Aside from the independent distribution system they provide for albums and singles, Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and infinite other platforms offer musicians tools to create projects bigger than albums or singles. Though they’re often hard to process or commit to as a listener due to their length, that’s exactly the point: the possibilities of digital music distribution has enabled and unleashed a new wave of big dreamers, scaling upwards into the still-unfathomable new space in hopes of finding new forms and new …Read More
I finished reading Jane Austen’s major works (and unfinished novels) in ninth grade, with Mansfield Park, and thereby officially became a completist, although I later read more of her juvenilia and claimed that title more firmly. Being a completist, or a near-completist, was nothing new to me then, coming towards the end of the era of full-on immersive early-teen reading.
Clarice Lispector, whose American rollout continues this month with the publication of The Complete Stories (New Directions, trans. Katrina Dodson), has now been compared to Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Vladimir Nabokov, Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, Angela Carter…
Recently at the Flavorwire office we’ve become obsessed (in a skeptical and dubious way, of course) with the Myers-Briggs personality test, a pop-psych phenomenon which sorts us all into one of 16 categories, each with a unique combination of four letters. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Intuitive or sensing? Thinking or feeling? Perceiving or judging? Now take all your results and combine them, and you have your MBTI personality type! While we don’t advocate your running out and switching jobs based on this result, a personalized reading guide can’t hurt. So in the spirit of summer reading — and summer self-inquiry — we offer a novel that we think would suit each MBTI …Read More
British novelist Fay Weldon may have come up with a solution to the ever-simmering genre wars. Writers, she said, should simply write two versions of their books, one meaty and contemplative for print, and one racier for Kindle.
The British novelist Tom McCarthy — the author of C, Men in Space, and the increasingly revered Remainder — is known primarily in the United States for Zadie Smith’s essay “Two Paths for the Novel,” wherein she cites McCarthy’s work as a future for literary fiction. In this mode, many critics now single out McCarthy as the torchbearer for avant-gardism, or at least they point to him as our most serious-minded critic of literary realism. This position was hardened, too, after McCarthy wrote a brilliant takedown of realism (as an obvious contrivance) for London Review of Books last year.
Literary biography is a hugely significant, if often overlooked, enterprise. Today, much of what we know about the authors we admire is filtered through an ocean of online mini-biographies, nearly all of which are copies of copies. The original source of an enormous amount of this information is the literary biography, and in the case of most authors, there are precious few examples of such books. Even exceedingly famous authors are gifted only a handful of quality biographies. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a list of 50 essential literary …Read More
Twelve years ago, I inadvertently began a literary ritual that I’ve kept alive to this day. It was late in the first term of my freshman year of college, and I’d been assigned to lead a discussion on James Joyce’s “The Dead,” the devastating final story in his collection Dubliners. Never having read it, I was unaware of the symbolic importance of snow in the story. It happened to be the first snowfall of the year, and by the time I reached the book’s end, my romantic, teenaged soul swooned along with Gabriel’s, as he heard “the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” So, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I now re-read “The Dead” on the first snowfall of every year.
One of the things literature does better than almost any other medium is allow us to experience another person’s quality of mind, and sometimes even inhabit it. It follows, then, that every avid reader has a favorite literary character — whether they’re beloved for dastardly deeds, tough-girl antics, sex appeal, or a high snark quotient — and that there are many impossibly good ones out there. Click through to find 50 of the …Read More