February 2011

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Book Review

Book Review

Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century John B. Thompson, Polity 2010, 432 pages Writers, Take Heart By Eric Olsen There’s been a flurry of books and articles recently offering analyses and predictions about the “digital revolution” and its impact on publishing. Most of these seem to be written by folks from [...]

The Persistent Pull of Paper: Part 2

Marginalia Marginalized? By Eric Olsen In Part 1 of this series, I talked about my casual survey of what passengers were reading on a recent cross-country flight. I noted that I saw one e-reader among the folks who were actually reading and not sleeping or staring blankly at the seat in front of them, or [...]

Photo by Collin Olsen

The Persistent Pull of Paper: Part 1

By Eric Olsen On a recent cross-country flight, I made my way from one end of the cabin to the other, trying (discreetly) to see what folks were reading—if anything. In particular, I wanted to see how many travelers were reading electronic devices—Kindles and Nooks and iPads and all that. I wanted to see if all [...]

What It Means to Be a Writer Today:  Part 4

What It Means to Be a Writer Today: Part 4

Am I a Genius? By Don Wallace It’s got to be the least useful question a writer can ever ask him- or herself, and yet—all right—it’s one we’ve all asked ourselves, even while suspecting we already know the answer (if you have to ask . . .) and thus guaranteeing a day of feeling absolutely [...]

Photo by Claudia Liu

What’s Writ vs Lit Crits

By Geri Lipschultz Say I were to write a blog about how it feels to have to stop writing in order to prepare myself for an exam, a qualifying exam for my doctorate, at such a late date that by the time I will get it most people my age will be qualifying for early [...]

Can You Make “The Case for Paper?”

Li Miao Lovett thinks digital technologies are less reliable than good old print when it comes to preserving literature and other sources of knowledge. Listen to her recent KQED Radio perspective, then join the debate.

What’s the Best Way to Handle Rejection?

    MARVIN BELL — Handle it?! Don’t handle it! Subsume it. Write a lot, send out a lot, realize that editorial decisions are not personal, understand that editors are in the business of rejecting submissions and only rarely accepting something, and understand, too, that acceptance doesn’t mean what you think it means. If you [...]

Photo by Eric Olsen

What It Means to Be a Writer Today: Part 3

Past Present Future By Don Wallace In our last installment we left two beginning writers, one 23, the other 45, at the outer edge of a deep dark wood. We spent a lot of time explaining how the old literary ladders had been busted, that the good ol’ days of big advances and multiple markets [...]

Photo courtesy Pace Wildenstein Gallery

Rosalyn Drexler in Print and Paint

The Brooklyn Rail will reissue Rosalyn’s critically acclaimed 1972 novel, To Smithereens. Based on Ros’s own experiences as wrestler “Rosa Carlo, the Mexican Spitfire,” the novel inspired the 1980 film Below the Belt. Andy Warhol also produced a series of silkscreen paintings from a Polaroid he took of Ros in costume. The cover of the reissued [...]

More Bright Ideas

More Bright Ideas

By Eric Olsen In my post of  2/3/11, I wrote about an outfit in Silicon Valley called Jump Associates, which charges $200,000 a day (a DAY!!!) to teach companies how to think creatively. An article about the outfit in the New York Times Magazine (12/19/10) talks about the “new discipline” that Jump might have created. [...]