Curiosities

June 13, 2014

#Dragons and #TheWall 0

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As if the guy needs any additional distractions to keep him from writing the seventh (or eighth!) books in his Song of Ice and Fire series, George R. R. Martin recently decided to join Twitter. If he ends book six with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, then I presume you’ll know why.

June 13, 2014

Charles Wright is Our New Poet Laureate 0

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You can get acquainted with Charles Wright, the nation’s newest Poet Laureate, by checking out interviews he did with StorySouth and The Paris Review, and also by reading his work – much of which can be found online. Might I suggest this poem, which was published by the VQR?

June 12, 2014

Please, Sir, I’d Like Some More Time 0

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Recommended Reading: a piece from the New York Review of Books blog on modern attention spans and what they mean for literature. Hint: it’s not looking too promising. Tim Parks closes with a prediction that “the novel of elegant, highly distinct prose, of conceptual delicacy and syntactical complexity, will tend to divide itself up into […]

June 12, 2014

“I was going to be an essayist, and it was going to be awesome.” 0

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Nonfiction writing might work wonders for history books, but the heart of the genre is still the essay. In a piece for The Morning News Martin Connelly discusses his youthful resolution to be an essayist, which he quickly forgot and then gradually remembered. There are also ironic license plates, convicts and a baby, just to […]

June 12, 2014

The Great Goldfinch Debate 1

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“No novel gets uniformly enthusiastic reviews, but the polarized responses to The Goldfinch lead to the long-debated questions: What makes a work literature, and who gets to decide?” Vanity Fair has big questions and lots of opinions about Donna Tartt‘s latest novel, which we’ve covered pretty extensively ourselves.

June 12, 2014

2014 IMPAC Award Announced 0

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It’s just been announced that The Sound of Things Falling by Colombian author, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from the Spanish by Canadian Anne McLean, is the winner of the 2014 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award (and the €100,000 prize money). We discussed the Prize’s shortlist when it was released back in 2013, and profiled The […]

June 12, 2014

History as Memoir, Memoir as History 0

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It’s impossible to deny that memoir writing is having a bit of a moment, as more and more major books delve deeply into authors’ lives for material (here’s looking at you, Knausgaard). But what happens when memoir meets straight history? According to The Canadian Press, both genres only become more interesting.  “[People] think non-fiction is […]

June 12, 2014

New Old Advice for Writers 0

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“The internet teems with writerly advice, almost all of which suggests that creativity is served best by monasticism, a quiet life filled with pencils—but that kind of advice seems to take a very short view of history, overlooking the one classic way to rouse the capricious Muses: sexually transmitted disease.” According to The Hairpin, maybe […]

June 11, 2014

Vermeer was a Hacker 0

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“The way Vermeer painted this wall is consistent with a photograph. It is not consistent with human vision.” In a fascinating new documentary by Penn and Teller, a digital-graphics artist spent five years building a lens, a room, and a harpsichord to figure out how.

June 11, 2014

How Slender Man was made 0

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Half-meme, half-myth, ‘Slender Man’ came to us from the same internet that brought LOLcat, doge, and Rule 34. After the surreal stabbing of a 12-year-old girl by two other children claiming they were acting on his behalf, this particular story has taken on a tragic resonance. In The Semiotic Review, Jeffrey Tolbert argues that Slender Man took hold because of the documentary nature […]