At the Atlantic, Amitava Kumar makes a case for more images to appear in literature for adults, as tools to prompt questions and multiple interpretations. “Drawings and photographs run the risk of making everything literal,” Kumar writes. “In books for children, they mostly are mere illustrations, directly representing the ideas on the page. Virginia Woolf once wrote about paintings: ‘A story-telling picture is as pathetic and ludicrous as a trick played by a dog.’ But it is possible to imagine a more complex dialogue between art and narrative. Writers can use images to question the truth instead of simply underlining it.”
“Motherhood remains more of a choice for some than others, and yet our varying degrees of agency are rarely acknowledged by the mainstream narrative upheld by the vast majority of what has (disparagingly) been referred to as ‘mommy lit’.” An essay in Buzzfeed about pregnancy, queerness, and three upcoming memoirs about motherhood (and non-motherhood). Pair with: an essay about motherhood as muse.
“‘I just want to be normal,’ she said, even though she had amazing powers and a super-family and was mega-gorgeous and better than normal in every way and the entire book would be terrible if she were normal and she had no conception of what normal was to begin with.” At The Toast, Mallory Ortberg lists flaws only a protagonist could have.
“Last week, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced that it had commissioned thirty-six playwrights to translate all of Shakespeare’s plays into modern English. The backlash began immediately.” The New Yorker on why we don’t change Shakespeare’s language. You could also check out our traditional and modern readings of Shakespeare.