WORDS

Why Short Stories Are More Creative

The short story is on a huge upwards trajectory, yet attitudes persist that collections can’t be as successful as novels. To be fair, most of those prehistoric views emanate from London rather than Ireland or the US. After all, it was we Irish who exported the short story to the US in the first place, and it’s our biggest cultural legacy – next to the Irish bar, of course. – Irish Times

Strand Bookstore Owner: Why Landmarking The Strand Will Kill It

Nancy Bass Wyden: “My dad’s proudest moment came in 1996, when he finally saved up enough money to buy the building that had housed the store since he was a young man. He’d watched rents climb and he’d seen enough competitors go under to know that making that purchase was key to ensuring the Strand’s survival. This week, that security vanished. By designating the store a landmark, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission put the Strand in peril.” – New York Daily News

How The Internet Has Changed (Is Changing) Book Culture

“The personal touch sometimes takes some of the critical edge out of books conversation online. Like many outlets, Bustle is fazing out professional book reviews, and Electric Literature did away with its reviews a couple of years ago now. Instead, these websites are prioritizing personal essays from a diverse group of writers, and both of the aforementioned sites have a women-focused editorial strategy.” – Publishers Weekly

‘A Great Realist Novel’: Salman Rushdie On Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, 50 Years On

“It tells us that wars are hell, but we knew that already. It tells us that most human beings are not so bad, except for the ones who are, and that’s valuable information. It doesn’t tell us how to get to the planet Tralfamadore, but it does tell us how to communicate with its inhabitants. All we have to do is build something big, like the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China.”- The New Yorker

By The Numbers: Picture Books In 2018 Were Less Diverse

Male characters continue to dominate the most popular picture books: a child is 1.6 times more likely to read one with a male rather than a female lead, and seven times more likely to read a story that has a male villain in it than a female baddie. Male characters outnumbered female characters in more than half the books, while females outnumber males less than a fifth of the time. – The Guardian

Where Did The Story Of Aladdin And The Magic Lamp Come From? Not ‘The 1,001 Nights’, It Turns Out

In fact, writes Michael Dirda, the tale came from one Antoine Galland, an early-18th-century Orientalist who was the first Westerner to translate the actual Thousand and One Nights from the Arabic. He was working from a manuscript that had only 35 stories in it — and, when his translations became hits, he (not unlike Sheherazad herself) had to come up with more material to meet reader demand. – The Washington Post

Where Did The Story Of Aladdin And The Magic Lamp Come From? Not ‘The 1,001 Nights’, It Turns Out

In fact, writes Michael Dirda, the tale came from one Antoine Galland, an early-18th-century Orientalist who was the first Westerner to translate the actual Thousand and One Nights from the Arabic. He was working from a manuscript that had only 35 stories in it — and, when his translations became hits, he (not unlike Sheherazad herself) had to come up with more material to meet reader demand. – The Washington Post