34 posts tagged with Culture and literature.
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on literature and elitism

These days, the idea of being a “good reader” or a “good critic” is very much out of fashion — not because we believe that such creatures do not exist, but because we all identify as both. The machine of consumerism is designed to encourage us all to believe that our preferences are significant and self-revealing; that a taste for Coke over Pepsi, or for KFC over McDonald’s, means something about us; that our tastes comprise, in sum, a kind of aggregate expression of our unique selfhood. We are led to believe that our brand loyalties are the result of a deep, essential affinity between the consumer and product — this soap is “you”; this bank is “yours” — and social networking affords us countless opportunities to publicise and justify these brand loyalties as partial explanations of “who we are”.
posted by latkes on Feb 12, 2014 - 68 comments

United States of America

Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 29, 2013 - 49 comments

The Organist is a podcast from KCRW and The Believer Magazine

The Organist is an arts and culture podcast [iTunes link] from The Believer Magazine and the Californian public radio station KCRW. Each episode is generally a mix of interviews, essays and music. Among the contributors so far have been Nick Offerman, Rachel Kushner, Jonathan Coulton and Matmos. Each podcast begins with a short dramatic monologue, for example episode three starts with Sarah Silverman talking about her pet owl, in a piece written by Alena Smith (Conan O'Brien has another dramatic monologue in the same episode). There have been six episodes so far and they are all worth a listen.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 7, 2013 - 8 comments

book tour

"I wondered why someone who hates words would take the trouble to arrange so many of them in a row." The Millions reviews Tao Lin's new novelty.
posted by four panels on Jun 5, 2013 - 106 comments

Thinking about thinking about thinking

The Essayification of Everything (SLNYT)
posted by shivohum on May 30, 2013 - 15 comments

The Frightening Hungarian Crackdown

"The new constitution 'recognizes the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood,' and art that is deemed blasphemous or 'anti-national' is now the target of a full-blown campaign of suppression."
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 10, 2013 - 137 comments

The Secret Lives of Readers

The Secret Lives of Readers Books reveal themselves. Whether they exist as print or pixels, they can be read and examined and made to spill their secrets. Readers are far more elusive. They leave traces—a note in the margin, a stain on the binding—but those hints of human handling tell us only so much. The experience of reading vanishes with the reader. How do we recover the reading experiences of the past? Lately scholars have stepped up the hunt for evidence of how people over time have interacted with books, newspapers, and other printed material.
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 29, 2012 - 25 comments

The Great American Novel -- will there ever be another?

The Great American Novel -- will there ever be another? ...even if a new Melville or Twain, Faulkner or Fitzgerald were to appear in our midst, his work would fail to achieve the critical traction and existential weight of those earlier masters. We lack the requisite community of readers, and the ambient shared cultural assumptions...The diffusion or dispersion of culture brings with it a diffusion of manners and erosion of shared moral assumptions. Whatever we think of that process—love it as a sign of social liberation or loathe it as a token of cultural breakdown—it has robbed the novel, and the novel’s audience, of a primary resource: an authoritative tradition to react against.
posted by shivohum on Feb 22, 2012 - 126 comments

om nom nom

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Culture in 10 Books
posted by glass origami robot on Sep 1, 2011 - 49 comments

The people of India love you deeply!

"Certainly, Uncle Sam, disowned by Pakistanis, has found innumerable devoted nephews in India. Indian and Pakistani perceptions of America now wildly diverge: A 2005 Pew poll conducted in 16 countries found the United States in the highest regard among Indians (71 percent having a favorable opinion) and nearly the lowest among Pakistanis (23 percent)." Why do India and Pakistan see America in such opposite ways?
posted by vidur on Aug 17, 2011 - 45 comments

So Your Friends Don't Make Fun of You

The AV Club feature Gateways to Geekery is all about the best places to start on some of pop culture's most complex and nuanced artists and genres, including Randy Newman, The Who, Monty Python, steampunk, Sherlock Holmes and 90 others. [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on May 25, 2011 - 41 comments

"Know then thyself, presume not God to scan/The proper blog post of Mankind is Man."

50 Best Humanities Blogs
posted by anotherpanacea on Jan 30, 2011 - 14 comments

All in the details

Surface Detail is the latest science fiction novel by the Scottish writer Iain M. Banks to be set in his Culture universe.... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 14, 2010 - 66 comments

The Interview

The Interview is a programme from the BBC World Service. Each episode is a 30 minute in-depth question and answer session between the journalist – usually Carrie Gracie or Owen Bennett-Jones – and the subject. Over the past few years it has covered everything from literature – for example, Martin Amis and Seamus Heaney – to the nexus between neurology and music, with Oliver Sacks, and what it's like to be a sprinter with no feet. [more inside]
posted by Len on Feb 7, 2010 - 7 comments

your favorite literary writer sucks

This is what the cultural elite wants us to believe: if our writers don't make sense, or bore us to tears, that can only mean that we aren't worthy of them. [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Nov 26, 2009 - 143 comments

Culture & Barbarism

Metaphysics in a Time of Terrorism. (via)
posted by Dumsnill on Apr 17, 2009 - 39 comments

flacid

"There is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world... not the United States," he said. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature... That ignorance is restraining."

Nobel literature prize judge Horace Engdahl comes down hard against Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, and other crazy American shit that just can't cross the waters.
posted by plexi on Oct 6, 2008 - 124 comments

Condensed: 'Care, constraint, concise, cut, character, clarity, and charity.'

How to Write With Style.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 13, 2008 - 36 comments

"social problems of a somewhat mixed-up but dynamic, even brash, modernizing community"

From the Bookstalls of a Nigerian Market. Onitsha Market Literature consists of stories, plays, advice and moral discourses published primarily in the 1960s by local presses in the lively market town of Onitsha [in then-newly-independent Nigeria]... In the fresh and vigorous genre of Onitsha Market Literature, the commoner wrote pulp fiction and didactic handbooks for those who perused the bookstalls of Onitsha Market, one of Africa’s largest trading centers. Examples: How To Write And Reply Letters For Marriage, Engagement Letters, Love Letters And How To Know A Girl To Marry, Learn To Speak 360 Interesting Proverbs And Know Your True Brother, Struggle For Money [All full-text links are in pdf format, and some are quite large]. With links to additional resources.
posted by amyms on Jun 4, 2008 - 25 comments

The Modernist Journals Project

The Modernist Journals Project collects literary arts journals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including both issues of Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist manifesto Blast, the first ten years of Poetry magazine (with Amy Lowell, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton and foreign correspondent Ezra Pound), topical essays, the Virginia Woolf-inspired December 1910 Project, the amazing proto-dada zine Le Petit Journal des Réfusées and a searchable biographical database of famous and not so famous artists and writers.
posted by mediareport on Apr 28, 2008 - 10 comments

Grandmaster Gregory in da hizzouse

The Pardoner's Tale - adapted to rap by Baba Brinkman, who has been rapping Chaucer tales for a few years now. He's also released The Rap Canterbury Tales, a book that presents raps side by side with Chaucer's original Middle English. Both video and book are illustrated graffiti-style by his brother Erik. Discussed in a previous post by fatllama on hip hop classics.
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 12, 2007 - 18 comments

the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon; the moon is beautiful

What Good Are the Arts? asks John Carey’s recent book of the same name. The New Criterion think Carey’s thesis is informed by cynical political motives rather than earnest convictions, and accuses Carey of dabbling in the risky art of aesthetic relativism: Obviously, art is ultimately about “the search for truth” (a lesson we’d do well to remember before society falls apart). But as Carey and others point out to the contrary, the Third Reich was all about art—and yet, art under the Third Reich had precious little to do with “searching for truth.” So just what good are the arts? Here’s what a few others have to say on the subject.
posted by saulgoodman on Oct 4, 2006 - 45 comments

"We, who are elders, will instruct you in their true meaning..."

Shakespeare in the Bush: in which an anthropologist tells the story of Hamlet to a group of Tiv, and ideas about the universal nature of literature get the worst of it.
posted by a louis wain cat on Jun 11, 2006 - 27 comments

All your better deeds / Shall be in water writ.

Our story begins with a flood and the theme continues throughout our literature. On this wet, wet planet of beings who depend on water for survival, deluge is an undeniably universal experience. With the help of a much-maligned organization, the literature grows...
posted by mds35 on Sep 8, 2005 - 4 comments

Smart gateway to black lit

Zora Neale Hurston's Glossary of Harlem Slang. Profiles of black writers including Audre Lorde, Chester Himes, The Last Poets and Linton Kwesi Johnson. The complete list of Coretta Scott King children's book award winners. Lots of informative off-site links. A lively forum filled with juicy gossip, among other pleasures. Just a few things you'll find at the African American Literature Book Club.
posted by mediareport on Jul 27, 2005 - 11 comments

Good, fresh writing!

The best web mag you've never heard of. This is a truly GREAT collection of essays, written by a bunch of famous and not-so-famous folks. Updated twice a month. You will not get any work done today. One of those "bookmark immediately" sites!
posted by braun_richard on Nov 30, 2004 - 9 comments

"Are these the words of the all powerful boards and syndicates of the Earth?"

William S. Burroughs demonstrates his cut-up method in this excellent film sequence.
(.swf, 10mb, related discussion)
posted by moonbird on Sep 27, 2004 - 19 comments

Faux-etry?

Foetry: American Poetry Watchdog "Exposing the fraudulent contests. Tracking the sycophants. Naming names." But they, er, remain anonymous themselves. The site went active a few weeks ago, complete with forum, and has caused a bit of a stir [find "foetry"] in the poet blogger world.
posted by mediareport on Apr 29, 2004 - 6 comments

"I am of Ireland, and the Holy Land of Ireland..."

CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts, "brings the wealth of Irish literary and historical culture to the Internet, for the use and benefit of everyone worldwide. It has a searchable online database consisting of contemporary and historical texts from many areas, including literature and the other arts." It has texts in Irish, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, and English, ranging from the annals of the fifth century to the Agreement reached in the Multi-Party Negotiations in Northern Ireland of 1998. "Great my glory/ I that bore Cuchulainn the valiant..."
posted by languagehat on Apr 11, 2004 - 5 comments

A Comedy of Justice

James Branch Cabell's Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice. One of the many treasures at Documenting the American South. Mike Keith's James Branch Cabell Page (Mike Keith has also performed and recorded an obscure symphony based on Jurgen). Owlcroft's overview of Cabell's work.
posted by wobh on Jan 4, 2004 - 4 comments

What's American About American Poetry?

What's American about American poetry?
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2003 - 69 comments

Cultural Entomology

Cultural Entomology. The role of insects in human cultures from every continent :- religion, art, literature, entertainment, and as pets.
Related :- insect drawings used as teaching aids; insects as food.
posted by plep on Apr 8, 2003 - 15 comments

Police Boycott "Harry Potter"

Police Boycott "Harry Potter" Police in Penryn, PA (near Harrisburg) have refused to direct traffic at a YMCA event. The police claim that because the YMCA reads "Harry Potter" to local children that they are promoting witchcraft. Fire Police Capt. Robert Fichthorn says "I don't feel right taking our children's minds and teaching them (witchcraft). As long as we don't stand up, it won't stop. It's unfortunate that this is the way it has to be."
posted by terrapin on Jan 24, 2002 - 47 comments

!Surréalisme!

!Surréalisme! Home of, among many wonders, The Surrealist Compliment Generator--May clinging breasts always come to your aid in the kitchen, was mine--and you can talk to ESMÉ, Cadaveric Enigma Engine Generator*, visit The Department of Objects and Delusions or the cool links page.--and I quote: USENET: For those willing to brave the endless morass of asses, alt.surrealism... Now there's a tagline for here embedded in that there sentence!
posted by y2karl on Jan 20, 2002 - 25 comments

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