“[G]uess what, spending hours of your spare time plowing through some dense and symbol-laden carnival of affectation and ambiguity only makes you resentful of the publishing industry that pushed the book on you in the first place.” Alex Balk at The Awl takes the piss out of recent studies that have suggested reading literary fiction might make us better people. Writer John Vaillant, whom we interviewed last year, might disagree.
Eliza Griswold’s got a great essay up on The Poetry Foundation’s website. It’s about poetry and reportage in Lampedusa, the largest island in the Italian Pelagie chain.
When Hanna Rosin published The End of Men this year, the book stirred up a lot of controversy (and a number of parodies, to boot). Now Stephanie Coontz, a historian, takes issue with Rosin’s premise — the “myth of male decline” — in the pages of The New York Times Book Review.
“I usually let the thunderous conclusions of love scenes pass without comment, with the exception of one tussle so histrionic that to deny its participants a [JOINT CLIMAXES] seemed downright petty.” Our own Matt Seidel discusses his work as a freelancer for a captioning and transcription company at The Morning News.