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How Poetry Can Guide Us Through Trauma

Audre Lorde’s 1977 piece “Poetry Is not a Luxury” seems prescient right now. “Poems have alchemized death and imagined the continuation of lives cut short by racist violence. They’ve given texture to the ‘sudden strangeness’ of life brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, offering comfort to countless readers. In moments of uncertainty, poetry has illuminated bridges to the past—and shown how the act of remembering might alter the future.” – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Words, Audre Lorde, 08.01.20

The Literary Museums That Made It This Far Are Slowly Reopening

Shakespeare’s birthplace just reopened, and Jane Austen’s house is about to reopen – and some of the changes advantage the visitors coming now. “The cottage where Austen revised, wrote and had published all six of her novels will be offering a far more intimate experience to visitors than before: numbers will be significantly limited, with visitors given time slots.” – The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Jane Austen, Words, Shakespeare, Austen, 07.31.20

It Is Wacky To Think That Writing For Adults Is Better Or More Important Than Writing For Kids

Author Robin Stevens on writing for kids: “What book changed your life? What stories made you think about the world? I couldn’t tell you much about what was in most books I read last month but I can tell you every character in Howl’s Moving Castle. Eva Ibbotson’s morality has become mine, Diana Wynne Jones has influenced how I write, the way Terry Pratchett talks about society helped me think about all those things.”- The Guardian (UK)
Tags: Art, Words, Terry Pratchett, Diana Wynne Jones, Robin Stevens, 07.31.20, Castle Eva Ibbotson

Becoming The Accidental Chronicler Of Four Ridiculously Intense Years

In December of 2015, British novelist Ali Smith proposed an idea to her publishers: Four books in four years, as close to the time news events happened as possible. “I’d try to write one a year, deliver one a year. … If we did it like this, under time conditions, a kind of experiment sourced in cyclic time but moving forward through time simultaneously, it’d surely become about not just how story works but also how form, and society, and contemporary language itself – given that the novel form ...
Tags: Art, Words, Ali Smith, 08.01.20

Don’t Treat Women Writers Like Mistresses, Publishers

Novelist Kathleen McMahon says she’s tired of flowers on publication day. “MacMahon says she does not like that writers are treated ‘like show ponies . . . I’m not comfortable with that. I’d prefer to be an equal professional at the table. Everybody is doing a different job. You do your job and I’ll do mine. I sound harsh but I think it actually makes me better to work with . . . I am not trying to make friends with anybody.'” – Irish Times
Tags: Art, Words, MacMahon, Kathleen McMahon, 08.01.20

To Cull One’s Books During Quarantine, Or To Hold All Of Those Friends Even More Tightly?

Not surprisingly, different readers had passionate (and passionately differing) opinions about their book collections and an essay recreating a cull. “While it is fine to move so-so books along, books love us and whisper their thoughts to us, as we pass their covers. Can an ereader do that? Trying to find a favorite phrase or vignette in an ebook is a time-wasting fraud. My real books fall open to what I need.” – Washington Post
Tags: Art, Words, 08.01.20

Writing Against Publishing’s (Racist) ‘Common Sense’

Alyssa Cole, author of books about the Civil War and contemporary life, decided to write a thriller. One of the issues she has faced: “There are people who find the idea of Black people in love unbelievable, of Black people solving crime unbelievable, who seem to think people from marginalized groups are nonplayer characters who just wait around for something to happen to them.” – BuzzFeed
Tags: Art, Words, Alyssa Cole, 07.30.20, Writing Against Publishing

The History Nobody Tells You

Morgan Jerkins wanted to know more about where her people came from: “I hated the fact that I didn’t know much about land. I didn’t know about harvest, high tide, low tide, the levees, the dikes. I didn’t know about herbal remedies. I didn’t know anything.” Learning was a journey far beyond what the author and editor thought she already knew or ever would know. – NPR
Tags: Art, Words, Morgan Jerkins, 08.01.20

How Books Became Cheap: An Illustrated Timeline Of Publishing Technology

From woodblock printing (3rd century) to movable type (11th century — sorry, Gutenberg) to stereotyping (in the original sense; ca. 1700) to paperbacks (ca. 1845) to hot-metal typesetting (ca. 1884). – Lapham’s Quarterly
Tags: Art, Words, Gutenberg, Lapham, 07.30.20, Illustrated Timeline Of Publishing Technology

What’s The Most Popular Book In Russian Prisons? Not ‘Crime And ‘Punishment’

No, Dostoevsky’s novel is only the second-most popular title among inmates there; Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is in the top spot, with Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo at number three. The data was released by Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service as part of a nationwide government program to encourage reading called “Books Are Your Friends.” – The Moscow Times
Tags: Art, Russia, Moscow, Words, Dostoevsky, Monte Cristo, Dumas, Bulgakov, Federal Penitentiary Service, 07.30.20

Internet Archive Responds To Publishers’ Copyright Lawsuit Over Lending

Controlled Digital Lending’s essential position is that it’s fine for a nonprofit like the archive or a library to scan a print copy of a book it owns, then lend that digital scan out on a one-copy-per-one-user basis. The print copy is to be unavailable while the digital copy is loaned, meaning that only one copy is out at a time in any format, and an author or publisher has the right to opt out of this by asking. Many rights holders have, indeed, asked to opt out because, as they see it, the u...
Tags: Art, Words, 07.29.20, Controlled Digital Lending

Booker Prize Longlist Announced

On a longlist packed with surprises and debuts, chosen from 162 novels, Mantel is up against major literary names including US author Anne Tyler, picked for Redhead by the Side of the Road, a work judges called “a very human tale of redemption”, as well as the Irish-American author Colum McCann, longlisted for Apeirogon, about a Palestinian and an Israeli, both of whom have lost their daughters. – The Guardian
Tags: Art, US, Words, Anne Tyler, Colum McCann, 07.28.20

Why It’s Important To Learn A Poem Right Now

Robust poems committed to memory can counteract the corrosive effects of self-pity. They can offer a different way of viewing the world, particularly to generations that did not suffer the buffetings of the early and mid-20th century, and are now bewildered by the calamities that seem to arise from nowhere, and leave them powerless. – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Words, 07.29.20

Saudi Arabia: We’ll Host The World Science Fiction Convention! Science Fiction Writers: Oh No, You Won’t

“A group of more than 80 science fiction and fantasy authors are protesting at the possibility of one of the genres’ biggest conventions being held in [Jeddah] in 2022, saying that ‘the Saudi regime is antithetical to everything SFF stands for’.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Saudi Arabia, Words, SFF, Jeddah, 07.28.20

Crop Of Books Takes New View Of Old Epic Poetry

“Those second looks have turned up several shared themes. One is a new skepticism regarding the relationship that has developed between the epic and prevailing ideas about male heroism. ‘A lot of toxic masculinity has been shaped by imperfect understandings of epic poetry,'” said Maria Dahvana Headley, translator of a new edition of Beowulf. “That result, she and [Aeneid translator Shadi] Bartsch agree, is a consequence of particular choices made in reading, not the substance of the epics thems...
Tags: Art, Words, Maria Dahvana Headley, 07.23.20, Shadi -RSB- Bartsch

How The First Bestseller List Was Invented

It was called Bookman, started in 1895, and was the only place you could see which books were selling. “Once invented, the best seller could be discussed in literary journals, trade publications, social circles, and book clubs, solidifying a popular conception of what it meant to be a best seller and what it meant to read one.” – Lapham’s Quarterly
Tags: Art, Words, Bookman, Lapham, 07.27.20

The Big Sort: All Fiction Can Be Organized In Four Categories

Tim Parks: “All of narrative fiction, I’ve suggested, can be sorted into four grand categories. Each presents a rich world of feeling in which any number of stories can be told and positions established, but always in relation to, or rather, driven by, a distinct cluster of values and consequent emotions. My claim is that it really is worth being aware which of these worlds we are being drawn into. We read better. We know where we are. And what the dangers are.” – New York Review of Books
Tags: Art, Words, Tim Parks, 07.28.20

The 2,300-Year-Old Character Sketches That Have Influenced Western Literature Ever Since

“The ‘Theophrastan character’ is not often mentioned today, perhaps because it is so little known as a genre. Yet for centuries this was what ‘character’ meant in literature. A list of familiar social types compiled in the fourth century B.C. that chronicled human traits and foibles — from bore to boaster, cynic to coward — influenced the development of later fiction and drama, and remains sharply pertinent in psychology, journalism, cartoon art, and popular culture.” – The Paris Review
Tags: Art, Words, 07.22.20

The World’s Youngest Poet?

His work will appear next summer in his first published collection. Nadim does not write down his poems though. He dictates them. And that’s because Nadim doesn’t really read and write yet. After all, he’s only 4 years old. – NPR
Tags: Art, Words, 07.26.20

Brandon Sanderson Had 13 Books Rejected Before Hitting It Big And Earning Millions

Most writers have novels that never see the light of day. But 13? That’s serious dedication. The books were written over a decade while Sanderson was working as a night clerk at a hotel – a job chosen specifically because as long as he stayed awake, his bosses didn’t mind if he wrote between midnight and 5am. But publishers kept telling him that his epic fantasies were too long, that he should try being darker or “more like George RR Martin” (it was the late 90s, and A Song of Ice and Fire was ...
Tags: Art, Words, George Rr Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Sanderson, 07.23.20

As Long As Zoom Lives, We’ll Want To Know What’s On Other People’s Bookshelves

Especially, it seems, the bookshelves of celebrities. Take Regina King: “Tupac Shakur Legacy, by Jamal Joseph: Curated by a family friend, this “interactive biography” of the rapper includes photos of Shakur’s home life and reproductions of handwritten lyrics.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Words, Jamal Joseph

Writer Walter Mosley Has Some Thoughts On How The Pandemic Will Change Humanity

The mystery and TV writer says maybe we’ll be better at responding to dangerous events in the future – or at least some of us will be. – LitHub
Tags: Art, Words, Walter Mosley, 07.24.20

Why Did Much Of Human Communication Move From Gestures To Oral Language?

Hands convey meaning, and they have for eons, but they’re not our primary means of communicating to each other. “People gesture, but their gesture is clearly a secondary supplement. People also sign but, outside of deaf communities, they favour speech. So, if language did get its start in the hands, then at some later stage it decamped to the mouth. The vexing question is: why?” – Aeon
Tags: Art, Words, 07.24.20

The Director Of Philly’s Free Library Resigns Over Her Mistreatment Of Black Staff

This isn’t a new issue at the library, but protests and action finally got the staff some of what it’s been asking for for a very long time. “Workers have raised concerns about racial discrimination in the library system for years. But their efforts gained heightened visibility in late June after they formed a group called the Concerned Black Workers of the Free Library of Philadelphia and sent an open letter to management, saying they face discrimination on a regular basis, are paid less than ...
Tags: Art, Philadelphia, Words, Philly, 07.23.20, Concerned Black Workers

Jane Austen’s Politics Of Walking

Since quarantine, a lot of us have been doing a lot more walking in our neighborhoods or wherever we can find to go outside without a bunch of people nearby. Austen would understand. “A special awareness flows through a body as it propels itself through the world—the motion, whatever form it takes, is habitual and characteristic for us as we move, but in a way that seems at the same time to make us more able to notice a bug on the sidewalk, the hat of someone approaching. Walking, we draw ourse...
Tags: Art, Jane Austen, Words, Austen, 07.24.20

Getting Through Quarantine With New Sherlock Material

Sure, sure, Arthur Conan Doyle died long ago, and both the BBC and CBS versions of modern Holmes have hung up their deerstalkers, but there’s always new Holmes material out there. Except … where is the movie, or better yet, a multi-year series, for Mary Russell? – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Bbc, Cbs, Arthur Conan Doyle, Words, Holmes, Mary Russell, 07.24.20, New Sherlock Material

‘The Robert Caro Of Hawaii’

“As the decades passed, [David W.] Forbes [has] painstakingly tracked down archival portraits of people alive in that era, in libraries and private collections throughout the islands. That set him on a half-century hunt for clues about the dynastic line of Hawaiian royals. … [One eminent colleague] believes that Forbes’s life work — the four-volume Hawaiian Bibliography and The Diaries of Queen Lili’uokalani — will be used by scholars for decades to come.” – Literary Hub
Tags: Art, Hawaii, Words, Forbes, Lili, Robert Caro, 07.24.20, David W -RSB- Forbes

Trump Books Have Changed The Publishing Industry

There was a time, not that long ago, when—like most of America—publishers thought that this Trump boom would end when the president left office. It increasingly seems like it could outlast Trump’s own political career. – The New Republic
Tags: Art, America, Words, Trump, 07.22.20, Trump Books Have Changed The Publishing Industry

hoeonfilm:Do you ever feel like you’re missing out on so much just because of being who you are and...

hoeonfilm:Do you ever feel like you’re missing out on so much just because of being who you are and not someone else? Whenever I see a beautiful girl I wonder how it must feel to be that beautiful and if I’ll ever feel like that. Or when I see someone who’s confident and extroverted and I imagine how nice and easy it must be to be that way. Or when I see someone that’s my age who has already accomplished so much or been in so many places and experienced so many things, I can’t help but feel like...
Tags: Sport, Cycling, Words, About Me, Screams

positivelydetectivecomics: shiiimmer: shiiimmer: a guy just argued against socialism by saying...

positivelydetectivecomics: shiiimmer: shiiimmer: a guy just argued against socialism by saying “why would you spend years becoming a doctor to earn the same wage as everyone else?” oh idk maybe i’d like to save people’s lives?? maybe you can have genuine interest in something beyond money?? honestly what is wrong with our culture if the only motivation to get out of bed is greed? capitalism has such devastating consequences on our sense of self and our values, and honestly we don’t talk about ...
Tags: Sport, Cycling, Words