by Nick Ripatrazone
Michael Robbins is our contemporary poet laureate for beautiful sins of language.0
by Jonathan Russell Clark
I am going to try to convince you that The Novel is one of the most important works of both literary history and criticism to be published in the last decade.4
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Mark O'Connell looks at Tommy Wiseau’s "The Room". the "Face-Palm Fresco Affair" and explores the secrets of viral fame.Buy for $1.99
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Recommended reading: Monica McFawn writes for Brevity “On Riding and Writing Boldly.”
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.
“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.
John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats fame has a debut novel, Wolf in White Van, longlisted for the National Book Award, and Dwight Garner reviews the “strange and involving” novel for The New York Times.
“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.
“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.
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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Read More The Millions Top 10 August 2014
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami
Beautiful Ruins Jess Walter
The Round House Louise Erdrich
The Son Philipp Meyer
Cosmicomics Italo Calvino
Reading Like a Writer Francine Prose
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Karen Joy Fowler
My Struggle: Book 1 Karl Ove Knausgaard