We looked up as we moved. A handful of stars watched us behind a ripped black canvas of clouds. It started to rain as we all got to our cars. The skies poured down globs of heavy rain that burst out like tiny bombs around us....more
Growing up, I understood my father through observation, and I suspect that he understood me much the same way. I liked to think our love was purer that way. Like two stray dogs who found each other and are blessed enough to just get along....more
In a poignant essay for Electric Literature, memoirist Lori Jakiela (Belief is it’s Own Kind of Truth, Maybe) looks back on the time she spent working the church kitchen on bingo nights, and what it taught her about life and writing:
Empathy, like writing, can be about kindness or it can be an aggressive act, both. To assume to know things about strangers without really knowing them is a kind of violence, I think. It’s using other people as stand-ins. It comes across as something selfless, when it can be just the opposite. I’ve done it both ways. I might be doing it both ways now.
I mean, it’s not super tough to diagnose what went wrong with R.A.W. as far as spiritual progress goes. To advance in this capacity, you have to shut off the part of your mind that’s been imprinted with the idea that western atheistic scientism is the only means of understanding reality.
Can’t wait for Sarah Manguso’s newest book, 300 Arguments? Over at Harper’s Magazine, you can read an essay excerpted from the book about brevity and aphorisms. Manguso writes:
Please don’t try to convince me that my romance with concision follows from the way we experience reality now, in interrupted and interruptive increments; or that if I like short literature I should be on Twitter; or that my taste is merely a symptom of a pathological inability to focus or commit; or that since I have a child I no longer have the time to write at length. I have always loved concision.
The Russian trio’s self-proclaimed “disturbing and depressive” apocalyptic electronic music has hit an incredible, eerie place with PHOENIXXX, one of their seven (!) releases from 2016. Members Lit Daw, Lit Eyne, and Lit Internet met via the web, beginning their collaboration over an encrypted messaging service to evade the censorship of the post-Soviet russian landscape that their music explores so masterfully. Of their subject matter, Lit Daw told VICE’s thump:
…for us, mostly we just express our own feelings, ‘cuz we are from Russia/Ukraine. Even strong political figures can’t fix what’s wrong here, so how we can do it thru music? We can only express anxious vibes—we see no future for Russia or Ukraine.
I now see fiction—my own and that of others—as work paused but never finished. I look at published novels as if they are photographs of flowing water, stilled. The image might have been quite different if the picture were taken one minute, an hour, a month later.
I’m an atheist who often carries crystal rosary beads and a relic of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. My grandparents, Mary and Gus, bought them both at the Vatican where they had traveled to see Pope Paul VI canonize Mother Seton. The rosary beads were a gift to me some months later when I made my first communion and thirty years later my grandmother would give me the relic, which I’ve had an odd fixation on since I first glanced at it as a seven-year-old. The relic is a bone fragment set on a linen bed encased in silver and glass. In my hand it reminds me that the whole enterprise is witchcraft and of the miracle of faith. It’s tempting to dismiss it all, all the God stuff, as silly—but lots of people so much smarter than me believe, so who am I to question their faith? A better use of my time is to see the questions—and the answers—through the power of these books. (more…)
Rupi Kaur’s poetry collection, Milk and Honey, has sold almost half a million copies since its publication by Andrews McMeel Publishing last year, according to Anisse Gross in Publishers Weekly. While that is the company’s best selling poetry collection, it isn’t the only one that’s sold well:
“We saw that there was this generation of young women, mostly in that early-20s age group, who were responding to this form of expression,” [President Kristy Melville] said, adding that the type of poetry that was resonating with readers is often associated with spoken-word poets or poets publishing online.
There’s nothing that the book world likes to debate more than the differences between literary fiction and commercial or genre fiction.
According to a new study published in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, readers of literary fiction are better able to understand emotions as compared with readers of popular genre fiction, Electric Literature reports.
Reading is one of the best ways to make the most of an unpleasant commute. Presumably with that in mind, Penguin Random House, in partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, launched a program aptly called, “Subway Reads.” Now, NYC commuters can read free e-books using the New York City subway’s wireless network, which covers almost all stations.
What are the possible causes of my symptoms or condition. What tests do you recommend for the heartache of loving both those boys later on–in different years, for different years– for thinking you’d loved with a love that was more than any love anybody had ever loved, for knowing now, thirty-five years later, maybe you were not wrong.
Leah Nielsen’s poems at Luna Luna are an intermeshing of medical text with medical lived experience, exploring how the two can talk across each other without really connecting. A familiar experience for anyone who has dealt with a difficult disease and unhelpful doctors.
Over at The Millions, Alex Lockwood shares what he learned from reading and readings during his first American book tour:
I packed The Wave in the Mind into my luggage as I set out from Britain for North America. Not least because I’d be visiting Portland, Ore., Le Guin’s home city; and not only because 35 percent minimum of my carry-on is reading material; but as an unknown British writer, I needed to holdfast to Le Guin’s promise for my 12-events-in-seven-cities first book tour: people come!
If you make a visual album and get nominated for crazy amounts of awards, you should probably honor your performers. Beyoncé gets this (or her people do, which is close enough to the same thing), once again proving that she stands apart as an unbelievable performer and public figure.
In case you didn’t catch the VMAs, Beyoncé made sure that her performers from Lemonade shared in the glory of the album’s eleven nominations. Cast members joined Beyoncé at the awards, including the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and Oscar Grant, three of whom starred in Lemonade’s song “Forward.” Classy as per usual, Queen Bey.
Where in the world did Cathy G. Johnson come from, and why isn’t Gorgeous a much longer book? That’s what I want to know. This book is so good it makes me hate Johnson a little bit for making it only sixty pages. I mean, she’s created plenty of other mini-comics to indulge in—Dear Amanda, Thank God, I Am in Love, and Lovers Only to name a few—but this book is different, and I want there to be more of it. (more…)
The French obsession with America popular culture takes form at the Pompidou Center in Paris with relics from the Beat Generation, including the famous 120-foot scroll of Kerouac’s On the Road, in a comprehensive exhibit. Frank Rose reports the details for the New York Times.