06.30.15

ISIS Is Brutal And Barbaric. But It Appeals To An Old Mythology

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“Tolkien’s mythology, unlike that of ISIS, is steadfastly un-apocalyptic. But many readers, it seems, thrill to the notion of finding a king to whom they can pledge their swords without scruple or hesitation. Indeed, it is sometimes claimed that the patently adolescent politics of Tolkien’s Middle Earth represent a true and valid model for real-world humans.”

The Curious Remaking Of David Foster Wallace

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“He has become a character, an icon, and in some circles a saint. A writer who courted contradiction and paradox, who could come on as a curmudgeon and a scold, who emerged from an avant-garde tradition and never retreated into conventional realism, he has been reduced to a wisdom-dispensing sage on the one hand and shorthand for the Writer As Tortured Soul on the other.”

Can A Theatre Critic Be A Good Playwright?

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“Does writing regularly about theatre make you a stronger playwright? I feel I’ve benefited from soaking up others’ work for years; I’m in a constant state of inspiration. (Sometimes I have to tell my own characters to pipe down so I can focus on the show.) My defense has always been that I was an artist—acting and directing Off-Off Broadway—before I became a critic. But there has to be some level of talent to nurture in the first place. If you have an ear for dialogue, an eye for structure, a feel for storytelling, reviewing can sharpen those gifts.”

Book Subscription Service Stops Offering Romance And Erotica Titles Because Its Readers Read Them Too Much

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“Scribd appears to have slightly underestimated just how much can be consumed at their all-you-can-eat literary buffet – especially by fans of romance. Because Scribd has to pay the authors of the books they make available on their site, it is now shelling out more money than it can make back in subscriptions, thanks to the voracious appetites of romance and erotica readers.”

Remembering Gunther Schuller

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“Although he coined the expression “third stream” in the late 1950s as a suitable epithet for his own amalgam of classical and jazz forms, his music was technically complex and demanding. Hence it never secured a wide and sympathetic audience in his lifetime.”