ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


How To Write Funny

Author Sally Franson says that if you want belly laughs, you might have to go through some painful experiences first. “The harder I laughed or the harder I cried, the more people laughed. And it wasn’t malicious, you know, it was like, I see you. That is so human.” - Slate

An American Novelist, Telling Immigrant Stories Anew

Dinaw Mengestu, on his character Samuel: “There’s a limitation to how fully we can truly understand his experiences. ... That gap becomes part of the narrative, part of what the story is trying to deeply engage with.” - The New York Times

The Vein Writers Have To Tap Into

C. Pam Zhang: “It’s fascinating to see that there’s no linear relationship between input and output when it comes to creativity. For me, it feels like there’s a vein you tap into sometimes if you’re lucky.” - The Guardian (UK)

This Alice Munro Short Story May Explain Her Reaction To Her Husband’s Molestation Of Her Daughter

In 1993 — not long after Munro's daughter Andrea told her mother of the abuse and Munro chose to stay with her husband — the author published in The New Yorker a story titled "Vandals." Laura Miller analyzes the tale and finds a likely explanation (though not a justification) of Munro's choice. - Slate (MSN)

Five Interesting, And Perhaps Flawed, Metaphors For Translation

Two of them involve Legos. One is about a quilt, another about Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, and yet another is about industrialized agriculture, with English as a monocrop. - The Paris Review

How One Author Found The Right Audio Narrator For His Book

Michael Andor Brodeur, whose day job is classical music critic for The Washington Post, was relieved when informed he would not be recording the audiobook of his memoir/cultural history Swole: The Making of Men and the Meaning of Muscle. Then he had to choose who would. - The Washington Post (MSN)

How The Big Celebrity Book Clubs Really Work

"Not once did I catch a whiff that (Reese) Witherspoon, (Jenna Bush) Hager, (Oprah) Winfrey, or any of the other celebrities are not die-hard readers. … While I fully believe that celebrities aren’t playing some nefarious game of imprint chess to benefit themselves, the pieces are still visible on the board." - Esquire

What Is A “PoetJournalist?”

Where a photojournalist trades in photographs, a poetjournalist, according to Dworkin, would trade in “newspoems.” He could think of a few examples from the past: Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade, say, or O Captain! My Captain!, Walt Whitman’s lament of the assassination of President Lincoln. - NiemanLab

America’s Small Independent Presses Build Back After Their Major Distributor Collapsed

"A little more than three months after Small Press Distribution abruptly closed, leaving some 400 independent presses without a trade distributor, publishers and distributors alike are moving forward even as damage assessment continues. Approximately 25% of the stranded publishers have found new distributors." - Publishers Weekly

The Words We Make Up When We Can’t Remember The Right Ones

Apparently, the struggle to find the right word is real and has been for some time, because the Oxford English Dictionary has its own category for these terms, labelled “thing or person whose name is forgotten or unknown”. - The Conversation

How To Tell If AI Wrote Something? It Uses Certain Words, Expressions

By taking a similar look at "excess word usage" after LLM writing tools became widely available in late 2022, the researchers found that "the appearance of LLMs led to an abrupt increase in the frequency of certain style words" that was "unprecedented in both quality and quantity." - Ars Technica

A Federal Appeals Court Is Looking At Its Own Ruling That Sent Banned Books Back To Texas Shelves

“While the library patrons say removing the books constitutes an illegal government squelching of viewpoints, county officials have argued that they have broad authority to decide which books belong on library shelves.” The review may back the county. - AP (US News & World Report)

Field And Stream’s New Country Music Star Owners Have Frankly Alarming Plans For The Magazine

That is, they have plans for Field & Stream, the “lifestyle brand.” - Fast Company

The US Experiences A Spicy Heat Wave As Romance Bookstores Boom

“Once a niche that independent booksellers largely ignored, romance is now the hottest thing in the book world. It is, by far, the top-selling fiction genre, and its success is reshaping not only the publishing industry, but the retail landscape as well.” - The New York Times

Depressed About Contemporary Life?

Well, time to write a satire. Or so says Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, the author of Chain Gang All-Stars. - The Guardian (UK)

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