Guardian.UK: Self-publishing is not revolutionary - it’s reactionary.
“Self-publishing is supposed to democratise publishing. For Nicholas Lovell, writing in the Bookseller, ‘publishers no longer have an ability to determine which books get published and which books don’t.’ In other words, democratisation is nothing more than the expansion of the publishing process from the few to the many.” There’s more, but there’s not necessarily better. Self-publishers need exemplary editors, and really good ones are thin on the ground.
KickStarter: Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.
Linked all over, but you’d have to be heartless not to give it just a little more promotion.
The Rumpus: Litany For My Mother’s Body.
What an exquisitely painful, heartfelt piece of writing. Don’t miss it. I’d call this the link of the week.
New Republic: Novels About Famous Writers’ Wives & Susan Scarf Merrell’s Shirley.
“What explains the proliferation of these novels? Part of the appeal lies in the fantasy of glamour behind the drudgery of writing. Told from the perspectives of wives and lovers, and freed from the need to adhere strictly to biographical specifics, these novels have the liberty to linger on the sexier aspects of their subjects’ lives. Less study, more bedroom.”
Italian Ways: Plants of life and death at the Aboca Museum.
[Note to photographers using HDR - your unskilled use of HDR is patently obvious with colorcast oversaturation of highlights and shadows (the blues here, esp.). There is a certain tonal contrast ‘mushiness’ and strange highlight colorcast that immediately tells everyone “I used Photomatix!”. Spend more time to learn your HDR program, or simply use shadow/highlight in LR.]
The Awl: Maya Angelou, 1928-2014.
RIP, good lady.
The Atlantic: World War I in Photos - Aerial Warfare.
Want some context? Read Falcons of France, by Nordhoff and Hall (the guys who wrote Mutiny on the Bounty). They both served with the Lafayette Escadrille. The book will rivet you all the way through, and now you have actual photos to fill it out visually.
Scrivere - A simplistic text editor.
Oooh, the name’s a bit too close to Scrivener, don’t you think?
NY Times: Please Turn to the Chapter on Obscurity …
HuffPo: J.R.R. Tolkien Reveals TRUE Meaning Of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ In Audio Recording.
Paris Review: Exploring Alexander Pope’s Grottoes.
PS Mag: Hazards Ahead - The Problem With Trigger Warnings.
“Making trauma central to one’s identity bodes poorly for survivors.” My emphasis. Boy howdy.
Farnam Street: The Stoic Way of Life.
“Yet one often gets the impression that these ancient moralists thought of man as if he were isolated from others. This is not so of the Stoic, for whom man is a social being and can perfect himself only within the community of man and not just the community of citizens either. The highest ideal of the Stoic way of life, therefore, was to live with others.”
Guardian.UK: Dinosaurs and other extinct creatures brought back to life – in pictures.
That’ll drive some young imaginations.
Guardian/Linda Grant: ‘I have killed my books’.
I cull infrequently. I’m still at odds with how to deal with my ebooks. They need a coating of dust and a spritz of leather-smell before they get really good.
The British Library/Romantics and Victorians: The Ball in the novels of Jane Austen.
Slate: How should editors edit? Two Slate editors debate.
“I am usually trying to get my writers to stop making simple things complicated.” Best part of the interview.
LaurenceKing.com: Five Minutes with Art Director and Design Writer Steven Heller.
“Smart. Witty. Edgy. Traditional. A ‘classic’ is anything that has one or all of these traits, but more importantly it’s designed to compliment the content and that content has to be something that provides the raw material of later history. Classic is a very fungible word. Just surviving could make something classic.”
The Nation: University Presses Under Fire.
IMHO, the mistake is expecting university presses to pay their way. There are many things that *need* to be published, that will never make more than two nickels to rub together. When they lay off their professional editing staff (people who know their narrow niches almost as well as the authors) and start using generalist freelancers, it’s the end of good scholarly works. UP’s are a mere shadow of their former glory, and this fact hurts us all, one way or another.
ArtDaily: Young people could be struggling to engage with the classics.
We’re so distant in chronological time, almost all context is gone. The details of prior centuries’ culture are no longer perpetuated. Downton Abbey doesn’t count; it’s not enough.
The Archaeology News Network: Romania’s Castle Dracula up for sale?
“The castle that inspired the setting of gothic horror story Dracula is open to bids from buyers - but a new owner would need to stump up an estimated £50 million to have any chance of a look-in.” Bloody hell.
Yahoo News: Rush Limbaugh wins children’s book award.
“Nominees are selected by the most objective method possible, sales, while the winners are supposedly picked by kids, who vote online. But executive director Robin Adelson of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, nonprofit organizations that co-founded the awards seven years ago, acknowledged Thursday that adults could easily vote and vote multiple times, a problem not uncommon for Internet competitions.” Internet voting! Why bother?
Wired: Awesomely Gross Medical Illustrations From the 19th Century.
Gross, yes, but also incredibly educational.
Mashable: Go Ahead, Order the Bacon. But Go Light on the Fruit, Author Says.
“Since 1980, when the USDA issued its guidelines, Americans’ fat consumption has fallen by 14% while our overall consumption of fat has dropped 5%. In those ensuing 34 years, U.S. obesity rates have skyrocketed. Are those two related? Teicholz, like science reporter Gary Taubes before her, makes a case that they are. Simply put, eating more carbohydrates makes us fatter.”
The Millions: The Literature of the Standing Desk.
“For writers, the standing desk has a long and prestigious lineage. It’s often seen as a workhorse of productivity and inspiration. Great novels and speeches, treaties and philosophical tracts, have all been written at the height of the sternum. Kierkegard, Dickens, Hemingway, Woolf, Nabokov, Churchill, and Thomas Jefferson all used them. ”