tricky, As That Of Its Cover

As print designer Jordan Wannemacher says, “You have to have a really strong grid, you have to consider the practical physical nature of the package (is there enough room for your hands to hold the pages on the margins? will the type of binding make elements close to the gutter disappear?), you have to design anywhere from 20-200+ unique elements while ensuring they are all cohesive and unified.” — Spine
Tags: Art, Words, 01.07.19, Jordan Wannemacher


As “The Millions” Is Sold, An Elegy For The Demise Of Book Blogger Culture

While other outlets butted heads over the right to be contemptuous and the still-thriving Gawker published a polemic against smarmy positivity, the Millions sidestepped the debate entirely. The sincerity of the site was singular, and refreshing — although some people remained skeptical. – New York Magazine
Tags: Art, Words, Gawker, 01.09.19


Is It Possible To Teach Creative Writing With Value-Neutral Language?

Helen Betya Rubinstein: “I am convinced that we can teach creative writing without the language of failure or success, criticism or praise. … Even praise, like any other drug, will eventually poison art. Like criticism, it makes us forget what art is for.” — Literary Hub
Tags: Art, Words, 01.07.19, Helen Betya Rubinstein


The Essay As Art Form

The essay is a marginal, even trivial form, yet is also deeply and seriously engaged with the weightiest questions of how a philosophical and political subject can be constituted out of a particular body and mind. Essayistic writing—as opposed to strict autobiography, which may simplify and explain a life through narrative—shows what is at stake when we say “you”: another “I.” – Public Books
Tags: Art, Words, 01.08.19



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