How Reading Has Shaped Who We Are

“Literature, since it emerged 4,000 years ago,” has “shaped the lives of most humans on planet Earth.” We are what we read. ‘The Written World’ makes this grand assertion on the basis of a set of theses. Storytelling is as human as breathing. When fabulation intersected with writing, stories were empowered to propagate themselves in society and around the world as civilization-forming “foundational texts.”

Could The Big Changes At ArtForum Finally Make It The Art Magazine We’ve Wanted All These Years?

“Change happens when strong voices are allowed to mature in public, when people take stands without preset or puritanical agendas, aren’t afraid of giving up hierarchies, being wrong, and are honest and earnest. Having a “hot faith in art” has always gotten us through times like these. I haven’t felt this way about this magazine in a long long time. As of today Artforum is no longer a lost cause or a dream anymore. It may be the real thing.”

Book Prizes Are Harming New Fiction, Warns Agent

“Cutting-edge British literary fiction risks being undermined by its growing reliance on a handful of powerful book prizes, a leading literary agent has warned. But the associated costs of entering the biggest awards mean independent publishers willing to take risks on ‘difficult’ works without obvious marketing potential are being shut out of contention.”

‘I Disowned My Native Language’: A Writer’s Confession

Yiyun Li, who writes only in English: “Yes, there is something unnatural, which I have refused to accept. Not the fact of writing in a second language – there are always Nabokov and Conrad as references, and many of my contemporaries as well … It’s the absoluteness of my abandonment of Chinese, undertaken with such determination that it is a kind of suicide.”

How To Get More People Into Movie Theatres? Start Screening TV Shows!

“Television companies are looking for ways to build hype for their new shows and make them stand out amid a glut of high-quality original programs. This year there could be as many as 500 scripted shows on TV and streaming services, compared with about 300 in 2015, according to estimates from the cable network FX. Theater owners, meanwhile, are eager to fill seats during slow periods including the autumn months, and hoping to diversify their businesses as the box office becomes increasingly unpredictable.”

Dividing Movie Types Between “Coastal Elites” And “Ordinary Americans” Is Tempting But Dangerous

Thoughts of “the bubble,” and of its rhetorical cousin “real America” kept coming up as I tried to organize my feelings about the year’s movies. The phrases are both booby traps—labels that, when applied to culture, seek to impose a divide between art that is oblivious and art that is aware, or between movies that are about and for honest plain-spoken Americans (current example: Patriots Day) and movies that are for “coastal elites” who think rural white dudes are scary as hell (I don’t know … Nocturnal Animals?

We’ve Been Completely Missing The Message Hidden In ‘Hamlet’, Says Scholar

Gary Taylor, editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare and professor at Florida State, thinks that the figure of Fortinbras, the Norwegian king and deus ex machina who takes over Denmark after Hamlet has killed what’s left of the Danish royal family, is meant to be a flattering allusion to James I coming from Scotland to take the English throne.