Posts Tagged ‘Contests’
March 22, 2016 | by Dylan Hicks
March 22, 2016 | by Dan Piepenbring
- At a moment when Syria, in the Western imagination, is synonymous with violence and war, an anonymous Syrian film collective called Abounaddara “provides a strikingly different picture of Syrians and their country,” as our poetry editor, Robyn Creswell, writes: “The members of Abounaddara, an Arabic phrase meaning ‘the man with glasses,’ began making films in 2010, but it was Syria’s version of the Arab Spring that gave them an urgent sense of purpose. For the past five years, they have posted a new documentary film every week, resulting in an archive of nearly four hundred shorts that can be watched for free on Vimeo … These films, whose subjects include soccer players for the Syrian national team, bereaved parents, former prisoners of ISIS, intellectuals, and refugees, are powerful portraits of individual Syrians, yet they can also be hard to read, in part because we’re told so little about the subjects and settings. This withholding of information is clearly by design. The films often begin and end in medias res, leaving the viewer to puzzle out their significance. They require one to think as well as to look.”
- The set designer Es Devlin has a CV that includes everyone from Shakespeare to Verdi to Miley Cyrus: “Devlin argues that there is something in between pictorial realism and complete abstraction. Though she borrows elements from every period, her approach is thoroughly contemporary. She’s not interested in straight realism, or in traditional production design … She is theatre’s postmodern expert, and has an instinctive sense of how Shakespeare and opera and fashion and pop concerts might draw from the same dark web of psychological information. Each of her designs is an attack on the notion that a set is merely scenery. She is in demand because she can enter the psychic ether of each production and make it glow with significance. She told me, ‘A stage setting is not a background, it is an environment’—something that directors and actors can respond to. ‘Sometimes what these people want is a liberator, someone who might encourage them to defy gravity.’ ”
- A new biography of Wallace Stevens, The Whole Harmonium, reminds us of the vast chasm between artist and art: “He never left North America. He was casually racist and anti-Semitic. A Hoover Republican, he distrusted labor unions. He drank too much at parties, to overcome his natural shyness, and later had to apologize for his boorishness. In the depths of the Depression, he made $20,000 a year, the equivalent of $350,000 today … ‘Wallace Stevens is beyond fathoming,’ Marianne Moore wrote, comparing him to a person with ‘a morbid secret he would rather perish than disclose.’ But the secret would out, and in his poems Stevens revealed it: The bluff American executive had a soul as baroque and fantastical as an aesthete’s, as profound and brooding as a philosopher’s.”
- Before he found renown as a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, collector, and God knows what else, Marcel Broodthaers was a poet. And his poems pursued (among other subjects) ogres: “The world of these poems is far removed from modern life. My Ogre Book in particular, a self-described ‘suite of poetic tales,’ unfolds across a medieval-ish neverland of forests, mad kings, storm-swept landscapes, and those ogres invoked in the title. Its fairy-tale idiom is vivid but generalized, the animal and human figures serving as emblems that are never far distant from elemental strife: ‘Lost in solitude / I have always been prey,’ reflects the speaker of ‘The Donkey-Drummer’; ‘The toads devour themselves / at the heart of diamonds,’ runs the full text of one of the brief untitled poems interlarded throughout the book; in ‘A Drama of Solitude’ a ‘huntsman of ogres’ turns on his loyal dog and kills him, preferring ‘to be alone in the Great North.’ Broodthaers’s archaism, which according to his translator extends to his use of anachronistic phrasing in the original French, was also deeply personal, providing him with a means to map his inner geography in ways both distanced and intimate.”
- Today in nomenclature and direct democracy: just when you’re coming around to the idea of the Internet as a tool to empower the masses, something like this happens … and you’re more convinced of its awesome potential than ever before. “A proposal by a British government agency to let the Internet suggest a name for a $287 million polar research ship probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Now, the agency is the latest group to see what happens when web users are asked to unleash their creative energy: R.S. Boaty McBoatface is a clear front-runner … Alison Robinson, a spokeswoman, said in an email that the group was ‘delighted by the enthusiasm and creativity’ of people vying for names like Boaty McBoatface. The ship is scheduled to set sail in 2019.”
March 21, 2016 | by Dylan Hicks
A cut-and-paste puzzle.
Ed. Note: our puzzle correspondent, Dylan Hicks, is back at it again. As usual, the first correct answer will win a year’s subscription to The Paris Review. Send an e-mail with your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is Thursday, March 24, at noon EST, when we’ll post the answers. Good luck!
This latest puzzle takes the form of a collage story, “Castling,” composed of thirty-three numbered sentences lifted from disparate sources: novels, poems, histories, liner notes, yellowed magazine articles, packaging, what have you. The story’s structure and pacing wouldn’t escape pointed critique in the more cutthroat writing workshops. Please make contextual allowances. Below the story are its thirty-three jumbled-but-lettered (and in seven cases, double-lettered) sources. Your task is to match each sentence with its correct source. So, if the sources weren’t jumbled, your answer form would look like this:
February 23, 2016 | by Dylan Hicks
Ed. note: Last week, we featured Dylan’s latest puzzle: thirty punning, word-bending, assonant, homophonic, homonymic riddles. The contest has ended—thanks to all who entered! Turns out no one was able to get all thirty answers, so we’ve chosen one winner: Cindy Dapogny, who had the most correct responses. Congratulations to Cindy!
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February 16, 2016 | by Dylan Hicks
Ed. Note: The response to our last round of word puzzles was so overwhelming that puzzle correspondent Dylan Hicks has brought you thirty more! This time, we’re demanding total accuracy: the first three correct lists will win a year’s subscription to The Paris Review. You must solve all thirty riddles correctly. Send an e-mail with your answers to email@example.com. The deadline is Thursday, February 18, at noon EST, when we’ll post the answers. Good luck!
As a boy, I wasn’t alone in believing there to be a wonderful blue-eyed soul duo out of Philadelphia called Haulin’ Oats. Their music, we hoped, would provide solace during our imminent and futile battles against killer bees. Some of us grew up to be small-batch granolatiers and had to fend of lawsuits from Daryl and John themselves.
The answers to the following thirty puzzles are in a similar spirit—of word-bending, that is, not litigation. They employ antanaclasis, homophony, homonymy, rhyme, assonance, and other devices toward paronomasia—okay, they’re puns. The form, I realize, has a mixed reputation.
Maybe a few further words of explanation are required. The answers tweak, reframe, or link a variety of sources: titles of books, movies, and other artworks; proper names; famous lines of poetry or political rhetoric; clichés and other well-traveled terms. Many are paragrams—plays built on the alteration of a letter or letters, not always in service to rhyme. To foster challenge and competition, a few of the clues are oblique, but never deliberately obfuscatory, though anachronism and other breaches of logic have been tolerated or encouraged. Mostly the clues try to cover the bases without too much bold-face. For instance, “Ursine Frisco bandleader trucks off to buy bings and maraschinos” might cue “Cherry Garcia.” That one was judged to be off-limits, but the standard for innovation wasn’t set fussily high. Though none of the answers were wittingly plagiarized, a half hour on the leading search engine revealed, to little surprise, that I wasn’t the first or, in some cases, the fourth to arrive at several of these (ingenious) puns. My apologies, then, for that, and for everything.
- Federal Reserve stocks up massively on Stouffer’s.
- Boundless w/r/t Yeezy.
- And as in uffish thought he stood,
At peroration of his rap
With mimsy smile he cocked his head
And cued the crowd, “Please clap.”
- Sellout Marxist pitches for OxiClean.
- MacDougal Street corner spot where Peter Pastmaster, Paul Pennyfeather, and Lady Mary Lygon might have blown in the wind.
- Khakis coax truth.
- The Sun now rose upon the right,
And parched the sloping mast
The Mariner raised his skinny hand,
And spake the long forecast
- Melvillian scrivener conditionally favors Russian pop duo.
- Thatcher refuses butter-making shift.
- Shazam, Sergeant Carter, here you are managin’ a Bally Fitness while I’m right next door teachin’ Zumba at Snap. I reckon we’re:
- After Cunningham, Wright, Carter, Leaf, Stoerner, Hutchinson, Testaverde, Henson, and Bledsoe, Cowboys fan complains with a Yeatsian sigh:
- Babylonian beau, to minimize risk
Might have shunned holey walls for red flying disks
- Photo-album caption cleverly annotates sunken-eyed, death-defying actor’s trip to Yakushi-ji.
- Tennyson follows up pathbreaking collection with odes to mostly round, fleshy fruits.
- Steven Ellison remixes stage name while piloting Air Force One.
- The Belle of Amherst runs over Rogen.
- Spanglish bed sized for married grammarians—or serial monogamists.
- Coates and Steinman coauthor book by dashboard light.
- Starring opposite Cary Grant, Mae West misquotes “The Canonization” in this little-known Metaphysical romp.
- Bloodily horrific day at voluminous East Village bookstore.
- Kafka executor visits Wexler and Abrams.
- Habitat 67 mastermind takes the wheel of ice-cream truck.
- Wallace Stevens guides multifocal examination of Clinton e-mails.
- Edmund Wilson holes up in fortified residence with Symbolist library and truckload of GlaxoSmithKline SSRI.
- I met him at the concert hall
He plumbed the depths of Schubert songs—you get the picture?
(Ja, sehen wir)
That’s when I fell for:
- Sled provides key to ambitious biopic of Family Circus
- Early in ’61, a very young Declan MacManus sets his sights on Dominican dictator.
- Under Professor Boyd’s tutelage, Bonzo begins to act according to unconditional moral laws.
- Patricidal space meanie joins forces with Australian-born pop goddess.
- Weary of the spotlight, supporting-actor nominee quietly launches spicy-chicken stand.
January 28, 2016 | by Dylan Hicks
Ed. note: The contest has ended. Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to our three clever winners: Connie McClung, from Atlanta, Georgia; and Maxine Anderson and Seth Christenfeld, both from New York, New York.
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