ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Why “Mistakes” In Language Are Actually Progress

Someone in my line of work hears around him a linguistic feast, where many just hear the English language going to the dogs. - The New York Times

The Impossibility Of Translating

To put it less politely, translation is a bitch. - Granta

What’s The Secret Of Poetry’s Power? It’s The Rhythm, Baby

"Poems meet the raw needs of our most vulnerable inner selves in a disarmingly primal way, using a simple tool no other sort of language mobilises in quite the same manner: predictable, physical, rhythmical repetition. Poetry chants and incants; it excites and lulls." - Psyche

For The First Time, A Black African Author Wins France’s Top Book Award

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr of Senegal has won the Prix Goncourt for La plus secrète mémoire des hommes (The Most Secret Memory of Men), which the magazine L'Express called "the revelation of the literary year … shining proof of the vitality and universality of the French language." - The Guardian

This Year’s Booker Prize Winner:

Booker judges pronounced Damon Galgut the winner, praising his novel for its “unusual narrative style that balances Faulknerian exuberance with Nabokovian precision, pushes boundaries, and is a testament to the flourishing of the novel in the 21st century.” - The New York Times

Middle East’s Leading English-Language Newspaper Shuts Down

The Daily Star was founded in Beirut in 1952 and relaunched in 1996, after Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war. Having struggled financially for years, it published its last print edition in February 2020 and is ending online operations amid Lebanon's worst economic crisis since independence. - AP

Justice Department Seeks To Block Giant Publishing Merger

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement, “If the world’s largest book publisher is permitted to acquire one of its biggest rivals, it will have unprecedented control over this important industry. - Deadline

The Old Soviet Novel That Was The Prototype For Orwell’s “1984”

Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, published 100 years ago, set 1,000 years in the future in a technologically controlled superstate, was the first novel ever banned in the Soviet Union. - The New York Times

The Word Of The Year 2021 Is Vax

So says Oxford Languages, publisher of The Oxford English Dictionary. "'All these other vaccine words increased, but nothing like vax,' said Fiona McPherson, a senior editor for new words. ... 'It’s a short, punchy, attention-grabbing word.'" - The New York Times

Horror Helps Us Deal With The All Too Real Experience Of Loved Ones’ Deaths

Not to mention our own. "In horror, there is no ultimate triumph at the end. Even if the characters survive or defeat the monster, there’s no going back to the people they once were. That’s what grief feels like." - LitHub

What Happens When Everyone Is Literally Writing The Same Book?

As one might suspect, one author says that "when we learned of one another’s existence, it felt a little awkward." - The New York Times

The People Who Want To Ban Toni Morrison’s Beloved Have One Thing Right

One expert on challenged books: "Beloved is an extremely violent book, it’s absolutely true. But that is the point of the book. This mother ? She’s absolutely right—it’s extremely difficult to read. It gets stuck in your head." - Slate

It Wasn’t Just Gertrude Stein And Alice Toklas, And A Prizewinning Book Knows That

No Modernism Without Lesbians is the title of Diana Souhami's most recent book - and the "hugely enjoyable" history of queer women like Stein, Toklas, Natalie Barney, and Sylvia Beach has won an LGBTQ-specific prize in Britain. - The Guardian (UK)

We Need A New Way Of Studying Literature

“There is no such thing as an individual work in literature.” The work is always part of a “system of literature,” in which the arts are interrelated. Indeed, “f a literary work is torn from the context of one literary system and moved to another, it will take on a different coloring. - LA Review of Books

A New “Golden Age” For Horror Fiction?

“There’s this fantastic description of the gothic – that it is not a genre at all, but a virus that attaches itself to genres and infects texts, and also morphs through time and adapts as needed. I think horror perhaps could be seen as the same thing.” - The Guardian

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