“We always try to create the worst opinion of everything there is in the United States, as a response to what they have always done with us. The only difference is that we do not write falsehoods about the United States. I told you that we emphasize the worst things, that we omit things that could be viewed as positive, but we do not invent any lies.” This excerpted interview with Fidel Castro over at The Paris Review is enlightening for its candor and frankness.
After some initial mystery leading up to publication, Michael Lewis’s new book Flash Boys is here and its subject is high-speed trading (sometimes called “high-frequency trading) that uses supercomputers and complex trading algorithms to attempt to generate profits through brute force. Lewis has become the most popular writer on Wall Street, giving readers a look behind closed doors. The Times has an excerpt of Flash Boys, while Bloomberg has more detail.
“Hoaxers make it seem like things are as bad as we fear they are, and they often, especially now, play on our fears rather than our wishes.” The Rumpus interviewed New Yorker Poetry Editor Kevin Young about the inspiration behind his new book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News. Pair with Young’s Year in Reading entry and our review of Bunk.
Have you ever wondered what The Great Gatsby would sound like? Designer Vladimir V. Kuchinov made The Generative Gatsby, a book that features typography based on famous 1920s jazz songs. “The following work is a visual experiment, a study of how music of this era, its rhythms, syncopations and patterns could alter prose to a new typographic frontiers keeping content legible as it could be,” he writes on his website.
Over at the Oyster Review Alexandra Edwards takes a literary tour of Florida, guided by “a few writers who chart Florida’s strange vacillation between the modern and the primordial,” including the likes of Elizabeth Bishop, Zora Neale Hurston and Ernest Hemingway. Our own Nick Moran has also profiled the literature of the Sunshine State, though his take was a little more “Floridapocalyptic.”
“Since the middle of the 20th century, the academy has conditioned us to stay grounded within texts and steer clear of writers’ biographies for insights while biographers are often timid about the kind of playful speculation that we can undertake here in Slate. Readers, myself included, tend to wonder about the sources for characters the likes of Kurtz, Sherlock Holmes, and Jay Gatsby—larger-than-life, mysterious, existing on a kind of separate plane—and in doing so we are continuing the quests of the narrators who tried first (Marlow, Watson, and Carraway).” Matthew Pearl asks: was Robert Louis Stevenson the blueprint for Conrad‘s Kurtz?