Need a dose of new Irish poetry in your life? The Irish Times (naturally) has you covered. In the Saturday edition, John McAuliffe reviews two new and notable collections: The Boys of Bluehill by Eilean Ni Chuilleanain and The Days of Surprise by Paul Durcan.
Hooray, consumerism! Or, Happy Valentine's Day, rather. For all you literary saps out there, here are seven valentines of badly drawn authors that are sure to thaw any frozen hearts. Don't worry, there are plenty more badly drawn authors where those came from.
Matthew Salesses talks about moral fiction and how to address prejudice in writing at Electric Lit. A piece of his essay: "The writing of fiction cannot treat marginalized characters as vessels, cannot let the plot play out the racism of under-enlightened protagonists. Perhaps the ultimate conclusion is that one cannot write without prejudice unless one understands that one has prejudice." Pair with his recent essay at The Millions on plot and the inciting incident.
Implicit in a lot of the discussions about how negative a book reviewer can be is a question of utility: is a book review an act of public service or a work of art in itself? In the Times, James Parker and Anna Holmes debate the purpose of the review. Sample quote: “I’d argue that a majority of the reading public doesn’t necessarily benefit from the sorts of reviews for which artistry is the point.” You could also read our own Matt Seidel’s hypothetical worst review ever.
The first teaser trailer for The Counselor was released today. The film, which is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy, will star Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Penélope Cruz among others. As you bide your time before its November release date, treat yourself to a sneak peek of McCarthy's screenplay over here.
Flavorwire has compiled a list of the best literary criticism of the year, ranging from Rebecca Solnit on Lolita to Elena Ferrante on literary publicity. Also check out this year’s most notable Millions pieces, from our star-studded Year in Reading to a literary reader for Lent.