Did you know the CIA helped fund the Iowa Writer’s Workshop in the 1960s to combat the Soviets?
This is all according to an article by Eric Bennett in the Chronicle of Higher Education: “How Iowa Flattened Literature.”
Bennett also argues that this push to use writing to push a cultural agenda led to the flattening of literature.
Luckily, Jason and I have strong opinions on this topic, so check out the podcast:
Race, law, and literature: they form part of who we are as Americans and readers. After I learned about Karla F.C. Holloway’s book, Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature (buy at Amazon or Duke UP), I wrote to ask her for an interview. She graciously agreed and this is the result.
Today, I’m proud to announce the first-ever Critical Margins Podcast episode!
This week, Jason Braun and I discuss literary elitism: whether it exists, what it might mean for writers and publishers, and how we perceive reading in the twenty-first century. Are fears or concerns about elitism or snobbery just insecurities or something else?
You can also read my thoughts on this topic in this post from last week.
You can listen to or download the podcast here (permalink here):
What are we talking about when we talk about video? When we say we watched it on video, is that correct usage, and how long have we been doing that?
These are the kinds of questions addressed by Michael Z. Newman in his book, Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium (buy at Columbia UP and Amazon). Video already has a history? Intrigued, I wrote to Mr. Newman and asked for an interview. He graciously agreed. This is the result.
It appears there is a sharp divide between readers of genre fiction and readers of literary fiction. That is, if we believe some recent articles floating around the blogosphere.
What is a “geopolitical novel?” When I read the title of Caren Irr’s book, Toward the Geopolitical Novel: U.S. Fiction in the Twenty-First Century (buy at Columbia UP or Amazon), I was immediately intrigued.
Once in a while, applications come along that don’t need to be sold. They sell themselves through their utility, design, and the narrative they embody. Seth Godin, author of All Marketers Are Liars, has said these are the only kinds of things we should be making.
Discussed in this review: Justifiable Conduct: Self-Vindication in Memoir by Erich Goode. Temple University Press, May 2013, 224 pages. Buy at Temple UP or Amazon.
Done something most people would consider deplorable or contemptible? No problem: write a memoir. “That some – or many – members of the society violate one or more of its norms, or those of its constituent collectivities, is hardly news. That people who do so blab at length about their transgressions, and on the scale that currently prevails, is a fairly recent development.” This blabbing is an understudied phenomenon, according to the sociologist Erich Goode. He examines the transgressive memoir in his new book, Justifiable Conduct: Self-Vindication in Memoir.
New stuff. New ideas. New concepts. New paradigms. Gotta love ‘em. I loved the idea of a history (so connected with the past) of the new. I wrote to Michael North to ask him for an interview about his book, Novelty: A History of the New (buy at U Chicago P or Amazon). He graciously agreed and this is the result.
An article about literary elitism, a look at “tasteful disdain,” and a romp through books that go beyond the page.
Every Friday, I look at some of my favorite articles I tweeted and shared on Google+ throughout the week.