“Their method is straightforward. The idea behind sentiment analysis is that words have a positive or negative emotional impact. So words can be a measure of the emotional valence of the text and how it changes from moment to moment. So measuring the shape of the story arc is simply a question of assessing the emotional polarity of a story at each instant and how it changes.”
“The legacy of Federico García Lorca’s hostilities with government lives on these days through his family, whose members are tangling with officials over control of a new $25 million center built to honor García Lorca, the playwright and poet who was executed by firing squad during the Spanish Civil War.”
“Cheryl Strayed is really interesting. She’s very sure of herself, confident, a very healthy enlightened person. I am much more of a wreck that she is. I think both have a lot of wisdom to share, but her style is different because I think she’s had her shit together for much longer than I have, frankly. For example, I wouldn’t dream of camping alone under any circumstances. I’m a chickenshit. Our biology is different. I would not walk that far. Without Cheetos.”
“We have to be persistent even with little resources because there are so many stories to tell and no one else to tell them.”
Chris Power: “It is an irony of Beckett’s posthumous reputation that his plays are now far better known than his prose, although he considered the latter his primary focus. … I suspect the real problem with Beckett’s short fiction is its difficulty, and that his greatest achievements in the form do not comply with what some gatekeepers suppose to be the genre’s defining traits.”
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this title was held by the Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City, which covered 154,250ft². Unfortunately, the 5th Avenue flagship store closed down in 2014.
“It mattered – a lot – who the interviewers were and who was editing the text they produced.” The testimonies collected by the relatively small number of black interviewers read very differently from the tales told to visiting whites – some of whom came from slaveholding families.
“Most readers of fiction in North America are, by a wide margin, women. The books are being marketed to them. I am perfectly happy with this. I know where my bread is buttered.”
“The sheer proliferation of advertising demanded that Shawn scramble in search of more and more editorial matter. This, he found, had an inevitable drag on quality. There is, in this world, after all, only so much talent at a given time—only so much good writing. At a certain point, he found it necessary to limit the pages in a weekly issue to 248—as fat as a phone book in some towns. In his tenure as editor, Shawn made innumerable hires, tried out countless freelancers, and ran long, multipart series—some forgettable, some central to the literary and journalistic history of mid-century America.”
“In 2011, Emily Books caught the wave of electronic publication and molded it to fit the needs of their ideal reader. They brought out-of-print titles, or books by passed-over female authors, back to life. At first, Gould said, they had just wanted to solve a problem fomented by commercial publishing’s need to turn a profit.”
“Long before President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which included libraries as institutions where desegregation was mandated but did not name them specifically – the national NAACP and chapters had launched small campaigns that did everything from championing the cause of a Black librarian assistant’s promotion in the New York Public Library system or, in this case, investigating Violet Wallach’s allegations about her [New Jersey] hometown library.”
“Not only was I not a librarian, I wasn’t even really dealing in reading material. That the objects in our Little Free Library happened to be books was beside the point. The salient fact was that the items were free. We may as well, I suspected, have been offering plastic spoons, Allen wrenches and facial tissue. I tested this hypothesis by mixing in non-book items including an instructional DVD on how to use an exercise ball, and a few packets of echinacea seeds.”
“I’m not going to promote this book. How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?” said the author of his soon-to-be-released The Voyeur’s Motel after being confronted with evidence that his source and subject had lied to him. Liam O’Brien observes, “Talese neatly distances himself from his own work, which defuses any pressure on him to defend his choices – except not really, because, you know, he wrote the damn thing.”
“There are no rules and nobody knows really what’s going on. Everybody’s guess is as good as everybody else’s. It’s beautiful and agonising and terrifying – but it’s real.”
“The complaints are so numerous that Ferrante’s publisher even expressed concern to Slate that ‘many people didn’t understand the game we we’re playing, that of, let’s say, dressing an extremely refined story with a touch of vulgarity.'”
“Brutalism rejected what its founders considered the homogenization of mainstream publishing, calling for ‘raw,’ ‘honest’ fiction and declaring that ‘[The] only maxim we adhere to is an old punk belief, which we have bastardized for our own means: Here’s a laptop. Here’s a spell-check. Now write a novel.'”
“As Mayor Ron White tells it, according to the Associated Press, the cat was targeted in retaliation when a city worker was denied permission to bring a puppy to city hall.”
“Morgan Entrekin, the chief executive and publisher of Grove Atlantic, said the company would move forward with the publication and the promotion of the book, and might add a new author’s note.”
“I once read another writer, I forget whom, saying that their writing was a sort of wolf call to their tribe, and I think there’s some truth in that; I write for my tribe, an imaginary group of readers who are a bit like me on the inside.”
One early critic of Dickens’s Great Expectations called the character “a foolish, senseless, fantastical, impossible humbug”; later, another critic wrote that “living types have already been pointed out that claim resemblance [to her].” Carrie Frye suggests that this “seems like a fitting jumping-off point for exploring how Miss Havisham came to be in the world: as a fantastical, impossible creature … clearly based on real-life people.”
“As student activists call for the institutions around them to confront issues of diversity and inclusion, campus newspapers have been critiqued as well. But activists are not just calling for reform—editors of campus papers are struggling to improve their papers alongside student bodies that, in some cases, would like to see student newspapers as an institution disappear.”
“As the internet solidifies its role as a leading news source amid continued declines in print, news organization homepages are losing traction. Magazine stories are increasingly unmoored from the outlets that published them, and from the brands that once all but guaranteed their legitimacy. In the US, more than 60 percent of social media users now access news through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and news organizations harvest nearly half their traffic from social media.”
“If thought and culture aren’t why some languages pile it on while others take it light, then what is the reason? Part of the answer is unsatisfying but powerful: chance. Time and repetition wear words out, and what wears away is often a nugget of meaning. This happens in some languages more than others.”
“One thing that was really different about word processing is that there were dozens and dozens of word-processing options, dozens and dozens of systems and software and formats, all of them incompatible and comparatively expensive. If you made a bad choice, that would have been a real setback for a writer. So realizing what you needed, and shopping for a computer—that in and of itself was a barrier as much as any big sense of technophobia.”
“Five booksellers from Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay Books disappeared in 2015, of whom Lam [Wing-kee] was the fourth to reappear (leaving only one, Swedish citizen Gui Minhai, still in PRC custody). … Reactions since Lam’s release have been mixed. On June 17, he led thousands of protestors through the streets of Hong Kong.” But the three others who were held and have been released have accused Lam of lying.
“The algorithm looks at themes, plot, character, setting, and also the frequencies of tiny but significant markers of style. The ‘bestseller-ometer’ then makes predictions, picking out which specific combinations of these features will resonate with readers. The authors claim that it is correct ‘over eighty percent of the time’.” But the only book to score 100% from the algorithm has had only middling sales.
“The pronounced stock shortage inside the Librairie des Puf” – that’s for Presses universitaires de France – “is not the result of an ordering mistake, but the heart of the shop’s business model.”
“I’ve always believed that, to remain open to the surprises and contingencies offered by literature, you have to value ignorance more than self-confidence. … The prisoners, however, see my openness as wishy-washy. If this is what you get from literature, they tell me, maybe it’s better to leave it alone. Who wants to be uncertain and indecisive? At least they know where they stand. That may very well be true, I reply, but look where it’s got you.”
“All of us shift our readings slightly. Gillian reads Lament, Jackie In my country, Carol Ann Weasel Words: all poems written years ago, but relevant today. There are no overt political statements but the choices are fierce. The people who come to speak to us at the signing tell us that the poetry has helped.”
“That was the whole point. I did not wish that my book were Eat, Pray, Love. As the only journalist to live undercover in North Korea, I had risked imprisonment to tell a story of international importance by the only means possible. By casting my book as personal rather than professional—by marketing me as a woman on a journey of self-discovery, rather than a reporter on a groundbreaking assignment—I was effectively being stripped of my expertise on the subject I knew best. It was a subtle shift, but one familiar to professional women from all walks of life.”