Recent Articles

May 19, 2016

Pussy Riot: One Woman’s Vagina Takes on Japan’s Obscenity Laws 0

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The obscenity charges against Rokudenashiko stemmed from her art, which involved making things from casts of her manko (vagina). She had turned her manko into buttons, dioramas, and cell phone covers.

May 19, 2016

Or, Like Something Out of Kafka 0

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In their latest Trend Watch, Merriam-Webster announced they’ve been seeing more searches for “Kafkaesque,” a spike they attribute to British publishers writing about Booker winner Han Kang. Since the word is so overused, it’s worthwhile to ask: just what does it actually mean now, anyway? Allison Flood tries to pin it down at The Guardian.

May 19, 2016

Out There 0

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Some writers find their voices by heading off to Europe. Others (like Thoreau in Walden) head off to the woods instead. At The Rumpus, David Biespiel writes about the year he moved to Vermont, and what it meant to see himself as “leaning into” his youth. Pair with our own Anne K. Yoder on Ken Kesey and the Oregon coast.

May 19, 2016

The Poetry of Small Things: On Ruth Goodman’s ‘How to Be a Tudor’ 1

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You wouldn’t expect the intricacies of Tudor baking, brewing, ploughing, cooking, needlework, painting, dancing, and card-playing to hold an audience rapt, and yet Goodman makes the minutia of everyday life a half-millennia ago tremendously interesting.

May 18, 2016

The Art of Stealing 0

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Richard Cohen writes about plagiarizing real people’s identities and the dirty side of writing. As Milan Kundera writes in The Art of the Novel, “The novelist destroys the house of his life and uses its stones to build the house of his novel.”

May 18, 2016

The Economy of Goodwill 0

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Recommended Reading: Against crowdfunding websites that marketize goodwill.

May 18, 2016

Reading Proust 0

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For the Atlantic, Sarah Boxer recounts her experience reading In Search of Lost Time on her cell phone. Pair with Hannah Gersen’s year of reading Proust.

May 18, 2016

Words Grow Arid and Stiff 0

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Tim Parks writes for the NYRB about writers living abroad. As he puts it, “But what about those writers who move to another country and do not change language, who continue to write in their mother tongue many years after it has ceased to be the language of daily conversation? Do the words they use […]

May 18, 2016

For History to Avoid Repeating Itself 0

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“There needs to be a literary Juneteenth. We can’t rely on publications and presses that have, through the actions and complicity of their leadership, proven oppressive. For history to avoid repeating itself, we need to define sustainability for ourselves. This could mean expanding existing infrastructure, forming new platforms, or simply self-publishing. None of those things […]

May 18, 2016

No Genre Ever Dies: On Loren D. Estleman and the Pulp Tradition 2

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I think Estleman would proud of being described as a throwback to an earlier era, when writers wrote prolifically and never failed to entertain. It’s not haute cuisine — it’s red meat, the stuff you can’t put down until your plate is clean.