Words

Paul Krugman Is Deeply Over Amazon And Its Defenders

Nobel Prize winning economist Krugman talks to the audience during a conference about the current global crisis, in Sao Paulo

“The desirability of new technology, or even Amazon’s effective use of that technology, is not the issue. After all, John D. Rockefeller and his associates were pretty good at the oil business, too — but Standard Oil nonetheless had too much power, and public action to curb that power was essential. And the same is true of Amazon today.”

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Sometimes, Adults Read And Enjoy Young Adult Books, And That’s Just Fine

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“The books and conversation also serve as a continuation of my education. Not only do I feel an intense connection with my earlier, often more vulnerable and intensely curious self, I also feel that I’ve been given access to a pure form of the complications involved with being young, now filtered through the compassion, perceptions (and barnacles) of my older self.”

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Now There’s Even A Prize For Roman Catholic Lit ($25,000, No Less)

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The George W. Hunt Prize, sponsored by the Jesuit magazine America and Yale’s St. Thomas More Chapel, stipulates that nominees “should be familiar with the Roman Catholic tradition … [and] be a person of sound moral character and reputation and must not have published works that are manifestly atheistic or morally offensive.” (Good luck to the jurors on hashing that out.)

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What Does It Take To Get Translated Into English, A Nobel Prize?

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“As soon as the Nobel Prize in Literature was announced on Thursday, people started asking the inevitable question: Who is Patrick Modiano? … Here, let’s raise another question: Why is it that, so often, when a Nobel Prize is awarded to a non-American writer, readers in the U.S. – even the most well-read and cosmopolitan among us – find themselves drawing a blank?”

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“High Times” At 40: Can An Outlaw Magazine Survive The Mainstreaming Of Marijuana?

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“It had always been the place where dopers gathered to gaze at photos of 9-foot-tall plants and truncheon-sized joints; to advertise their homemade pipeware; and, not least, to flip their collective bird at the man. … But lately weed doesn’t feel all that countercultural. And fewer weed smokers self-identify as outlaws. … Does the world still need High Times when square-ass Slate is running vape reviews?” Totally, say the editors.

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National Book Awards Finalists

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The prominent literary prize narrowed its nominees to 20 writers — a mix of heavyweights and many new ones. And across the Atlantic, Richard Flanagan won Britain’s biggest award, the Man Booker Prize.

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London, Urban Cesspool And Cradle Of English Slang

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“Slang’s literary origins are widespread and ever-expanding. Its social roots, however, are narrow and focused: the city. … London’s chroniclers had always noted the urban vocabularies, though none before the eighteenth century had rendered their discoveries lexicographical.”

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It’s Totally Unfair That Americans Are Included In The Booker Prize, Says Australian Author Who’s Already Won It Twice (And Lives In New York)

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Peter Carey: “I find it unimaginable that the Pulitzer or the National Book award people in the United States would ever open their prizes to Brits and Australians. They wouldn’t. … The old Booker had a particular cultural flavour. … There was and there is a real Commonwealth culture. It’s different. America doesn’t really feel to be a part of that.”

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David Sedaris Explains How To Overcome Writer’s Block

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“There are a lot of college writing textbooks that will include essays and short stories, and after reading the story or essay, there will be questions such as ‘Have YOU Had any experience with a pedophile in YOUR family?’ or ‘When was the last time you saw YOUR mother drunk?’ and they’re just really good at prompting stories.”

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This (Male) Novelist Read Only Women Writers For Three Years

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“From Marguerite Duras, I learned that fragmentation is a way of breaking something so that it can describe something the whole cannot. From Christa Wolf, that inserting yourself and the circumstances of your life into a myth can transform the myth and your sense of yourself. I learned the power of prosody from Toni Morrison.”

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Back When Morocco Was A Haven For Gay And Bisexual Men (Especially Writers)

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“The Americans who turned up in the 1950s were escaping from a repressive society where homosexuality was outlawed. In Morocco, attitudes were much more relaxed and, provided they were discreet, Westerners could indulge their desires, without fear of harassment, with a limitless supply of young locals in need of money, and smoke an equally limitless supply of the local cannabis.”

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Copyright Attorney Chosen To Lead Authors Guild

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“Mary Rasenberger is a partner in the law firm Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard and has an extensive background in intellectual property and technology. The Guild has been involved in numerous copyright battles, including a lawsuit against Google over the search engine’s program of scanning snippets of published material.”

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Where Do I Start With Patrick Modiano, The New Nobel Laureate?

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“You might have experienced Modiano’s work without realizing it: He co-wrote the scripts for Louis Malle’s Lacombe, Lucien (1974) and Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s Bon Voyage (2003). But Modiano’s novels are worth reading as well: subtle, rhythmic, and hypnotic investigations into the self and its memory – the perfect thing for the mournful indoor months.”

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Nonfiction Writing Deserves A Nobel Every Once In A While, Too

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Philip Gourevitch: “It has been more than a half century since any such recognition – a half century that has seen an explosion of great documentary writing in all forms and lengths and styles, and yet there is a kind of lingering snobbery in the literary world that wants to exclude nonfiction from the classification of literature – to suggest that somehow it lacks artistry, or imagination, or invention by comparison to fiction.”

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An Interconnected World Needs A Common Language

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“In an ideal world, we’d all learn to use one language for science, technology and business, and learn, respect and use others for cultural identity and a sense of community — especially in our polyglot nation. That requires some flexibility in how languages themselves are developed. We need to be more adaptable and sensitive to other cultures as we use language.”

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Publishers Simplify, Sanitize For Lucrative Young Reader Market

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“Prominent nonfiction writers like Ms. Hillenbrand, Jon Meacham and Rick Atkinson are now grappling with how to handle unsettling or controversial material in their books as they try to win over this impressionable new audience. And these slimmed-down, simplified and sometimes sanitized editions of popular nonfiction titles are fast becoming a vibrant, growing and lucrative niche.”

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