June 18, 2018
This week we're talking about:
- Midsummer, happening this week, and Bernadette Mayer's poem "Summer Solstice," from No. 04 and unlocked to read this week.
- The World Cup happening now in Russia, for which we've temporarily unlocked features in our Russia portfolio from No. 02. Begin by reading Natasha Randall's introductory letter to Russia—Reality Invented: "Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia endures a manufactured reality, a hyperreality: 'Facts' are rarely uttered without silent quotation marks, as are phrases like 'freedom of the press,' 'a penal system,' 'a free market economy.'"
- Yiyun Li on the white supremacist in her class: "The world is not becoming any better. Still, there is a way to exist in this unfriendly, even alien, world and make a meaningful difference. It is to write, it is to teach, but it is also to insist on standing where we are, being who we are, so that those who do not want to experience conflicts are made to confront what they don’t care to see. One does not have to be loud or angry or confrontational. One only needs to be stubborn, persistent, dignified, and yet able to recognize the limit of these efforts."
- Francine Prose's new book, What to Read and Why. Last week she taught the first master class for A Public Space Academy, with a close reading of stories by John Cheever and Mavis Gallant. "Train yourself to listen," Prose said. And longtime friend of the magazine, Amanda Stern, has a memoir coming out this week, Little Panic.
- Weeksville, "a multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the nineteenth-century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn—one of America’s many free black communities."
"Once I thought that one could only write about things one adequately understood. But I do not wish to submit myself entirely to this assumption, as it becomes a definite way to silence myself. Why not give myself permission, instead?"
December 22, 2023 by Ruby Wang