How Do You Write a Realistic Novel About North Korea?

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“The problem with North Korea journalism is that you can write almost anything and almost nobody knows if it’s bunk. Then you have North Korea fiction, where you can paint a very vivid reality and readers, I imagine, will want to believe that it’s 100 percent true.” Adam Johnson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Orphan Master’s Son, talks about how he dealt with the challenge.

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The Onion Breaks The Story: National Endowment For The Arts To Award $80 Million For Talentless Hacks

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“The independent federal agency said it intends to provide the nation’s exceptionally unskilled and deluded artists with cash grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 in order to sway them from continuing with their derivative and atrocious work, thereby significantly bolstering the overall quality of art in the United States.”

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Hey Classical Musicians, You Need To Learn Folk Music

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“Even teachers who know very little about traditional music could assign interesting fiddle tunes to their students as a break between scales and etudes. It would be a moment in the middle of a practice session to reflect on just how much musical tradition exists in America. It would be a moment to recognize that most, if not all music comes, in some way, from folk traditions.”

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Ned O’Gorman Wanted To Give Kids ‘Literature, Latin, And Love’

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“‘I was merely a fool poet,’ he said, ‘with nothing but poetry in his bag, hoping the energy and joy that brought poems from chaos would carry me to the children.’ The school, the Children’s Storefront, has flourished in three adjoining townhouses on East 129th Street, becoming a fully accredited, tuition-free school with a $4 million budget and a student body of about 170 children, from prekindergarten through eighth grade.”

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Loving Good Books Doesn’t Make You A Good Person

The moviegoer

“Ted Kaczynski was not improved by his obsession with Conrad’s The Secret Agent, nor Timothy McVeigh by his fascination with The Turner Diaries. Mark David Chapman was not healed by his love of The Catcher in the Rye. The disturbed reader—or, in my case, the merely immature reader—won’t always be ennobled simply by cracking open a great book.”

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How An Orchestra Looks Affects How You Think It Sounds

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“Participants across the board were better at identifying the more accomplished groups by watching them, not by listening to them. In fact, even when music and video were combined in clips, it was actually harder for participants to identify the top groups than by video alone.”

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Stepping Out – Retirement Is Tough For Dancers

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“The great majority of current dancers claim to be aware of the challenges that transition will pose (98 percent, 86 percent and 93 percent in the U.S., Switzerland and Australia, respectively), but many former dancers concede that they were in fact ill-prepared for this process.”

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Study: Big Gender Gap In Pay For Museum Directors

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“It found that female directors at museums with budgets of more than $15 million earn 71 cents for every $1 male directors earn. At the same time, women who run art museums with smaller budgets do earn more than their male counterparts – annually, they earn 2 cents more.”

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“Inherent Dullness”: A Young Man Goes To An Orchestra Concert

Photo courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra

“I had trouble enjoying myself. My brother did too. This by no means is to suggest that the orchestra itself was poor. Perhaps me and my bro are just uncultured, southern swine. More likely it was just not for us (and by extension a lot of people in my age range). I enjoy symphony music. I have a playlist of classical music on my Spotify. But I thought sitting and watching the orchestra play has an inherent dullness.”

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A Century of Dance in America, On Walls in Washington

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Alastair Macaulay visits the “exuberantly diverse” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, “Dancing the Dream”, which features everyone from Vernon and Irene Castle to Rudolf Nureyev to Shirley Maclaine to Isadora Duncan to Mark Morris to Twyla Tharp to John Travolta to Gypsy Rose Lee.

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