~ Frank Chimero
Almanac: Wolcott Gibbs on how writers mature
I seem to have completely missed all the announcements about this, but apparently they announced the fifteen French Voices Award 2017 grantees a while ago, and yesterday they announced the winning title -- Alexia Trigo's translation of Mohamed Mbougar Sarr's Terre Ceinte (still "seeking an American publisher"; see also the Présence Africaine publicity page).
Quite a few non-fiction works among the other finalists, but the one that most stood out (just from the descriptions -- I haven't seen any of these) -- and not in a great way -- is Martin Page's L'Apiculture selon Samuel Beckett. Hmmmm. See the Starling Bureau information page .....
The fact that this is the Martin Page who wrote The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection and How I Became Stupiddoes not reassure me. I wonder what the Beckett-estate had to say about this.
afr.com — Alina Gozin'a didn't pick up a camera for the first time until her late 20s. She had just quit her job as a tax lawyer at PwC and decided she wanted to be a filmmaker. The Sydney-sider liked the detective-like aspects of solving problems using tax law – but working in a corporate structure didn't gel with her. "You felt like just a number," she says. Her father was a photographer but he didn't help. "He kept away the camera from me. He did not want me to become a creative at all."
Atlas Obscura asked readers to send in the best things they found pressed between the pages of old books
“Kafka Was A Terrible Boyfriend” is a sentence that is simultaneously unsurprising and revelatory. But it gives us a chance to dive into Kafka’s letters, which are, along with the stories, unfinished novels, and the conversation slips he passed back and forth at the end of his life when he could no longer speak, among his most treasured works.
Frank Chimero has a long, insightful essay about how commercial imperatives have creeped in on the public commonwealth of the web, creating a bunch of pseudo-public spaces whose experience continually degrades (think a negative stereotype of NYC’s Penn Station) as opposed to free and open public spaces (think a positive stereotype of NYC’s main public library).
"Remember: the web is a marketplace and a commonwealth, so we have both commerce and culture; it’s just that the non-commercial bits of the web get more difficult to see in comparison to the outsized presence of the commercial web and all that caters to it. It’s a visibility problem that’s an inadvertent consequence of values."