03.12.18

Who Is Junichiro Tanizaki? (Besides Being One Of Japan’s Most Important Novelists)

"Nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and even shortlisted the year before his death, Tanizaki is one of the more prominent figures in modern Japanese literature, and he is also well-known for his other endeavors, such as his translation of The Tale of Genji from old Japanese into the modern language. But on a more personal level, the question is not quite as strange as it might initially appear.

Dreams Aren’t Simply Dreams. They Change Both Over Our Lifetimes And Through History

Dreams differ not only across a single lifetime or a single night, they also differ dramatically across historical epochs. The dreams of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and indeed the dreams of most peoples of the ancient world, were viewed as direct portals into the spirit world and the realm of the ancestors and gods. Ancient peoples (and traditional peoples even today) often experienced dreams as the place to conduct a transaction with a spirit being who could significantly help or hinder you in your daily affairs.

Greeting Cards Are Cliches. Often Trite. So Why Do We Find Them Meaningful?

The strange thing is that these moments of love and loss are not the place where language finds its truest expression of meaning but are in fact the place where meaning itself starts to break down, where language as a whole reveals its incapacities. The cliché is a marker, or a stand-in, for something we aren’t sure how to express. Whether the message is pre-printed or one we resort to writing ourselves, clichés appear where words fail. In this way, greeting cards function as material testament to the lack of articulation at the heart of human experience, drawing attention to the gap between language and life.

In Search Of The Canadianness Of Saul Bellow

Saul Bellow never followed his Québec into the contemporary world. Before Alice Munro won in 2013, he was the only Nobel Prize recipient in literature to have been born in Canada. Yet besides a library in Lachine that bears his name, his historical presence is invisible. By contrast, another Jewish scion of Montréal, Leonard Cohen, is enjoying a yearlong retrospective at the Musée d’Art Contemporain, the entirety of whose galleries are devoted to works depicting or inspired by or tangentially related to that beautiful loser.

If The Jobs Go Away, What Is The Future Of Leisure?

Properly conceived, leisure could be the ultimate social safety net for an era of technologically driven uncertainty. It is potentially a space for bootstrapping new “careers,” which may or may not adhere to the traditional forms of self-employment or wage labor. It is also a space where one can move beyond the career-as-identity paradigm altogether, and contribute to one’s community through cultural and civic activities that are ignored in economic models because they are unremunerated.

3D-Printed Houses That Can Be Built In a Day

Using the Vulcan printer, ICON can print an entire home for $10,000 and plans to bring costs down to $4,000 per house. “It’s much cheaper than the typical American home." It’s capable of printing a home that’s 800 square feet, a significantly bigger structure than properties pushed by the tiny home movement, which top out at about 400 square feet. In contrast, the average New York apartment is about 866 square feet.

This 1932 Opera By An African-American Woman Was A Hit When It Premiered. Why Haven’t We Heard It Since?

"Composed by [Shirley] Graham, who had studied at Oberlin ... and would later marry W.E.B. Du Bois, the opera" - titled Tom-Tom - "tells the diaspora story of African-Americans, beginning in an unnamed West African village, traveling to a Southern plantation, and ending amid the Harlem Renaissance." Why did it disappear? Says scholar Lucy Caplan, who re-discovered the score and hopes to see it produced, "Opera companies also would have been hesitant to put on a work by a black female composer affiliated with the Communist Party."

Is There A Short Story Renaissance? Not Really

"[This] isn't to say 2017 wasn't a good year for the short story - it was, but the 'renaissance of the short story' story is an old one that is rolled out year after year. Does that matter? I think it does. By getting caught up in this recurring phantom narrative" - because the genre never really faded - "and dwelling on press release froth rather than the work being produced, we spurn the opportunity to talk about short stories in a way that might actually deepen how they are understood and engaged with by readers."

City Of Bordeaux Fires Museum Of Contemporary Art’s Chief Curator; French Art World Fights Back

"María Inés Rodríguez, the director of the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, was called into a town hall meeting last Tuesday, March 6, during which she was informed that her artistic program was 'too demanding' and she was being let go. ... But a group of more than 50 art world luminaries ... have now signed an open letter condemning Rodriguez's forthcoming dismissal."