Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Stéphane Mallarmé: often cited, rarely read; Valeria Luiselli's teeth, Twitter fiction; another Holocaust book; write for 3am magazine: Cultural Digest for September 16

  • The new edition of The Quarterly Conversation is out and includes pieces on Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, frequently cited but rarely read author Stéphane Mallarmé, and a review of Mexican sensation, Valeria Luiselli's latest book with the fascinating title of The Story of My Teeth.
  • Mental Floss article on what they call the "latest trend": Twitter Fiction. Mmmmm I'm's out there, no question. But a trend? Nah. More like a flash in the pan, I'd say.
  • Adam Gopnik asks: Why do we keep studying the Holocaust? "Do we really need one more book on the Holocaust? The facts are in and clear...while so many other horrors demand our historical understanding and get so much less: how many new books have been published this year on the Belgian genocide in the Congo? Doesn't endlessly retelling the same story ... let us give ourselves the appearance of moral seriousness while immunizing us to the urgencies of actual moral seriousness? Piety is the opposite of compassion, which is better directed toward those who need it now than those who were denied it then."
  • The Millions asks: "Why do we care about literary awards?" The writer doesn't really explore the question in much detail though it is an important question and one we ask ourselves around our offices a lot. The answer: it's less about "literary merit" and more about marketing, communications and selling a book/writer/event to the public and the media. Literary quality is part of it, no question. But it's only one factor in deciding who to give an award to.
  • Want to write reviews on culture, literature, art, music? 3AM is looking for writers.

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