ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Dostoevsky Totally Did NaNoWriMo

Just not on a computer, in November, with thousands of other people. - LitHub

How Shakespeare Drove Publishing And Publishing Drove Shakespeare In The 1700s

In the mid-1730s, Robert Walker waged a price war with the London publishing establishment, driving the cost of individual play editions down to just one penny each. This led to a significant expansion of Shakespeare’s readership. - The Conversation

Co-opting Woke

Charles Blow: "Perhaps no other word of the moment is so under attack as “woke,” a word born as a simple yet powerful way of saying, be aware of and alert to how racism is systemic and pervasive and suffuses American life." - The New York Times

Writers Ought To Be Trained The Way Actors Are

"Actors in training get to try out different techniques and approaches, learning to develop a character through movement, script analysis, or emotional connection; they take classes honing their bodies and voices. In my MFA writing program, we got … workshop and some books." - Catapult

Ocean Vuong Bombarded By Complaints From Australian 12th Graders Who Got His Writing On Their Comp Exams

Student: "ur text was good but so confusing". Vuong: "mission accomplished". Student: "So u da one that got us all fucked up". Vuong: "Don't let 'em tell you literature can't change lives". - The Guardian

Oxford’s Bodleian Library Was A Wreck Before The Eponymous Bodley Fixed It Up

"In 1598, … Sir Thomas Bodley, a retired diplomat and Oxford alumnus, offered to restore the dilapidated university library, entirely at his own cost. … (It) had stood vacant for several decades, its books removed during the upheavals of the Reformation, its furniture sold off." - Literary Hub

How Julia Child Changed Americans’ Minds, And, Later, Her Own

Those under 55 may not appreciate just how differently people in the US thought about home cooking before Child's TV shows caught on. For all her pioneering achievements, she was awfully traditional about things like sexuality — until the late 1980s. - The Guardian

Portland’s Iconic Super Bookstore Faces Uncertainty

The latest plot twist has foreshadowed a potentially unhappy ending. Like the rest of Portland’s urban core — and like downtowns across the United States —Powell’s is contending with staggering uncertainty. - The New York Times

Canada’s $100K Giller Prize Goes To Omar El Akkad For “What Strange Paradise”

An Egyptian-Canadian journalist and author who lives in Portland, Oregon, El Akkad describes his novel as "a repurposed fable. It's the story of Peter Pan inverted and recast as the story of a contemporary child refugee." - CBC

How A Poem Can Change The World

By using things like imagery, metaphor, narrative and even white space, poetry has the power to make abstract or diffuse issues, like climate change, more real to readers. - The Conversation

Is This Chinese Government Trying To Buy Hong Kong’s Major English-Language Newspaper?

Founded under British rule in 1903, the South China Morning Post has managed to stay more or less independent of Beijing. Now a state-owned company is reportedly considering acquiring the paper, though current owner Alibaba (China's equivalent of Amazon) says it's not for sale. - Al Jazeera (Bloomberg)

The Surprisingly Successful Art Of Curating Penguin Modern Classics

Penguin's Classics line is 75 years old this year. But - "What makes a book a classic? Who gets to decide? And will today’s classic still be a classic in 10 years’ time, let alone 50 or 100?"- The Guardian (UK)

The Enormous Marketing Power Of BookTok

"BookTok is passionate. It is also profitable—at least for publishers. Bloomsbury, a publishing house based in Britain, recently reported record sales and a 220% rise in profits, which Nigel Newton, its boss, put down partly to the 'absolute phenomenon' of BookTok." - The Economist

Organizing Your Books Can Feel Like Controlling Your Life

Of course, that might mean you need a new house. - The Guardian (UK)

The Shortlisters For Canada’s Richest Literary Prize Talk About Their Writing Habits

The authors nominated for the Giller who have kids say they write whenever they can. Another: "COVID has helped me let go of a pernicious late capitalist drive which cast reading as unproductive leisure time, as opposed to an integral part of the writing process." - CBC

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