Posts Tagged ‘Maya Angelou’
April 8, 2015 | by Dan Piepenbring
- When Richard Dawkins conceived of memes, he imagined them as units of culture, transmitted like viruses to contribute to our social evolution. But Internet memes have distorted the meaning of the term, arguably to uselessness. “Trawling the Internet, I found a strange paradox: While memes were everywhere, serious meme theory was almost nowhere. Richard Dawkins … seemed bent on disowning the Internet variety, calling it a ‘hijacking’ of the original term.”
- George Gissing’s New Grub Street (1891) is good for a whole host of reasons, but it’s “a particularly potent corrective to the current cottage industry centering on ‘the writing life’—in which literary production is seen as glamorous, in which photos of writers’ desks appear on Pinterest and readers obsess over the perfect pen with which to write their buried masterpiece. The lesson of Gissing is that most novelists are bitter failures—always were, and always will be.”
- Curmudgeonly grandparents around the world would have you believe that textspeak is a travesty, a crime against language. But it has, in so many ways, expanded and streamlined our methods of communicating: our tonal varietyyyyy, our semiotics (!!!), our ability to corretc (*correct) ourselves …
- The postal service’s new Maya Angelou stamp contains many perfectly nice words—“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song”—but they weren’t written by Maya Angelou. “A Postal Service spokesman told the newspaper that the line, which has been widely attributed to Angelou by people including President Obama, was approved for use on the stamp by Angelou’s family.”
- The insidious logic of the trailer has made its way from movies to music and books—now there are trailers for college courses, too. “A branding tactic once reserved for the marketplace has entered the marketplace of ideas.”
November 23, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Never-before-heard recordings of Maya Angelou, Denise Levertov, and Gary Snyder from our ongoing collaboration with 92Y.
Why has Italian cinema lost its appeal abroad? Antonio Monda sees a pattern: “The films that speak to a world audience deliver a poetic or extreme image of Italy, or of an ‘Italy,’ that gibes with the image foreigners already have of it.”
Lilly Lampe reviews “Teen Paranormal Romance,” a group exhibition inspired by the burgeoning genre of YA lit.
Damion Searls hears haiku in the rhythms of American speech.
A brief history of insect control: James McWilliams tells the surprisingly fascinating story of how pesticides came to dominate American agriculture.
Plus, Sadie Stein on migraines, “the most glamorous of headaches”; some thoughts on vape, the OED’s 2014 Word of the Year; and Duane Hanson’s Security Guard patrols an art gallery in terrifying solitude.
November 20, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
At 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, The Paris Review has copresented an occasional series of live conversations with writers—many of which have formed the foundations of interviews in the quarterly. Now, 92Y and The Paris Review are making recordings of these interviews available at 92Y’s Poetry Center Online and here at The Paris Review. You can consider them the deleted scenes to the printed interviews, or the director’s cuts, or the radio adaptations, or—let’s not dwell on it …
The latest editions to the collection are three poets: Maya Angelou, Denise Levertov, and Gary Snyder.
In this recording from 1988, Maya Angelou, who died this past May, speaks to our founding editor, George Plimpton:
I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool—and I’m not any of those—to say that I don’t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues.
Denise Levertov died in 1997—Kenneth Rexroth called her “the most subtly skillful poet of her generation, the most profound, the most modest, the most moving.” Here she speaks to Deborah Digges in 1991:
Where I live in Seattle, I see a good deal more—more sky, more trees. I can see the lake. And from one upstairs window I can see a bit of Mount Rainier—when it’s out ... Who would want a mountain that was out all the time? You’d stop seeing it. It’s wonderful when it comes and goes.
And Gary Snyder, “the poet laureate of deep ecology,” talks to Eliot Weinberger circa 1992:
There’s no question that spending time with your own consciousness is instructive. You learn a lot. You can just watch what goes on in your own mind, and some of the beneficial effects are you get bored with some of your own tapes and quit playing them back to yourself.
We owe these recordings to a generous gift in memory of Christopher Lightfoot Walker, who worked in the art department at The Paris Review and volunteered as an archivist at 92Y’s Poetry Center.
May 28, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
There is, I hope, a thesis in my work: we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody-two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it’s just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats—maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats—but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. Human beings are more alike than unalike. There’s no real mystique. Every human being, every Jew, Christian, backslider, Muslim, Shintoist, Zen Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, every human being wants a nice place to live, a good place for the children to go to school, healthy children, somebody to love, the courage, the unmitigated gall to accept love in return, someplace to party on Saturday or Sunday night, and someplace to perpetuate that God. There’s no mystique. None. And if I’m right in my work, that’s what my work says.
—Maya Angelou, the Art of Fiction No. 119
October 30, 2013 | by Sadie Stein
- At Salon, poet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis curates a portfolio inspired by Maya Angelou.
- The New York Public Library now releases lists of the most checked-out books of the month, and they are exactly what one might expect.
- Here are many pictures of Hemingway frolicking with cats.
- Because there are no second acts in American life, Conrad Murray—yes, Michael Jackson’s doctor—is, obviously, writing a memoir.
September 6, 2013 | by Sadie Stein