Ben Lerner and Ariana Reines in conversation: “For me, the cow is a real modernist figure. I feel like after God died, the cow became the onlooker in great works of modernism. It’s the witness in Joyce, it shows up again and again—for me, it’s like the residue of the divine in the twentieth century.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
After nearly two years of meticulous work, Pittsburgh-based artists Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth—known collectively as Tugboat Printshop—have unveiled Overlook, a stunningly intricate woodcut of a beautiful landscape. The woodblock will be used to make limited edition color prints, available for pre-order here.
I’m going to go way out on a limb here and say this: The short story is not experiencing a renaissance. Our current and much-discussed market glut of short fiction is not about any real dedication to the form. The situation exists because the many writers we train simply don’t know how to write anything but short stories. The academy—not the newsroom or the literary salon or the advertising firm—has assumed sole responsibility for incubating young writers.
Cathy Day, in "The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia’s Novel Crisis".
Image Credit: Anelise Chen for The Rumpus. Please click through, the chart accompanies a fantastic essay on the value of completing an MFA program.
This post is part of our “Best of 2011” series, which highlights exceptional original pieces that have been published on The Millions this year
Though I do think that the bloom in short form has a lot to do with the re-imagining of it on the internet, this is also extremely relevant and an important explanation of why short stories are becoming more prevalent and yet less relevant to the average reader.
However, we could also argue the prevalence/relevance of genre fiction—that something that was originally regarded as pulp is now overtaking literature as a whole and that innovative books are perhaps not getting read in the sea of what is expected, paced according to form, and ultimately marketable. (To refute what I just said: when hasn’t a book been picked up because of marketability, and also, is the growth of genre fiction really as bad as it sounds? Is there innovation happening there, or is the growth of genres themselves a type of innovation? Are we looking at a post-modern commercialism within publishers, producing paperbacks like Campbells soup cans?)
What if everything
were revealed: where I was
last night. You, etc. The rain
is coming down like salad.
My sister’s hair
reminds me of my sister
so much I can’t
stop looking. Who am I
to have arms? On the plane
one short dream:
a baby so small
it wasn’t even human,
just a bouquet
of light with wise
cellular eyes. If losing me
is the worst thing to happen,
your life is still a good life.
By Emily Kendal Frey
HOW LONG IT TAKES TO READ THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR BOOKS: http://shortlist.com/entertainment/books/how-long-it-takes-to-read-the-worlds-most-popular-books
My brain likes this like this.
And yet Gravity’s Rainbow isn’t on here because it wouldn’t be able to fit on the page
Although many librarians may be understandably new to the topic of online surveillance, information professionals are not new to defending intellectual freedom and the right to read and voice dissenting opinions, as well as the rights of historically marginalized people who continue to be under the most surveillance.
Librarians are known for refusing requests from local law enforcement soliciting details on user browsing and borrowing records. The ALA has counted privacy among its core values since 1939, recognizing it as essential to free speech and intellectual freedom. And the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is a signatory on the Thirteen International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance. As Kade Crockford puts it, “Perhaps more than anyone in our society, librarians represent the values that make a democracy strong, intellectual freedom foremost among them.”
Found a position that asks for an “energetic individual” who will be “calmly provides” assistance to higher ups.
A harpoon made out of jawbone
is shot towards the sun.
I know, a very naive gesture. But why?
One: a harpoon constructed out of jawbone
is notoriously weak. It will
break the second it touches the sun’s
rough shell. Two: I’ve just bought
a bag of plums. I’m going to surprise you
with them. We will eat them
because it is warm and everything is
stranded with light. Three: I have yet to shoot
a harpoon made out of jawbone
towards the sun. I’m naive. This is why.