Words

Editor’s Rant About Diversity Complaints Brings Down Wrath Of The Internet

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The language in Kate Gale’s piece has set off a firestorm. Discussing a complaint that AWP is not inclusive of various ethnic groups–and responding directly to a charge that the organization has been dismissive of Native Americans–Gale writes of trying to find the potential “Indian hater” in the organization. Then, speaking about issues of diversity around gender and sexuality, Gale asks, rhetorically, ” How gay is AWP?,” before stating that she feels she is “30% gay” because of “all the time with girls before I started dating guys.”

‘Fun Home’ Is Not Porn, And The Duke Refuseniks Know It

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“He wants us to believe, in other words, that he was turned off by a handful of panels in a comic with thousands of them. Grasso’s vague word choice [in his larger argument] suggests that he knows how ridiculous this objection really is.”

22 Essential Women Writers To Read In Translation

22 Essential Women Writers to Read in Translation

“Given that August is Women in Translation Month (or WITMO2015), we decided to put together a starter list of essential women writers in translation. Certainly it’s an incomplete list, but we did our best to take the long view” – all the way back to the 10th century.

Leftist Literary Journals Funded By The CIA, Ranked

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Oh yes, it’s true. After all, “in much of Europe in the 1950s, socialists, people who called themselves ‘left’ – the very people whom many Americans thought no better than Communists – were about the only people who gave a damn about fighting Communism.” Consequently, “the CIA became a major player in intellectual life during the Cold War.”

Slang Invented By Black People And Killed By Appropriation

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From “the bomb” to “holla” to the very short-lived “YOLO,” black slang words often go through the cycle of being used by black people, discovered by white people, and then effectively “killed” due to overuse and a general lack of understanding of how to use these words.

Counterrevolution At The Hugo Awards: The Anti-Diversity Coup Of The ‘Puppies’ Backfires Completely

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“At the [science fiction prizes’] presentation each August, the [winners] have been joined by … those of other ethnicities and genders and sexual orientations, many of whom want to tell stories about more than just spaceships. Early this year, that shift sparked a backlash: a campaign, organized by three white, male authors, that resulted in a final Hugo ballot dominated by mostly white, mostly male nominees.” But the final voting didn’t exactly work out as planned …

The Most Talked-About Novel In France Is An Algerian Rejoinder To Camus’s ‘The Stranger’

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Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation is told from the point of view of an Algerian named Harun, the younger brother of the Arab man [Camus’s protagonist] Meursault killed. Meursault was a European who killed an Arab. Harun is an Arab who – we learn – killed a European. Harun’s first line? ‘Mama’s still alive today.'”

Texas Wins The Literary Archives Of Yet Another Author

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Kazuo Ishiguro, author of Remains of the Day: “I’ve been in the habit of keeping a large cardboard box under my desk into which I throw, more or less indiscriminately, all papers produced during my writing that I don’t want to file neatly and take into the next stage of composition: earlier drafts of chapters, rejected pages, scraps of paper with scribbled thoughts, repeated attempts at the same paragraph. etc.”

Can David Foster Wallace Be Reclaimed From The Litbros?

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“The more we talk about Wallace without talking about his work—which, of course, is the whole reason we’re here, talking about him—the more we aid in this false image of him as bro-lord. His fiction is thoughtful and daring and adventurous and sad and fun and difficult and complex.”

The Summer Reading List (R.I.P.)

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“I may be one of the last people to be burdened by the self-imposed obligation to read certain books during the golden months of vacation. These days, the summer-reading list seems to have gone the way of the perfect tan.”

HarperCollins Closes Peer-Review Site For Budding Authors

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“Described as an ‘open slush pile’ by Cory Doctorow when it launched in 2008, Authonomy allowed users to submit their manuscripts for discussion, critique and ranking by fellow site members. The top five each month were read by HarperCollins editors, with 47 going on to be picked up for publication, including works by Miranda Dickinson, Steven Dunne and Kat French.”

Bestselling New Adaptation Of ‘Don Quixote’ Called ‘Crime Against Literature’ By (Some) Spanish Academics

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“Spanish writer Andres Trapiello spent nearly 14 years adapting Cervantes’s masterpiece for contemporary readers. According to Trapiello, it is impossible to understand Don Quixote without reading the footnotes. The new edition includes a comprehensive set of changes to make it more comprehensible.”

Why Pablo Neruda Is So Very Hard To Translate – And Why That’s Okay

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“All translators create their own reality, which may or may not reflect the intentions of the writer. After all, if you make the decision to cut out six cantos in a 12-canto series (as my edition did), to what extent are you even trying to keep faith with with the original work? I found some sort of an answer in Neruda’s own argument for’ an impure poetry’.”

James Wood – A Harsh Critic Mellows?

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“For me, there’s no competition between pleasure and analysis. And there never was. That might be the self-selecting answer as to why I became a critic. At exactly the moment that I wanted really to write, and started writing poems and then trying to write bad fiction, I was reading with a view to learning stuff.”

The Whistled Language Of Northern Turkey – And What It Can Tell Us About The Brain

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“The small town of Kuşköy, which is tucked into an isolated valley on the rainy, mountainous Black Sea coast, … is remarkable not for how it looks but for how it sounds: here, the roar of the water and the daily calls to prayer are often accompanied by loud, lilting whistles – the distinctive tones of the local language.” (includes sound samples)

Climate Change Fiction – It’s Gaining Readership

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Since the turn of the millennium, cli-fi has evolved from a subgenre of science fiction into a class of its own. Unlike traditional sci-fi, its stories seldom focus on imaginary technologies or faraway planets. Instead the pivotal themes are all about Earth, examining the impact of pollution, rising sea levels, and global warming on human civilization. And the genre’s growing presence in college curriculums, as well as its ability to bridge science with the humanities and activism, is making environmental issues more accessible to young readers—proving literature to be a surprisingly valuable tool in collective efforts to address global warming.”

The Art Of Humorous Nonfiction: A Beer In Brooklyn With The King Of The A-Heds

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“As a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, [Barry] Newman developed a niche as the ‘King of the A-Hed,’ the front page, below-the-fold feature story that had become one of journalism’s more peculiar corners since its inception in the 1940s. On a front page filled with the dryness of the bond market, the gravity of war casualties or the enduring egotism of Wall Street, the A-Hed was an homage to the ridiculousness of the world, a favorite among readers, reporters and editors, its existence constantly under threat.”

As Another Mega-Bookstore Opens, The Refrain Continues: Print Books Are Doing OK

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“Waterstones managing director James Daunt, who built the eponymous Daunt Books chain, dubbed Amazon a ‘ruthless, money-making devil’ in 2011. A year later he signed a deal to sell its Kindle ebook reader, but Waterstones has struggled to sell the devices and has reduced the amount of space given over to them in its stores.”

Writers Love Writing Implements, And They Love Them Specifically And Passionately

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“Somehow those pencils and that jar from my last teenage year takes me back to my most elemental self, the same self who learned to write holding a chubby pencil and then graduated to the traditional yellow Dixon Ticonderoga. I switched to black ones somewhere along the line, probably thinking I was too punk rock for a kid’s pencil, probably imagining black pencils were the sort of thing Gertrude Stein would have approved of and Nelson Algren might have liked.”