ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


World’s Oldest Surviving Hebrew Bible Sells For $33 Million

"The Codex Sassoon, a leather-bound, handwritten (10th-century) parchment volume containing a nearly complete Hebrew Bible, was purchased … on behalf of the American Friends of ANU and donated to ANU Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv." - AP

Two Florida Moms At The Center Of The Fight Against Book Bans

"Jen Cousins and Stephana Ferrell track school board votes and the fates of books across Florida's 67 districts. They file public records requests, appear before the Legislature, enlist volunteers and try to find wins in a state firmly in the hands of a conservative Republican Party." - Yahoo! (Los Angeles Times)

Politically Sensitive Titles Are Getting Yanked From Hong Kong’s Library Shelves

"Books about the Tiananmen Square massacre, Hong Kong protest movements, and other subjects deemed politically sensitive by Beijing have been removed from the former British colony's public libraries in the lead-up to the 34th anniversary of the killings." - The Guardian

The Art Of Blurbs (Ads In Hiding)

Blurb, then, is a twentieth-century euphemism for a particular kind of advertisement, one that uses evaluation as a figleaf for a sales pitch.  In the twenty-first century book world, the blurbs are inescapable. - Sydney Review of Books

Neutraface — The Typeface Of Gentrification?

"Maybe you recognize it from the Shake Shack nameplate. ... Even if you think you've never seen it before, if you step outside, you might very well see this typeface going up on homes in your neighborhood. And it could be a sign that rents are going up." - The Guardian

Illinois Legislature To Consider Ban On Book Bans

As per the bill, the $62 million of funding that goes to the state’s libraries will only be eligible for said funding if they “adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights” or “develop a written statement prohibiting the practice of banning books or other materials within the library or library system.“ - BookRiot

The Differences Between Non-Fiction In The UK And Non-Fiction In The US

At least on the face of it, the mainstream of US nonfiction is stately, thorough, chronological and substantial; whereas British nonfiction is slant, whimsical, allusive and personal. Is that a temperamental or cultural difference? Up to a point, perhaps, yes. But there’s something else at work too. - LitHub

How, And Why, R. F. Kuang’s Satirical New Novel Came About

Kuang, author of bestseller Babel, says her new novel came to her almost fully formed. "Publishing was going through what seems like all these watershed moments, having conversations about change and diversity and caring about marginalized writers, et cetera, and I was feeling a bit cynical." - Los Angeles Times

Can Romance Novels Please Get Rid Of The Struggling Single Mom Trope?

The protagonists are cut from the same cookie cutter mold. "Readers, let us all take a moment to silently contemplate her self-sacrifice, the definitive characteristic of exemplary single motherhood." - LitHub

Author Whose Books Freak People Out Says That’s Not Her Plan

Ottessa Moshfegh: "My God, the world is violent. Why should fiction pretend it’s not?" - The Guardian (UK)

Please Stop This Foolishness

Shakespeare was Shakespeare. The rest is idiocy. "While to most of us, a poem explicitly mentioning Shakespeare and crediting him with writing 'The Rape of Lucrece' would bolster the case for Shakespeare’s authorship, to truthers the poem is suspect." - Slate

Elena Ferrante May Win Eurovision

That is, the Eurovision Book Contest. "In March, the literary festival asked the public to submit their favourite fiction from any of the 37 countries that take part in the music competition each year." - The Guardian (UK)

Samantha Irby Writes About Whatever She Wants To, And She’s Not Sorry

Irby "received hate mail from fans who believed had somehow blasphemed their beloved Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. Her response ... is an entire chapter devoted to her ideas about changing up episodes of the original series, like having Aidan murder Mr. Big." - The New York Times

I’m A Librarian At Rikers Jail. Here’s What I See…

There are parts of the jail system that we no longer visit, because we don’t feel safe there. Other parts have lost library access because we don’t have enough staff. - The New Yorker

Forget Bromances – Female Literary Friendships Are In

Since 2015, the year female friendship was discovered, book after book about it has been published. - Granta

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