Literature

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James Joyce’s Crayon Covered Manuscript Pages for Ulysses and Finnegans Wake

Even the most avid James Joyce fans surely have times when they open <i>Finnegans Wake</i> and wonder how on Earth Joyce wrote the thing. Painstakingly, it …

Literature

This app will send you tiny short stories via push notification

Serial Box is experimenting with super-short fiction with Microfiction Mondays<p>A couple years ago, startup publisher Serial Box launched with an aim to publish stories in a slightly different way: tell a longer story by breaking it up into manageable, shorter stories, written by a team of writers. …

Television (India)

Zora Neale Hurston’s story of the last Middle Passage survivor is in print, 90 years later

Barracoon tells the story of a man who survived Middle Passage, slavery, and the Jim Crow South.<p>At the beginning of <i>Barracoon</i>, the previously unpublished book by Zora Neale Hurston that has at last been released, Hurston turns her attention to the “innumerable books and papers that have been …

The striking, uncomfortable, poetic Yellow Negroes And Other Imaginary Creatures is a must-read comic  

The first story in <i>Yellow Negroes And Other Imaginary Creatures</i> (New York Review Comics) is titled “Love,” and in a few brief pages establishes the …

How an author trademarking the word “cocky” turned the romance novel industry inside out

“Some would call it trademark bullying.”<p>Gentle reader: Before we delve into the long tale that lies ahead — a tale of hubris, furious romance novelists, and intellectual property law — I ask you to take a moment to contemplate all of the “cocky” puns to which I, your humble reporter, have …

A Landslide of Classic Art Is About to Enter the Public Domain

For the first time in two decades, a huge number of books, films, and other works will escape U.S. copyright law.<p><i>The Great American Novel</i> enters the public domain on January 1, 2019—quite literally. Not the concept, but the book by William Carlos Williams. It will be joined by hundreds of thousands …

Humanities

List: Most-Liked Tweets of Famous Poets

<b>@FrostRob</b><br>st00pid horse got lost in the woods & now it’s snowing. kill me<b>@ee_nocaps</b><br>carrying bae’s <3 in my <3<b>@EmmyD</b><br>im nobody. ‘sup, nobodies in my</b> …

Ulysses turns 100 this month, and you should totally read it

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of James Joyce’s <i>Ulysses</i>, originally serialized in <i>The Little Review</i> between March 1918 …

The 17 Dirtiest Excerpts From James Joyce's Letters

"I am still in a fever-fit of animal desire." No kidding, dude.<p>H/t to Open Culture

Mueller’s Russia Indictment Is the Moment Grammar Scolds Have Been Waiting For

The FBI special counsel’s Friday indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three companies including a notorious online troll farm did a few …

Hillary Clinton

What Happens if You Package the Bible as a Novel Instead of a Textbook?

A new publishing approach could revolutionize how people process the Good Book.<p>I’ve owned eight or 10 Bibles over the course of my life, including a …

New Testament

There Is No Better Metaphor for Instagram’s Shallowness Than the People Posting “Backwards Books”

It’s long been said that books furnish a room, but the maxim ended there. I guess no one ever mentioned what direction those books should face when …

Social Media

Fire and Fury is out of stock everywhere. Blame a Depression-era publishing policy.

Publishing industry norms combined to lowball print runs.<p>Since its early release last Friday, Michael Wolff’s <i>Fire and Fury</i> has become the hottest book in the country. The book, which purports to reveal the toxic inner workings of the Trump White House, has flown off the shelves so quickly that …

Books

The CDC’s language policy isn’t just politics as usual. It’s Orwellian.

On December 15, the Washington Post reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was striking certain words from the budget reports it creates for the Trump administration, including <i>fetus</i>, <i>transgender</i>, and <i>diversity</i>. References to George Orwell’s <i>1984</i> flew thick and fast.<p>“It’s absurd …

Donald Trump

The Texas school ban on The Hate U Give.

<i>This article originally appeared in</i> <b>Vulture</b>.<p>In the age of social media, only the most foolish and digitally un-savvy censor would attempt to …

School Administration

The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection fights copyright creep.

The internet has made it easier than ever to access information that you once had to dig through stacks and archives to find. You don’t have to have …

Sonny Bono

The Internet Archive “Liberates” Books Published Between 1923 and 1941, and Will Put 10,000 Digitized Books Online

Here at Open Culture, we can never resist the chance to feature books free to read and download online. Books can become free in a number of …

Books

Historically, men translated the Odyssey. Here’s what happened when a woman took the job.

“Tell me about a complicated man.” So begins Emily Wilson’s new translation, which reveals how the ancient story is relevant today.<p>The<i>Odyssey</i> is about a man. It says so right at the beginning — in Robert Fagles’s 1996 translation, for example, the poem opens with the line, “Sing to me of the man, …

Literature

The genius of Sam Shepard, dead at 73, remembered.

Here’s how I discovered Sam Shepard:<p>Isaac Butler is a writer and theater director, most recently of <i>Real Enemies</i>, which premiered at the Brooklyn …

Times Square

List: 8 Male Authors to Read Before You Die

It is a little demoralizing that, in 2017, this sort of post still needs to be written; nevertheless, male authors continue to be underrepresented in …

Dear Dead Authors of Classic Literature: You’re Fired Because We’re Pivoting to Video

Dear Dead Authors of Classic Literature,While we value your contributions here at life as we know it, we have decided to change our platform to focus …

This woman has been slowly eating Infinite Jest for a year

<i>Infinite Jest</i>, David Foster Walace’s massive 1,079-page tome, is one of the most beloved books of this millennium, but it is also one that through …

Why the Edward Albee estate is resisting a black Virginia Woolf.

<i>This article originally appeared in</i> Vulture.<p>You have to give Edward Albee credit: 55 years after its Broadway debut, and less than a year after its …

Intellectual Property

Literary fiction is borrowing the tools of the science fiction genre.

The worst thing about the present, if you’re an artist, is that it never stands still long enough. Once, perhaps, it lingered, back in the days when …

Books

Amazon made a small change to the way it sells books. Publishers are terrified.

Very recently, Amazon made a small, barely noticeable tweak to the way it sells books. And that little tweak has publishers very, very worried.<p>The change has to do with what Amazon calls the “Buy Box.” That’s the little box on the right-hand side of Amazon product pages that lets you buy stuff …

eCommerce

Douglas Coupland’s Bit Rot shows what happens to a voice of a generation decades later.

Do you have what it takes to be the voice of a generation? The voice steps into a forum—literature, film, television—dominated by older artists and …

Maker Faire

Does using more semicolons make an author more pretentious?

In Kurt Vonnegut’s 2005 essay collection <i>A Man Without a Country,</i> he includes the following message on punctuation:<p><b>Here is a lesson in creative</b> …

Creative Writing

Walden has been adapted into a video game, and you can play it right now

Historical women’s writing is sharp, witty, and largely forgotten. Here are 4 places to rediscover it.

Writing by women has traditionally been ignored for two reasons.<p>When a woman writes the kind of piece that is celebrated by male critics as "serious literature," she is told it is the kind of writing to which women are least suited and that she should avoid it at all costs, and her writing is …

Literature