Ira Glass: The Man Who Launched a Thousand Podcasts by Without Fail from Gimlet Media
"In November 1995, Ira Glass quietly launched the first episode of This American Life. The rest, as they say, is history. Today his show is a colossal success and Ira Glass is a household name. But in the intervening two decades, Ira has left an indelible mark on the industry by helping to shape hundreds of podcasts and as well as hundreds of podcasters—including Alex. On this episode, Alex sits down with his mentor and former boss to talk about the early days at This American Life, what Ira taught Alex, and how being a good boss means learning to set people free."
IraGlass  ThisAmericanLife  radio  podcasts  Gimlet  AlexBlumberg  leadership  2019Faves 
6 days ago
Editorial Rates - Editorial Freelancers Association
Common editorial rates—regardless of whether a fee is flat rate, per page, per word, or hourly—tend to fall within the ranges indicated below. These should be used only as a rough guideline; rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the work, the time frame of the assignment, the degree of special expertise required, and other factors. The industry standard for a manuscript page, however, is a firm 250 words.
Editing  freelance  fees 
7 days ago
Isaac Chotiner, "A Political Economist on the End of the Age of Objectivity"
"One of the things that I’m trying to argue in the book is that we have become, in that sense, more reliant on feelings as we’ve moved more into this real-time, more combative style of public sphere.

Partly, what I’m talking about is that the acceleration of both capitalism and our media sphere means that we are in some ways navigating impressions all the time."
NewYorker  truth  enlightenment  emotions  interview 
7 days ago
Loitering Is Delightful
"It occurs to me that laughter and loitering are kissing cousins, as both bespeak an interruption of production and consumption."
TheParisReview  RossGay  time  loitering 
8 days ago
Emily Sekine, "A Love Story"
“My neighbors warned me that I should not praise Mount Fuji from the top of Ōmuroyama. The reason was this: The kami of the two mountains are estranged sisters, and the goddess enshrined at Ōmuroyama grows resentful when she hears people fawning over her sister.”
MountFuji  Japan  landscape  PersonalEssay  EmilySekine  Newsletters  2019Faves 
8 days ago
Journalism Isn't Dying. It's Returning to Its Roots
"By now the savvy media consumer knows to wait 24 hours before making any conclusion about a scoop, to cross-check at least a handful of sources and two dozen Twitter accounts for takes across the political spectrum. “Objectivity” is an atavism from the days of studiously inoffensive and circulation-expanding reportage lavishly supported "
journalism  media  Wired  business 
10 days ago
Kashmir Hill, "I Blocked Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple"
"Critics of the big tech companies are often told, “If you don’t like the company, don’t use its products.” I did this experiment to find out if that is possible, and I found out that it’s not—with the exception of Apple.

These companies are unavoidable because they control internet infrastructure, online commerce, and information flows. Many of them specialize in tracking you around the web, whether you use their products or not. These companies started out selling books, offering search results, or showcasing college hotties, but they have expanded enormously and now touch almost every online interaction. These companies look a lot like modern monopolies."
2019Faves  KashmirHill  Gizmodo  technology  infrastructure  unplugging  Apple  Amazon  Google  Facebook  Microsoft 
10 days ago
Jeff Jarvis, "We are not being honest with ourselves about the failures of the models we depend upon"
Journalism exists to be of service to the public conversation. What does that look like? How will that serve society? How will it be sustained? I’m not sure.

I have long argued that local journalism needs to rise from communities. I thought that could take the form of hyperlocal blogs but I was wrong because I was still thinking of local journalism in terms of content. I confessed my error here, where I also acknowledged the difficulty — perhaps the impossibility — of building a new house while the old one is burning down around existing newsrooms. Is it possible to turn a content-based, information-based business into one that is built on and begins with the public conversation and is based on service? I don’t know.
JeffJarvis  Medium  journalism  media  business  advertising  platforms 
10 days ago
Johanna Fateman, "Fully Loaded: Power and Sexual Violence"
"In the present war against “misconduct,” we rely on victims to be our bravest soldiers, transfixed when they stand up, one by one, wielding accounts of their abuse. With the stories breaking daily as I write, I’m sickened, but also recommitted to a feminist first principle; reminded of the ethical imperative to distribute the profound personal, social, and economic costs of truth-telling and noncompliance among all of us through acts of support and solidarity. And I wonder: Could art help to relieve the accusers’ burdens, the sheer weight of representation that they are asked to bear? As testimonial and journalistic accounts of sexual violence gain new prominence and legitimacy, what is the role of the symbolic, the metaphysical, the fantastic, the conceptual, and the abstract?"
Artforum  JohannaFateman  feminism  gender  SexualViolence  2018Faves 
11 days ago
Alex Carp, "Slavery and the American University"
"From their very beginnings, the American university and American slavery have been intertwined, but only recently are we beginning to understand how deeply. In part, this can be attributed to an expansion of political will."
AlexCarp  NewYorkReviewofBooks  2018Faves  slavery  AmericanHistory  universities 
11 days ago
Why Silicon Valley billionaires are prepping for the apocalypse in New Zealand | News | The Guardian
How an extreme libertarian tract predicting the collapse of liberal democracies – written by Jacob Rees-Mogg’s father – inspired the likes of Peter Thiel to buy up property across the Pacific
MarkOConnell  TheGuardian  2018Faves  technology  doomsday 
11 days ago
Kate Briggs, excerpt from This Little Art
"It is easy not to think about translation. This has to do, of course, with the way translations typically get presented to readers: the name of the original author in full caps and bold; the translator’s name smaller or left off the cover altogether; reviewers failing to register the fact of reading in and the creative labour of translation. But perhaps it also has to do with the way we tend to talk about—and so also experience?—prose translations. That is, prose translations, as provisionally distinct from all the other ways an existing work of art can be reproduced, remediated or re-versioned."
FullStopMag  KateBriggs  2018Faves  translation  LiteraryCriticism 
11 days ago
Malcolm Harris, "Glitch Capitalism: How Cheating AIs Explain Our Glitchy Society"
"If an algorithm generates a bad solution — like face-planting as a mode of ambulation — it’s usually something we can fix.
That’s what tests are for, and engineers learn from their mistakes and oversights. Liberal capitalist democracy, however, isn’t great with do-overs. In the political realm, there’s a fear that any flexible or dynamic process would be subject to tyrannical abuse, and it’s better to just wait until the next election. When it comes to property, possession is nine-tenths of the law; good luck trying to get your money back due to unfairness. And then there’s our system’s ultimate exploit: regulatory capture. That’s like if the twitchy robot used its ill-gotten energy to take over the computer and make sure the error never got patched. What looked like a glitch becomes the system’s defining characteristic, which might help explain why we all walk around now by slamming our face against the floor."
NewYorkMag  MalcolmHarris  capitalism  technology  glitches  2018Faves 
11 days ago
Malcolm Harris, "How Much Is a Word Worth?"
"As any owner of a taxi medallion can tell you, reducing the value of a product or service can have serious repercussions — for the workers themselves and for the wider society they help comprise. When it comes to freelance writing, I fear that low prices have already begun to cost us. Talented writers walk away from the industry, plutocrats are free to pick stories and choose writers even when they don’t own the outlets, and the quality of the work declines. All of that looks to worsen over time."
MalcolmHarris  writing  pay  Medium  2018Faves  freelance  publishing 
11 days ago
Caity Weaver, "I Also Went to the Royal Wedding"
"Everyone was desperate to see Ms. Markle. They did not hunger to see her; it is possible to live for weeks without solid food. These people needed Ms. Markle as they needed oxygen. They needed to witness firsthand the color of the dress she had chosen to wear for the afternoon of her last day as a divorced single woman. They needed to watch the fading light glint off her shiny, healthy hair — and would it be up or down? They needed, each, to scream their personal well-wishes at her, or maybe just to feel her name rip out of their throats — MEGHAN! — so it could never be said that they’d had the opportunity to try to command her attention and failed to."
CaityWeaver  NYT  2018Faves  RoyalWedding  England  travel 
11 days ago
Rob Horning, "The Price of Shares"
Twenty years after Relational Aesthetics, the “social” has moved to the smartphone screen — and Nicolas Bourriaud’s vision of a museum of encounters is dead. The museum of the future is emerging in Indianapolis; dumbing down may soon come to be a fiduciary duty
art  museums  EvenMagazine  RobHorning  SocialMedia  2018Faves 
11 days ago
Sarah Rich, "Imagining a Better Boyhood"
"As boys grow up, the process of becoming men encourages them to shed the sort of intimate connections and emotional intelligence that add meaning to life."
parenting  gender  masculinity  TheAtlantic  SarahRich  2018Faves 
11 days ago
Jenny Odell, "How to Do Nothing"
"What I would do there is nothing. I’d just sit there. And although I felt a bit guilty about how incongruous it seemed — beautiful garden versus terrifying world — it really did feel necessary, like a survival tactic."

"This love of one’s subject is something I’m provisionally calling the observational eros. The observational eros is an emotional fascination with one’s subject that is so strong it overpowers the desire to make anything new."

"That brings me to what these few projects I’ve mentioned have in common. The artist creates a structure — whether that’s a map or a cordoned-off area — that holds open a contemplative space against the pressures of habit and familiarity that constantly threaten to close it."

"There are certain people who would like to use technology to escape their own mortality. [...] To such people I propose that a far more parsimonious way to live forever is to exit the trajectory of productive time, so that a single moment might open almost to infinity. As John Muir once said, 'Longest is the life that contains the largest amount of time-effacing enjoyment.'"
2018Faves  JennyOdell  Medium  nothing  productivity  resistance  work 
11 days ago
Gerald Murnane, Border Districts (FSG)
“The mind is a place best viewed from borderlands . . .”

Border Districts, purportedly the Australian master Gerald Murnane’s final work of fiction, is a hypnotic, precise, and self-lacerating “report” on a life led as an avid reader, fumbling lover, “student of mental imagery,” and devout believer—but a believer not in the commonplaces of religion, but rather in the luminescence of memory and its handmaiden, literature.

In Border Districts, a man moves from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is time, he thinks, to review the spoils of a lifetime of seeing, a lifetime of reading. Which sights, which people, which books, fictional characters, turns of phrase, and lines of verse will survive into the twilight? A dark-haired woman with a wistful expression? An ancestral house in the grasslands? The colors in translucent panes of glass, in marbles and goldfish and racing silks? Feeling an increasing urgency to put his mental landscape in order, the man sets to work cataloging this treasure, little knowing where his “report” will lead and what secrets will be brought to light.

Border Districts is a jewel of a farewell from one of the greatest living writers of English prose.
GeraldMurnane  BorderDistricts  novel  FSGBooks  LateLife  memory  2018Faves 
11 days ago
Christian Wiman, He Held Radical Light (FSG)
What is it we want when we can’t stop wanting? And how do we make that hunger productive and vital rather than corrosive and destructive? These are the questions that animate Christian Wiman as he explores the relationships between art and faith, death and fame, heaven and oblivion. Above all, He Held Radical Light is a love letter to poetry, filled with moving, surprising, and sometimes funny encounters with the poets Wiman has known. Seamus Heaney opens a suddenly intimate conversation about faith; Mary Oliver puts half of a dead pigeon in her pocket; A. R. Ammons stands up in front of an audience and refuses to read. He Held Radical Light is as urgent and intense as it is lively and entertaining—a sharp sequel to Wiman’s earlier memoir, My Bright Abyss.
2018Faves  poetry  criticism  biography  ChristianWiman  FSGBooks 
11 days ago
Andrew Martin, Early Work (FSG)
For young writers of a certain temperament—if they haven’t had such notions beaten out of them by MFA programs and the Internet—the delusion persists that great writing must be sought in what W. B. Yeats once called the “foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” That’s where Peter Cunningham has been looking for inspiration for his novel—that is, when he isn’t teaching at the local women’s prison, walking his dog, getting high, and wondering whether it’s time to tie the knot with his college girlfriend, a medical student whose night shifts have become a standing rebuke to his own lack of direction. When Peter meets Leslie, a sexual adventurer taking a break from her fiancé, he gets a glimpse of what he wishes and imagines himself to be: a writer of talent and nerve. Her rag-and-bone shop may be as squalid as his own, but at least she knows her way around the shelves. Over the course of a Virginia summer, their charged, increasingly intimate friendship opens the door to difficult questions about love and literary ambition.

With a keen irony reminiscent of Sam Lipsyte or Lorrie Moore, and a romantic streak as wide as Roberto Bolaño’s, Andrew Martin’s Early Work marks the debut of a writer as funny and attentive as any novelist of his generation
2018Faves  AndrewMartin  EarlyWork  novel  FSGBooks  writing  ArtisticLife 
11 days ago
Craig Morgan Teicher, We Begin in Gladness (Graywolf Press)
“The staggering thing about a life’s work is it takes a lifetime to complete,” Craig Morgan Teicher writes in these luminous essays. We Begin in Gladness considers how poets start out, how they learn to hear themselves, and how some offer us that rare, glittering thing: lasting work. Teicher traces the poetic development of the works of Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery, Louise Glück, and Francine J. Harris, among others, to illuminate the paths they forged—by dramatic breakthroughs or by slow increments, and always by perseverance. We Begin in Gladness is indispensable for readers curious about the artistic life and for writers wondering how they might light out—or even scale the peak of the mountain.
CraigMorganTeicher  GraywolfPress  2018Faves  poetry  criticism  ArtisticLife 
11 days ago
Inger Christensen, "Does Art Originate From the Same Necessity That Gives Rise to Beehives?"
"Does art originate from the same necessity that gives rise to beehives, the songs of larks, and the dances of cranes?"
art  writing  LitHub  IngerChristensen  2018Faves 
11 days ago
Cassie Robinson, "How do we help things to die?"
"Charlie Leadbetter and Laura Bunt wrote a report way back in 2012 called the Art of Exit. It was ahead of its time. It’s one of the only pieces of work I know that directly deals with how to decommission things that are no longer working. Their work was focussed entirely on the public sector. I’m interested in what this looks like for the social sector and civil society. They were looking at how you could do this creatively. I’m interested in how you can do it ethically and intelligently — with compassion."
Organizations  transition  Medium  CassieRobinson 
11 days ago
Rob Horning, "Beacon Moved Under Moon and Star"
"When a company floods a space with its scooters, it is blanketing its network and its algorithms over the existing rules that once governed how that space was used and maybe even shared. Each scooter is a fence post in an act of enclosure, as is every Airbnb listing and Uber car (see Alex Rosenblat’s Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work, reviewed here). But it is not so much that a common is being privatized but that a whole map is being redrawn. A different understanding of space is being charted, of territory as a product of networked connections, conditional links, and spontaneous arenas for competition rather than a matter of geographic contiguity. Space is not a fixed array but is reconceived in terms of availability, with rights to it redistributed in terms of who can sell what when."
2019Faves  RobHorning  Newsletters 
11 days ago
Is Line Editing a Lost Art?
"The duality arises from the word: line. Line suggests a sense both mercurial and typographic. A line is poetic and literal; where the hope of intention meets the reality of the page. Line editing is the ultimate union of writer and editor; the line-edit means we cede control, and the pen, to someone else. It is a gift of trust, and it must go both ways."
LitHub  editing 
13 days ago
Oh God, It's Raining Newsletters
"Ownership in email in the same way we own a paperback: We recognize that we (largely) control the email subscriber lists, they are portable, they are not governed by unknowable algorithmic timelines.3 And this isn’t ownership yoked to a company or piece of software operating on quarterly horizon, or even multi-year horizon, but rather to a half-century horizon. Email is a (the only?) networked publishing technology with both widespread, near universal adoption,4 and history. It is, as they say, proven."
newsletters  CraigMod  2019Faves  publishing 
14 days ago
Timothy Morton on libraries
As well as that, libraries are great big piles of shit that nobody looks at, and the better the library is, the more of that stuff there is, that nobody even saw, maybe not even the author. Like, Salman Rushdie might not even know what's in that Emory collection of some of his stuff. So, a collection of stuff in a library would be a great image of "withdrawn objects."

Because the whole point is, why do I just want a library for stuff that I know is there? If I'm doing a Ph.D, I want a library with stuff in it that I don't know is there! I actually want stuff, if I'm doing a Ph.D, that nobody knows is there. Maybe not even the collection knows it's there! Sure, yeah, the librarians are highly trained, and they know how to get me the box, but when I open the box, maybe there's some object in it -- a book, a piece of wood, some kind of shell of a crab, I don't know what it is -- nobody's ever seen it. Maybe the author didn't even know.

So the whole point of a library is to be a collection of objects that have no point whatsoever. This is why I think it's really beyond capitalism; there's no reason, there's no utilitarian, self-interest, rational-choice reason to have that great big pile of stuff that nobody looks at. But that's exactly why libraries are good -- not because they contain a treasure trove of stuff you can see, but because they contain a treasure trove of stuff, period, that maybe nobody sees, for a million years.

(From Robin Sloan's newsletter)
libraries  TimothyMorton  RobinSloan  from notes
23 days ago
The City and the Shadow | Frieze
"A poet and playwright who had been among the intellectuals calling for a second iteration of the exhibition, Selvatico convened a commission in 1893 to oversee what swiftly became an international affair, with the committee sending formal invitations to selected artists from across Europe and the US. Featuring a range of painters and sculptors from Italy and 14 other countries, Selvatico’s official announcement declared that the biennale would ‘affirm [Venice’s] faith in the moral energies of our nation, and […] all the noblest activities of the modern spirit, without any distinction of nationality’."

"An astonishing 224,327 visitors attended the first biennale: a figure that many 20th-century iterations struggled to equal, particularly during the 1960s."

"By 1905, it had nearly doubled from the first exhibition’s 516, overwhelming the original buildings. The solution, which borrowed from the example of the ‘Rue des Nations’ at Paris’s 1900 Exposition Universelle, was the biennale’s now-famous model of permanent national pavilions. The Belgian pavilion appeared in the Giardini in 1907, and other countries soon followed suit. Then, as now, the pavilions were totally independent of the biennale’s own administration, functioning in much the same way as actual embassies: each an island of its own country abroad. By the 1914 biennale, all of the great nation states were represented"

1948: "This was a revivified biennale, announcing its intention to reflect the latest trends in contemporary and avant-garde work, while making up for lost time on those it had previously overlooked."

since 1976 the committee has set an overarching theme; since the 1980s the nomination of a new artistic director for each biennale

29 permanent national pavilions; 2017 biennale 120 artists from 51 countries
VB  history 
5 weeks ago
The Room of Requirement
Libraries aren't just for books. They're often spaces that transform into what you need them to be: a classroom, a cyber café, a place to find answers, a quiet spot to be alone. It's actually kind of magical. This week, we have stories of people who roam the stacks and find unexpected things that just happen to be exactly what they required. 
FrontierDispatch  ThisAmericanLife  radio  podcast  libraries  RichardBrautigan  homelessness  immigration 
5 weeks ago
Can Robert Bergman Teach Us to See Again?
Bergman’s portraits are defined by their simultaneous articulation of such seemingly contradictory meanings. In them, woundedness and beauty cannot be opposed, nor can the impulse to control be separated from a fear of being subject to the gaze of the Other. That gaze is not reducible to something purely retinal; it does not depend upon an encounter between two sets of eyes, but rather on the disruptive intensity of the presence of someone other than ourselves, and on their capacity to make themselves irreducibly and unmanageably present to us through these radiant images, and thus to disorder our sovereign centrality within the world.
Aperture  StanleyWolukauWanambwa  RobertBergman  portraiture  photography  AmericanArt 
5 weeks ago
In the Shadow of the CMS
How content-management systems will shape the future of media businesses big and small.
TheNation  KyleChayka  CMS  publishing  media  websites  newspapers  licensing 
5 weeks ago
Twitter thread on home design & climate
"Before the International Style (modernism) in architecture, our ancestors knew how to adapt the room heights according to the climate, achieving maximum effect (comfort) for the least effort (energy). Today we trust in the grid and so build 8-9 ft rooms from Bermuda to Reykjavik."
architecture  ClimateChange  Twitter  adaptation 
5 weeks ago
On the Excavation of My Desk
As for my faith in mess and creativity, vision as an expression of disarray, release from conventionality, well … what I discovered is that there’s not much difference between excavation and writing. Or at least I want to imagine that’s the case.
5 weeks ago
Dust Off Your Dropbox Files and Sell Them At This Digital Flea Market | | Eye on Design
True to its tagline, the products on Folder Market really do come from Dropbox. Anyone can connect their Dropbox account to the website, upload a folder of digital files, and assign it a value. The question is, will anyone buy what you’re selling?
Frontier  commerce  Dropbox  folders 
5 weeks ago
Wolff Olins: Radical Everything
Over two years, in partnership with CITIZENME, we've spoken to 7,000 people in 5 markets about the role of business in the world today. Last year, in RADICAL EVERYONE, they told us they want fundamental change, and they want businesses to drive it ‐ ahead of governments, charities and activists.

This year, that feeling continues. Only 6% of people think businesses should carry on with existing methods. Everyone else, regardless of age, seniority and geography, believes they should challenge convention and create new ways of doing things.

But how, exactly, can businesses do this? Our respondents believe they should focus their attention around four areas, and we've sourced examples of them in action from practitioners across the Omnicom network, all over the world. Read on to find out more.
WolffOlins  design  purpose  Frontier 
5 weeks ago
“I Don’t Think Character Exists Anymore”: A Conversation with Rachel Cusk
The idea that he, or that anyone, could find a different way of living, by a different way of inquiring and listening—that’s an idea that I have, of not necessarily what my book could do, but what any book could do.
RachelCusk  WriterInterview  NewYorker  fiction  FictionWriting  character 
6 weeks ago
Sally Rooney Gets in Your Head
In the hierarchy of Rooney’s literary identities, millennial is greater than Irish, but post-recessionary may be greater than millennial. Her writing emanates anxiety about capitalism, which purports to be a meritocratic system but actually functions as a diabolical inversion of communism, redistributing wealth and privilege at the whim of the people who already have those things, “for whom surprise birthday parties are thrown and cushy jobs are procured out of nowhere.” If Rooney’s characters aren’t especially ambitious, if they have low stress thresholds, if they prefer foreign vacations to office jobs, forgive them. The game was over by the time they came of age.
profile  NewYorker  LaurenCollins  SallyRooney  fiction  Ireland 
6 weeks ago
Jami Attenberg, "A bigger life in a smaller city," Curbed
“But that is what I left behind when I left New York, more than anything else. Eighteen years of building friendships. Those people are irreplaceable in my heart.”

"When you move to a new city when you’re young, you can easily meet people. Go to a bar and sit there for a few hours—you’ll make two new best friends (and exes) in a night. All the friends I made when I first moved to New York City in the late ’90s were the ones I did drugs with. I am not knocking the friendships I made at 1 a.m. on the dance floor, but they were born out of different interests.

I don’t go out like that anymore. Moving to a smaller city was an opportunity to consider the next part of my life in a less frantic, more engaged way than I had in my youth. I was looking for a different kind of stability when I moved here. And it was less about making mistakes I could learn from and more about making choices I believed in."
NYC  Curbed  NewOrleans  neighbors  moving  2019Faves 
6 weeks ago
François-Xavier Fauvelle, Crossing the Sahara in the Fourteenth Century," Lapham's Quarterly
"Between mid-February and mid-April 1352, Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan traveler who delighted in exploring the whole of the Islamic world, crossed the Sahara. The Masufa, a tribe of the Sanhaja confederation, controlled the caravan. Let’s be clear: the leader of the caravan, the scouts, the camel drivers, the guards were all from this tribe. It was better to put one’s fate into their hands than to fall into their hands."
Sahara  MiddleAges  Africa  AfricanHistory  LaphamsQuarterly 
6 weeks ago
"Rachel Cusk: By the Book," The New York Times
"I read far less contemporary writing than most people I know. I’m not entirely sure why that is. There was a football match on television the other day, and the camera kept cutting to the players on the bench watching the players on the field: The tension and turbulence of their over-involvement was palpable, and I think when I encounter a writer in the thick of their artistic project I feel rather the same thing!"
RachelCusk  WriterInterview  NYT  ReadingRecommendations 
6 weeks ago
Hilton Als, "Maggie Nelson’s Many Selves," The New Yorker
It’s Nelson’s articulation of her many selves—the poet who writes prose; the memoirist who considers the truth specious; the essayist whose books amount to a kind of fairy tale, in which the protagonist goes from darkness to light, and then falls in love with a singular knight—that makes her readers feel hopeful. Her universe is “queer,” fluid, as is Harry’s (tattooed on the fingers of his left and right hands, respectively, are the words “flow” and “form”), but this sense of flux has little to do with the kind of sentimental hippiedom that emerged, say, in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of Maggie and Harry’s home town in the sixties. Nelson is just as critical of the politics of inclusion as of exclusion. What you find in her writing, rather, is a certain ruefulness—an understanding that life is a crapshoot that’s been rigged, but to whose advantage?
HiltonAls  NewYorker  MaggieNelson  profile  identity 
6 weeks ago
Austin Kleon, "John Holt, How Children Learn Children..."
JH: "All I am saying in this book can be summed up in two words—Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple—or more difficult. Difficult, because to trust children we must trust ourselves—and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted. And so we go on treating children as we ourselves were treated, calling this 'reality,' or saying bitterly, 'If I could put up with it, they can too.'"
JohnHolt  parenting  education  AustinKleion 
6 weeks ago
Against Everything | 4Columns
"The more essays I read anew or revisited in Against Everything, the more I wondered what this hampering distance consisted of, exactly. (It’s present also in essays on reality TV and on Greif’s slow, grudging appreciation of hip-hop: his “critique” hardly snags for more than a sentence or two on discrete examples.) The problem has to do I’d venture with the special version of critical seriousness that Greif has inherited from his public-intellectual precursors, a tone with which he has identified strongly but perhaps feels himself unable to match. Most of these pieces were written when the author was in his twenties and thirties, vexing himself as to “why so much around me seemed to be false, and contemptible.” His governing urge is toward a generalizing sociology of contemporary culture—there is a good deal here about “we” and “you,” and all involved seem to be American—but also a persistent anxiety about what it means to be an intellectual today, especially an intellectual who feels the approach of middle age. In a sense, the argumentative spine of Against Everything is a series of more or less explicit reflections on the category of experience, and whether it is ethical to want to opt out of experience, given the debased forms of it given us today."
BrianDillon  MarkGreif  BookReview  CulturalCriticism  4Columns 
6 weeks ago
Jennifer duBois, "MFA vs. CIA," Lapham’s Quarterly
"Writers and spies share an ability—and a willingness—to hide in plain sight, to deflect attention not only from the nature of their role but from the fact that they have any role at all. A spy obscures his relationship to events in order to affect them, just as a writer hovers anonymously beyond the page in order to exert her tyrannical, obsessive control. What is authorial distance, anyway, but a form of plausible deniability? This willingness to disappear is another difficult quality to gauge in normal terms—it seems to be simultaneously a form of delusional arrogance and its exact opposite. But writers and spies both understand its uses; in both cases, it is the vanishing act that enables the sorcery."
writing  spying  CIA  MFA  LaphamsQuarterly 
6 weeks ago
Go Pro: The Hyper-Professionalization of the Emerging Artist -ARTnews
As the buying and selling of art has become more commercialized, so too have the artists, starting as early as their schooling. M.F.A. programs, rather than serving as sites for experimentation and refining one’s style, have evolved into monotonous trade schools and debt-generating networking clubs. (A recent survey of the most influential M.F.A. programs calculated that their average tuition came to around $38,000 per year.) Here, prospective artists perfect the studio-visit sales pitch. This has residual effects. Galleries recruit those who can afford to pay more for the top-tier programs, not because of their skills but rather because they exemplify a pedigree that can be incorporated as part of a salable package. That many M.F.A. graduates complete their training with crippling debt adds to the allure of commercial success. Once artists join a gallery’s roster, which is sometimes also called a stable (how telling that these terms evoke professional sports or horse racing), the cycle continues as business pressures lead artists to self-censor and to conform to market trends. Galleries—and often collectors themselves—encourage artists to churn out more of what works in the market.
ContemporaryArt  DanielSPalmer  ArtNews  success  career  ArtisticLife  ArtistDefinitions 
6 weeks ago
Diana Saverin, "The Thoreau of the Suburbs," The Atlantic
When Annie Dillard wrote Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, she didn’t think anyone would want to read a memoir by a "Virginia housewife." So she left her domestic life out of the book—and turned her surroundings into a wilderness.
AnnieDillard  wilderness  NatureWriting  writing  DianaSaverin  TheAtlantic  gender 
6 weeks ago
Emily Fox Gordon, "At Sixty-Five," The American Scholar
But it’s not easy to judge success or failure, when these days the reference class itself is collapsing. So many women my age have fallen victim to disqualifying conditions; it’s hardly a consolation to congratulate myself on having escaped the ones I’ve so far escaped. After 60, nearly every blessing is hinged to a curse that has fallen on someone else. Counting those blessings takes the form of saying to myself: at least I don’t have varicose veins; at least I don’t have a bald spot; at least I don’t have a dowager’s hump. Surely there’s a diminishing utility in these kinds of comparisons, which extend seamlessly from minor gloating to deadly schadenfreude. (At least I haven’t lost my mind. At least I’m not alone.)
EmilyFoxGordon  PersonalEssay  TheAmericanScholar  aging  self-presentation 
6 weeks ago
"Choose Your Own Adventure: A Conversation With Jennifer Egan and George Saunders," The New York Times
George Saunders: Well, I never really have any desire to be a futurist — to predict, which I think is probably a fool’s errand. Mostly I just want to get into some exciting new language space. I might stumble on an intriguing kind of language and go: Who is talking this way, and why? And then I back-calculate a surrounding world that allows me to keep doing that voice. Sometimes it turns out to be a world that hasn’t existed yet.

Egan: It’s interesting that your entry point to fiction is language. Mine is almost always place: a sense of an atmosphere, a location. I tend to have that before I have the people or even the language. Who is talking from this place, or about this place, and why? And that ends up being the story. Time is always a component of place; you can’t really talk about where without talking about when.
JenniferEgan  NYT  GeorgeSaunders  fiction  writing  future  WriterInterview 
6 weeks ago
Karl Ove Knausgaard, "Vanishing Point," The New Yorker
"Perhaps the foremost characteristic of our age, what sets it apart from all others before it, is that the sheer volume of images of the world—not just the world of the past, but also, and perhaps especially, that of the present, the world of which we are a part—is so massive. Any event, anywhere on the planet—an earthquake, a plane crash, an act of terrorism—will be available for us to view only moments later, in on-the-scene images we see and consider as we go about our day-to-day lives, stuck in our tailbacks of traffic, as we make our coffee, visit the bathroom, wash our clothes, prepare our meals, set our tables. Usually, we keep these different levels of reality apart, or at least I do. Even the worst disasters are something I merely register, with varying degrees of horror, as if the world outside were a film, a play, a performance, of concern to me only in the most superficial manner. At the same time, and more profoundly, such images provide a release insofar as they allow me the freedom of never having to be entirely present in my actual surroundings, in the routine state of boredom they constantly threaten to dull me with, since one’s attention is continuously being directed toward something else, to what is happening right now: the occurrence, the event, the news item."
KarlOveKnausgaard  NewYorker  speech  images  CulturalCriticism  immigration  fiction  Germany 
6 weeks ago
“I think the dead are with us”: John Berger at 88
“I was, in a way, alone in the world,” he says as we settle down at the dining room table. “I don’t say that very pathetically. I just took it as a fact of life. But being like that means you listen to others, because you are seeking landmarks to orient yourself in relation to – and, unlike what most people think, storytelling does not begin with inventing, it begins with listening.”
JohnBerger  PhilipMaughan  NewStatesman  WriterInterview  profile  LiteraryCriticism 
6 weeks ago
Nico Muhly, "Thoughts on being well"
"She said to me afterwards, “Wow! You must feel ten feet tall.” I said thank you and smiled but I couldn’t shake that comment from my head. I thought about it a few months ago and realised that no, I really didn’t. It wasn’t the opposite — I didn’t feel “small,” but I felt empty, or invisible. This physical manifestation of the work wasn’t something I’d made; it was something that was happening around me to which I was a passive and silent witness."
NicoMuhly  music  MentalHealth  writing  creativity 
6 weeks ago
Mark Vanhoenacker, "In Flight," The New York Times
But with speed comes a transition, the gathering sense that the wheels matter less and the flight controls on the wings and the tail matter more. In the cockpit we sense the airplane’s speed-born life to come in the air, we feel clearly that long before we leave the ground we are already flying along it, and as the lights of the runway start to alternate red and white to indicate its approaching end, as the four rivers of power that equal nearly a quarter of a million pounds of thrust unfurl over the runway behind us, I lift the nose.

As if we are only pulling out of a driveway, I turn right, toward Tokyo.

We are underway.
2015Faves  MarkVanhoenacker  flight  pilots  AirTravel  NYT 
6 weeks ago
Alice Gregory, "Sarah Manguso’s 'Ongoingness,'" The New Yorker
In her memoir, Manguso makes the striking decision never to quote the diary itself. As she started to look through the old journals, she writes, she became convinced that it was impossible to pull the “best bits” from their context without distorting the sense of the whole: “I decided that the only way to represent the diary in this book would be either to include the entire thing untouched—which would have required an additional eight thousand pages—or to include none of it.” The diary, she observes, is the memoir’s “dark matter,” everywhere but invisible, and the book revolves around a center that is absent. “I envisioned a book without a single quote, a book about pure states of being,” she writes. “It sounded almost religious when I put it that way.”
SarahManguso  AliceGregory  NewYorker  bookreview  diaries  memoir  writing 
6 weeks ago
Leslie Jamison, "Enough About Me," The Atlantic
"Both books offer a vision of personal experience as something intellectually constructed rather than nakedly exposed; in their pages, revelation is a mode of self-scrutiny rather than a plea for absolution or attention."
LeslieJamison  BookReview  TheAtlantic  diaries  identity  self-presentation  2015Faves  SarahManguso  DavidShields 
6 weeks ago
"An Interview with James Graham," Point Line Projects
"It’s better to be an office that produces a few fantastic things than to be a relentless machine of production. When you’re surrounded by people who have ideas they want to get out, it’s important to support those ideas. But it’s also important for people to find the right scale for what the idea is. Often it’s one step smaller that helps clarify what’s really at stake."
GSAPP  publishing  architecture  editing  ColumbiaUniversity  JamesGraham  PointLineProjects 
6 weeks ago
Madelaine Lucas, "Her Private Space: On Brigid Hughes, Editor," Literary Hub
"It is Hughes’ interest in the broader context around an artist’s body of work—and of the textures of their life, and what insights might be gleaned by presenting a piece of fiction alongside the writer’s letters, photographs, or works in other mediums—that gives A Public Space its unique aesthetic: part literary archive, part treasure chest full of the papers and other ephemera that make up a creative life and often get left behind. When the publication was awarded the 2018 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize, the judges described it as “a cabinet of wonders,” and in her editorial direction, Hughes does seem to have something in common with an archivist, or a curator."
BrigidHughes  APublicSpace  LitHub  MadelaineLucas  editing  publishing  LiteraryJournals 
6 weeks ago
Matthew Buckley Smith, "The Uneasy Friendship of Poets," The Walrus
"Poetry, which requires formal speech, takes place in a different arena than friendship, which requires informal speech. For poets who are friends, this is not necessarily a contradiction. But for a friendship in poetry, certain difficulties emerge. The body of the friendship cannot live long outside an informal mode of speech, but the purpose of it, the poetry itself, cannot survive outside a formal one. The more the friendship succeeds in producing viable poetry, the less that poetry—the very catalyst and meaning of the friendship—truly belongs to its participants or can even be fully comprehended by them."
MatthewBuckleySmith  poetry  friendship  inspiration  revising  publishing 
6 weeks ago
Tyler Malone, "A Treasure Trove of Labyrinths," Lapham’s Quarterly
In the letters of Kenner and Davenport, as in those of artists and intellectuals throughout history, we meet first-draft people and are introduced to their first-draft ideas. But these shards of insight are surrounded by 'eloquent absences' and 'ghosts unfulfilled,' using Kenner’s phrasing: 'the accessible world a domain of ghosts and shadows and half-men.'”

"Maybe the pell-mell nature of the letter, its undetermined future, its contentedness with ignorance, its admission of being only one piece of a larger conversation, means it is, as a form, one of movement and malleability, of ambiguity and ambivalence."
LaphamsQuarterly  TylerMalone  correspondence  HughKenner  GuyDavenport  JohnKeats  literature 
6 weeks ago
Steve Edwards, "On the Experience of Entering a Bookstore in Your Forties (vs. Your Twenties)," Literary Hub
"Now when I wander the aisles, it’s not just some future self I imagine but a past one. There aren’t just books to read but books I’ve already read. Lives I’ve lived. Hopes abandoned. Dreams deferred. The bookstore is still a shrine but more and more what I find aren’t answers to questions but my own unwritten histories."
SteveEdwards  bookstores  reading  identity  LitHub 
6 weeks ago
How to write a book proposal
A guide to convincing publishers to spend their time and money on your book idea, written by Joanna Ebenstein and illustrated by Darren Shaddick.
TheCreativeIndependent  writing  publishing  BookProposals 
6 weeks ago
Woman Problems | Online Only | n+1
"My son didn’t sleep. So I didn’t sleep. I spent the first month, then two months, three, four, hoping that his sleep would coalesce, that things would start to group into lumps: an expected nap, an expected first night sleep, an expected waking. But this didn’t happen. He was wakeful, and I was awake. There was nothing wrong with him—he was big and growing fast, happy and beautiful—he just didn’t sleep. I have always been an anxious person. Even that word—anxiety—sounds like the mental equivalent of a vagina."
ClaireJarvis  n+1  parenting  PersonalEssay  gender  anxiety  MentalHealth 
6 weeks ago
Rachel Cusk, "The Age of Rudeness," The New York Times
"The social code remains unwritten, and it has always interested me how many problems this poses in the matter of ascertaining the truth. The truth often appears in the guise of a threat to the social code. It has this in common with rudeness. When people tell the truth, they can experience a feeling of release from pretense that is perhaps similar to the release of rudeness. It might follow that people can mistake truth for rudeness, and rudeness for truth. It may only be by examining the aftermath of each that it becomes possible to prove which was which."
RachelCusk  NYT  politeness  manners  SocialCode  CulturalCriticism 
6 weeks ago
Sarah Cowan, "Rhythmical Lines," The Paris Review
"Though the kernels of his ideas came from informal notebooks, the imposing virtuosity and opaqueness of Szpakowski’s final drawings are anything but spontaneous or random. His enigmatic process—how he could draw with such supreme evenhandedness, could make his designs so pristine and yet so intricate—is hinted at only in his few visible erasure marks. One drawing reveals two lines bordering the thick final one, a possible clue that Szpakowski may have gone over each design’s path three separate times."
Linework  TheParisReview  SarahCowan  ExhibitionReview  WacławSzpakowski  drawings 
6 weeks ago
Michael Robbins, "You Haven’t Texted Since Saturday," The Paris Review
You haven’t texted
since Saturday,
when I read Keith Waldrop’s
translation of Les Fleurs du mal
on a bench by whatever
that tower is on the hill
in Fort Greene Park
until you walked up
late as always and I do
mean always
MichaelRobbins  poetry  poem  TheParisReview 
6 weeks ago
Frank Chimero, "Plainness and Sweetness"
"Here is a reminder: the surest way forward is usually a plain approach done with close attention to detail. You can refine the normal into the sophisticated by pursuing clarity and consistency. Attentiveness turns the normal artful."
FrankChimero  design  writing  GraphicDesign  attention  details  KlimTypeFoundry  typography 
6 weeks ago
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