February 24, 2017 / From the Editor
Every Friday, we will publish a short list of a few articles that have caught …
October 14, 2016
Every Friday, we will publish a short list of a few articles that have caught our attention. This is what we’re reading this week:
A musing on Elena Ferrante, the digital era and the collapse of anonymity:
“It has become natural to think of the author as a particular individual who exists, inevitably, outside the text — so that if we want to know more about what we’re reading we should address that individual, or find out everything about his more or less banal life,” she said in a 2015 interview with The Paris Review. “Remove that individual from the public eye and … we discover that the text contains more than we imagine. It has taken possession of the person who writes. If we want to find that person, she’s right there, revealing a self that even she may not truly know. When one offers oneself to the public purely and simply through an act of writing — which is all that really counts — this anonymity turns into part of the story or the verse, part of the fiction.”
A reflection on virtual identities, internet addiction and the dissolution of the human being:
Truly being with another person means being experientially with them, picking up countless tiny signals from the eyes and voice and body language and context, and reacting, often unconsciously, to every nuance. These are our deepest social skills, which have been honed through the aeons. They are what make us distinctively human.
An unusual perspective on women’s liberation, volunteerism and the disintegration of civic engagement:
Women frequently organized to fight for rights they had been denied by men, and they often aspired to lead charitable organizations because they were prevented from pursuing other paths. But ironically, in winning fuller equality with men, some women lost a share of the meaning and purpose that comes from life outside of productive labor. This is not a story about women’s failures, or a polemic against their advancement. It’s a cautionary tale for men and women alike. The corner office isn’t always the pinnacle of leadership. Often, the most important leadership happens in local communities.
An address given by writer Lionel Shriver on the prevalence of cultural appropriation and its implications on fiction writing:
This same sensibility is coming to a bookstore near you. Because who is the appropriator par excellence, really? Who assumes other people’s voices, accents, patois, and distinctive idioms? Who literally puts words into the mouths of people different from themselves? Who dares to get inside the very heads of strangers, who has the chutzpah to project thoughts and feelings into the minds of others, who steals their very souls? Who is a professional kidnapper? Who swipes every sight, smell, sensation, or overheard conversation like a kid in a candy store, and sometimes take notes the better to purloin whole worlds? Who is the premier pickpocket of the arts?
The fiction writer, that’s who.
Elon Musk reveals his development plans for the Interplanetary Transport Mission that could transport humans to colonize Mars in as soon as ten years:
The spaceship will be capable of transporting at least 100 and perhaps as many as 200 people, Musk said. It will also likely feature movie theaters, lecture halls and a restaurant, giving the Red Planet pioneers a far different experience than that enjoyed by NASA’s Apollo astronauts, who were crammed into a tiny capsule on their way to the moon.
A brief history of the Bell Witch haunting:
As they approached the farm, the wagon stopped and the horses could not pull it from its position. After trying to get the wagon going for some time, Jackson exclaimed, “By the eternal, boys, it is the witch.” And then …a female voice was heard, saying “All right General, let the wagon move on, I will see you again to-night.”