ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


It’s Taken Decades, But The Yurok Language Of California Is Coming Back

This indigenous tongue of northern California was severely endangered by the early 1900s, and efforts to revive it didn't begin until the 1970s (and didn't really take off until the '90s). Now there are high school and college classes in Yurok. - The Guardian

Why We’re Fascinated By Low-Stakes Literary Disputes

It happens every few months, somewhere or other, with a reliability approaching a new genre. Someone, usually working for a large media company, devotes considerable resources to excavating an obscure story of relatively low public interest. - The Guardian

Nobel Prizewinner Abdulrazak Gurnah Has Some Strong Words For Europe

Gurnah, who is from Tanzania and lives in Britain, said, "People don't come with nothing, they come with their youth, their energy, their potential. ... Just to stay on the idea 'they are there, they are coming to steal something of our prosperity' is inhumane." - Le Figaro

The Great Novel Of The Internet Was Published In 1925

That novel? Mrs. Dalloway, of course. "'We are all Mrs. Dalloway now,' one writer put it." - The Atlantic

A Brief Survey Of Men Having Opinions About Women Reading

"You’d think men might sit out commenting on books written by women about female rage, but you’d be wrong." - LitHub

Book Sales Soared In Britain During Lockdown

Can the physical, print book continue its run this year? Independent bookstores would really like books to keep selling, even when people aren't trapped at home. - BBC

Of Poetry, Plagiarism, And Artistic Influence

Where were the limits exactly, in what was deemed to be a case of poetry plagiarism? How many lines that emerged while writing, any poet might ask, could be traced back to some half-remembered source? - LitHub

How A Little Book-Of-The-Month Mail-Order Club Laid Ground For The Gay Rights Movement

"In early-1950s America, Donald Webster Cory had probably the largest L.G.B.T. mailing list in the country, and maybe in the world." (Mr. Cory was not, strictly speaking, a real person.) - The New Yorker

Why The Oxford English Dictionary Has Added 6 Korean Words

"They show how Asians in different parts of the continent invent and exchange words within their own local contexts, then introduce these words to the rest of the English-speaking world, thus allowing the Korean wave to continue to ripple on the sea of English words." - BBC

The Novels That Really Want To Change The World? Satires

"'Satire ... does not come with some kind of manifesto for a better world. It tells you what's wrong; it doesn't tell you what you should do.' So political satire often sets out to do as much damage as possible, to sweep away." - BBC

Are Audiobooks Superior To Paper?

Audiobooks aren’t cheating. They aren’t a just-add-water shortcut to cheap intellectualism. For so many titles in this heyday of audio entertainment, it’s not crazy to ask the opposite: Compared to the depth that can be conveyed via audio, does the flat text version count? - The New York Times

Nobel Prize For Literature 2021 Goes To Tanzanian Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah

The author of ten novels, born and raised on Zanzibar and resettled in England as a refugee in the 1960s, was cited for "his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents." - The Guardian

How The Booker Prize Became Such A Big Deal

Charlotte Higgins: "It was by such steps" as well-timed leaks and carefully fanned disagreements "that the Booker became not just a book prize, but a heady tangle of arguments, controversy and speculation: a cultural institution." - The Guardian

France’s Leading Literary Award Finally Makes Nepotism Against The Rules

Following this year's conflict-of-interest scandal (not the first), administrators of the Prix Goncourt have declared that any book by a family member or unmarried lover of a juror is ineligible and that jurors may not publish reviews of any semifinalist or finalist title. - Deutsche Welle

Here Are The Finalists For The 2021 National Book Awards

"A food memoir that examines a mother's schizophrenia. A novel about an author's book tour, and about growing up as a Black boy in the rural South. Poetry honoring migrants who drowned while trying to cross the Rio Grande." - The New York Times

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