To honor Herman Melville for making the great white whale a metaphor for the inscrutable and unknowable, a prehistoric leviathan now bears his name. (Thanks, Kevin)
On the London Review of Books blog, Kaya Genç makes the case that the similarities between the successful Turkish author Elif Şafak’s work and Zadie Smith’s books is a fact of Turkey’s shifting cultural values rather than plagiarism: “Istanbul, the city Shafak returned to after writing her book in London and the setting for many of her earlier novels, resembles London more and more.” For a bit of context, here’s Lydia Kiesling’s rundown of the initial scandal.
“So much of recovery is a fight against exceptionalism—that necessary act of saying, What I’ve lived has been lived before, will be lived again, is nothing special but still holds meaning, still holds truth.” Chris Kraus interviews Leslie Jamison about recovery, memoir, and her forthcoming title, The Recovering, for The Paris Review. Pair with: our interview with Jamison.
University of Michigan researchers have revealed an incredible prototype technology – a braille tablet. Current designs only allow for one line of braille, but the new prototype displays full pages of text. Find out more and watch the project leader, Dr. Sile O’Modhrain, discuss the developments at BGR. Pair with our eReader cheat sheet.
Miranda July’s new project, It Chooses You, is a store based on her new book (published by McSweeney’s) of the same name. The store, at Partner’s and Spade in SoHo, is an exercise in buying belongings from New York-area Craigslist sellers and reselling the contents for the exact same price.
“Thinking about his films while watching an American film leads to a sobering realization: all the things that Abbas Kiarostami could not show in his films became the only things Hollywood filmmakers chose to show in theirs. What he showed in his films were the things abandoned by Hollywood: conversation, friendship, understanding, compassion, and empathy.” A. S. Hamrah discusses Abbas Kiarostami’s legacy at n+1.
The introduction Junot Díaz wrote for Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop has been adapted as a contribution to the ongoing conversation (of which The Millions has been a part) about writing programs at large and about MFA vs. NYC specifically. At issue is Díaz’s (rightful) assertion that an important topic – diversity – hasn’t been adequately addressed in evaluations of the supposed program and publishing dichotomy thus far. (Related: Sandra Cisneros’s “I Hate the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.”)