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Posts Tagged ‘pseudonyms’

Futurism on Wheels, and Other News

July 1, 2014 | by

soviet concept car

The Torpedo-GAZ, from 1951—a Soviet concept car with a tubular duraluminum skeleton. Via io9.

  • The nineteenth century “had its own explosion of media … Much as with today’s web, people complained there was too much to read … The solution to overload? For tens of thousands of Americans, it was the scrapbook.”
  • Authors turn to pseudonyms for a number of reasons—some strange, some prosaic, some almost metaphysical. In Sarah Hall’s case, the problem was another Sarah Hall: “I could never be published as me. Someone had got there first … my agent reminded me, gently: ‘I really don’t think you can be Sarah Hall.’”
  • An interview with Jeff Sharlet, whose new book looks at religion in America: “In nine out of ten cases ‘spirituality’ is a con—not a con by the person invoking it, but a con on that person. It offers the illusion of individual choice, as if our beliefs, or our rejection of belief, could be formed in some pure Ayn Randian void … We’re caught up in a great, complicated web of belief and ritual and custom. That’s what I’m interested in, not the delusion that I’m some kind of island.”
  • “It felt like the water was rising and lapping just under my nose … I really began to wonder whether my career was over.” Classical musicians contend with stage fright.
  • Soviet concept cars from the fifties and sixties show what might have been, had futurism held its grip on the national imagination—these sleek, modular vehicles are a striking counterpoint to the American cars of the era.

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J. K. Rowling’s Party is Over, and Other News

July 15, 2013 | by

cuckooscalling

  • By now, you are probably aware that J. K. Rowling wrote detective novel The Cuckoo’s Calling under the guise of Robert Galbraith, an ex-military family man. Quoth she, “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
  • Can’t imagine what anyone would stand to gain by revealing the truth behind the modest seller.
  • The publishers who turned the novel down are, of course, kicking themselves.
  • Related: a brief history of the pseudonym.
  • For your alienated youngster: My First Kafka.
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    Kent Johnson’s / Araki Yasusada’s / Tosa Motokiyu’s “Mad Daughter and Big-Bang”

    May 6, 2013 | by

    images

    Pen names have long been a means for writers to inhabit another identity—to attain privacy, assume the acceptably literate gender, or play with the freedom of a psychic unburdening. But at what point does a pseudonym become obfuscation, transgression? What happens when a poem of witness—a poem set in the aftermath of the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, a poem more compelling than many of its peers for its haunting, even oblique and morbid surrealist humor—is in fact written by a middle-aged white community college professor named Kent Johnson, rather than a hibakusha, or actual Hiroshima survivor?

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    Kim Jong-Un’s First Speech, Interpreted as Doggerel

    May 16, 2012 | by

    On April 15, Kim Jong-Un, the new leader of North Korea, gave his long-awaited maiden speech, on the hundredth anniversary of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, the country’s founder. Befitting the occasion, enormous crowds attended, and male and female soldiers marched with goose-stepping precision.

    North Korea-watchers considered it an important moment to gauge the new leader, and he did not disappoint, celebrating the particular take on history that distinguishes North Korea from all other nations.

    A full transcript has just been provided by a North Korean website, but for the readers of The Paris Review, a condensed version has been prepared, in poetic form.
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