Wednesday, September 22, 2021

ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

WORDS

Kashmiri Poets Say India Is Censoring Them

Poet Ghulam Mohammad Bhat: "In the last 30 years I have never seen this kind of suppression. ... There is silence everywhere, as if the silence is the best cure for our present crisis." - The New York Times

Why Big-Name Writers Are Signing On With Substack

Writers flirting with the Substack idea would be better seen in footballing terms: they are probably going out on loan from their existing publishers, not transferring for good. - The Guardian

Judge Sentences Right-Wing Extremist To Read Classics

"Start with Pride And Prejudice and Dickens's A Tale Of Two Cities. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Think about Hardy. Think about Trollope. "On January 4 you will tell me what you have read and I will test you on it." - BBC

Helsinki’s Mayor Says It Should Declare Itself An English-Speaking City

Why? Because the powers-that-be want more foreign professionals and tech workers to settle there — and foreign professionals and tech workers don't want to learn the notoriously difficult Finnish language. - The Guardian

A Kids’ Battle Of The Books Program That Has Them Eager To Put Away Screens

Every year for the past six years Hepburn Penny has organized a Battle of the Books program that sees kids between the ages of eight and 18 ditch their video games and cellphones and commit to reading 10 books over the summer holidays. - CBC

The Surprisingly Big Business Of Library E-Book Lending

The burst in digital borrowing has helped many readers, but it has also accelerated an unsettling trend. Books, like music and movies and TV shows, are increasingly something that libraries and readers do not own but, rather, access temporarily, from corporations that do. - The New Yorker

Salman Rushdie Is Serializing His Next Novel On Substack

"'I'm going to kind of make it up as I go along, but I have some starting points,' he says. Aside from the novella, it will feature short stories, literary gossip ('as long as it's not defamatory') and writing about books – and film." - The Guardian

Romance Writers Of America Rescinds Award Over Genocide Charges

Romance Writers of America, which earlier this month rescinded an award given to the 2020 novel “At Love’s Command” over complaints that it “romanticized genocide” against Native Americans. - The New York Times

Why Wikipedia Has A Compelling Need To Transcend Languages

Wikipedia leaders presented a new initiative that could theoretically unify the information presented by all of the other Wikipedias, a proposed language-independent encyclopedia that has been generating buzz... - Slate

Mosul Had A Beloved Street Of Bookstores. Only One Has Reopened Since ISIS Was Driven Out.

"Not long ago, it was one of countless bookstores along the wide avenue lined with arched windows and doorways. … Four years after the liberation of Mosul in 2017, Maktaba al-Sham is the first, and so far the only, bookshop to return to Najafi Street." - Atlas Obscura

American Speech Isn’t Getting Coarser, It’s Getting Softer And More Polite (F-Bombs Notwithstanding)

John McWhorter: "The grand old four-letter words seem to be used as punctuation, … (and) Twitter is full of people being recreationally nasty. Yet when I listen to America talking in our times, I hear an encroaching sweetness, a flowering of deference." - The New York Times

In Louisiana, Someone’s Finally Teaching Genuine Cajun French

The state has been working to revive French for decades — but the language taught in schools has been the standardized variety, very different from the dialect local elders actually speak. Now a school for adults in a small town is teaching proper Cajun. - National Geographic

The Thriving Book Community On TikTok

BookTok is a hashtag on TikTok, where readers post videos of book recommendations, talk about writing novels and make reading-related jokes. The hashtag #BookTok currently has more than 18 billion views on TikTok. - CBC

Why We Need Poetry Right Now

Indeed, in our age of social media, words are often used as weapons. Poetry instead treats words with care. - The New York Times

What A Classical Retelling Means To Its Writer, And Its Audience

Madeline Miller's 2011 book The Song of Achilles has, she says, helped readers come out to their parents; has inspired people to earn Ph.D.s in Classics; and even led to some intense tattoos. - The Guardian (UK)

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