ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


No Shock That In-Person Library Use Plummeted In Early 2021

But, in the UK at least, there was a corresponding gain in e-usage. But "borrowing of physical books had returned to around 84% of pre-Covid levels by December 2021, although digital and audio borrowing have remained high, which 'brings its own challenges to library budgets.'" - The Guardian (UK)

The Case For Translators As Collaborators

For Jennifer Croft, the campaign to bring greater recognition to translators isn’t just a plea for attention and credit, though it’s partly that. Croft also believes that highlighting translators’ names will bring more transparency to the process and help readers evaluate their work. - The New York Times

The Case Against The Contemporary American Essay

Explanations for the twenty-first-century personal essay boom are as various as the answers to an inkblot test, and nearly as revealing. - The Drift

Are Small Literary Magazines Going Extinct?

"Across the country, universities are slowly, quietly, cutting funding and shutting their literary publications down. Even magazines not connected to universities are closing their doors or changing publication strategies — a trend made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic." - CNN

Attempted Book Bans Are Soaring In The U.S., Thanks To The “Outrage Ecosystem”

"The books are kind of incidental. What we're really arguing about is, what does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? How do we want our children to be educated? What do we want to say about our history?" - The Christian Science Monitor

UK Library Use Plummeted Last Year

Physical library visits fell from 214.6m to 59.7m in the year to March 2021, a drop of 72%, as Covid-19 restrictions shut branches for much of the 12-month period. The closures also led to a major decline in the number of books borrowed. Unsurprisingly, the number of web visits grew – up by 18% to 154.7m. - The Guardian

Six Big Magazines — Including Entertainment Weekly — To Quit Print Publication

“It is not news to anyone that there has been a pronounced shift in readership and advertising from print to digital, and as a result, for a few important brands, print is no longer serving the brand’s core purpose.” - The New York Times

The Index At The Back Of The Book Deserves More Respect

The story of the index "is, on one level, a history of information science, but it's also a history of reading and writing and everything those actions entail — communication, learning and imagination, as well as competition, anxiety and no small amount of mischief." - The New York Times

The Language Police Are Threatening Education

These recent acts of illiberal language policing––coinciding with a racial reckoning on the left and a backlash against its excesses on the right––threatens to degrade the education of all young people. - The Atlantic

One Of Ukraine’s Strongest Defenses Against Russian Aggression Is The Ukrainian Language

For much of the past century in Ukraine, Russian has taken precedence over Ukrainian, even in the post-Soviet period. These days one hears more and more Ukrainian in the streets, especially among young adults. even in Kyiv and the Russophone stronghold of Kharkiv. - MSN (The Washington Post)

There’s A Whole Body Of Women’s Novels In Yiddish That Are Finally Reaching English-Speakers

The originals were mostly published as serials in Yiddish newspapers and never made it into bound volumes in any language until now. Says one scholar, "This literature has been hiding in plain sight, but we all assumed it wasn't there." - The New York Times

21st-Century London Is Developing A New Dialect Of English

Linguists have dubbed it Multicultural London English (MLE); it has developed organically among young people in a city where hundreds of languages are spoken, borrowing vocabulary and syntax from several of them, most noticeably Jamaican English. Rebecca Mead writes about watching her teenage son acquire it. - The New Yorker

Meet The Teenagers Who Started A Bookclub To Read Banned Books

The teen members of Kutztown’s Banned Book Club, meet every two weeks to read and discuss literature that conservatives across the country are working to ban from school libraries. - The Guardian

Virginia Woolf Was Many Things, But She Was Not A Great Cook

In To the Lighthouse, "these dishes are described with great fanfare but, as any competent home cook will know, beef stews are neither challenging to make nor impressive to look at. ... They do not require, as Woolf’s depiction would have it, a series of complicated steps." - The Paris Review

Yiddish Scholars Are Helping Rescue Immigrant Women’s Fiction From Obscurity

For decades, the early 20th century fiction written by Yiddish women was "dismissed by publishers as insignificant or unmarketable to a wider audience." Luckily, "there has been a surge of translations of female writers by Yiddish scholars devoted to keeping the literature alive." - The New York Times

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