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  • RIP Karl Miller, one of the founders of The London Review of Books and an editor of the magazine for thirteen years. Originally meant to fill a vacuum left by a strike at the Times Literary Supplement, the LRB grew into “the liveliest, the most serious and also the most radical literary magazine we have,” in Alan Bennett’s words.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Recommended Reading: Anna Della Subin on our views of procrastination. You could also read Avery Erwin on procrastination and American artists.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • It’s a question that puzzles writers of all stripes: why is so much academic writing so terrible? It’s an issue that’s been a lifelong head-scratcher for the linguist Steven Pinker, who set out to answer the question once and for all. His verdict? It has to do with the meaning of “literary style.”


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • In general, we think of translators as people whose job, briefly summarized, is to create elegant texts out of works in foreign languages. But J.R.R. Tolkien, in his translation of Beowulf, set out to do something different. The Lord of the Rings author published a translation that he kept intentionally clunky. Why? In his telling, he did it to better imitate Old English.


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    ~Thomas Beckwith
  • Christopher Beha just finished reading the complete works of Henry James and writes for The New Yorker about the experience while also touching on both “The Great Y.A.” and “The Great Goldfinch” debates.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Recommended reading: Monica McFawn writes for Brevity “On Riding and Writing Boldly.”


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • The LA Times has a review up of Eula Biss‘s On Immunity: An Innoculation, an “elegant, intelligent and very beautiful book, which occupies a space between research and reflection.” We covered the collection in our Second-Half 2014 Book Preview, and Biss’s first book, Notes from No Man’s Land, has appeared in several Millions pieces over the last few years.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “Recent research has shown that messy, dark, noisy, booze-filled environments like the one Fitzgerald cultivated at La Paix can, in fact, help stimulate creativity.” The Atlantic reports on the importance of environment for creativite work and / or gives you an excuse to live like Fitzgerald.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats fame has a debut novel, Wolf in White Vanlonglisted for the National Book Award, and Dwight Garner reviews the “strange and involving” novel for The New York Times.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “In the end, no special effects, dazzling displays, augmented realities, or multimodal cross-platform designs substitute for content. Scholarship, good scholarship, the work of a lifetime commitment to working in a field — mapping its references, arguments, scholars, sources, and terrain of discourse — has no substitute.” Johanna Drucker writes about both the importance and the inherent difficulty of scholarly publishing for the Los Angeles Review of Books.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • “For obit writers, the whole world is necessarily divided into the dead and the pre-dead. That’s all there is.” The Paris Review interviews Margalit Fox, a senior writer for The New York Times, on the complicated art of obituaries.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis
  • Sarah Pitre reviews Meg Wolitzer‘s first YA novel, Belzhar, for Kirkus Reviews, and while we were already looking forward to the novel, now we’re doubly interested.


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    ~Kaulie Lewis