An exhibition at the British Library powerfully delves into the personal and political complexities of writing, driving home that it’s not only one of humanity’s greatest inventions, but born out of the strongest human motivations.
Inside a wooden shack installed at North 12th Street and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg’s McCarren Park, anyone can sit down at a typewriter and contribute to a collaborative poem unfolding over a 100-foot paper scroll.
From Vincent Van Gogh to Joseph Cornell, writing has always been a crucial part of the artist’s life.
In grade school, cursive and print were treated like indicators of who we are. The idea seemed to be that how we write reveals something about the way we think and relate to the world. An exhibition at the Drawing Center, Dickinson/Walser: Pencil Sketches, starts from that premise and extend it further, arguing that handwritten texts by Swiss modernist author Robert Walser and American poet Emily Dickinson may not just be early drafts or sketches, but art.
Last week, a New York Times opinion piece fired up my Facebook newsfeed. Titled “Slaves of the Internet, Unite!” and penned by Tim Kreider, the piece pleads with writers not to indulge in that pervasive and pernicious cultural habit: writing for free.
LOS ANGELES — Orwell’s “Why I Write” is a gem, and I’m glad it made it into Longform’s recent Top 50.
AWP, or the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (that’s actually AWWP, but we’ll let that slide), is billed as an annual celebration of authors, teachers, writing programs, literary centers and small press publishers. Every year these bibliophile masses descend on a North American city (Chicago, this year) to promote, mingle, fraternize, frolic, freak out, fight, deal, dole and drink. The book fair is the centerpiece, the polestar of the conference; a nerve-jouncing nerve center of tables and stalls and booths tucked away in the belly of the Chicago Hilton hotel on South Michigan Ave.
You may know Steve Martin from being one of our time’s defining comedians, actors and celebrity figures. But along with those first few titles, the man is also a renowned collector of contemporary art, as well as a novelist and a playwright. These pursuits could be called hobbies if they didn’t require quite so much dedication. Martin’s An Object of Beauty (2010), his third novel, attempts to combine the actor’s sidelines in writing and art into a narrative showpiece that aims a satirical skewer at the art world. Unfortunately, the punch never lands. Object of Beauty is too simplistic and editorializing for an art world-savvy audience and too limping for readers just looking for a punchy narrative.