Tuesday links

July 12, 2022

Another day, another chain.



Very interesting: “elite institutions like prize committees aren’t representative or innovative. They have a generally mediocre, if not poor, record of recognizing what will last, and their prestige is directly tied up with an aversion to new things. Ignoring this elemental dynamic — asking why the establishment has not changed quickly when establishments, especially of the cultural kind, are precisely among those slowest to change — allows So to give us a narrow and moralistic history of late-20th-century American literature.”


Really good piece about the dangers of Twitter:

“Academic work takes time. Teaching takes time. Creative projects take time. All this time needn’t be recorded or co-opted by an as-if monolithic website. Twitter takes a lot of time, too. Twitter literally takes our time.”


A great piece by Phil Klay about war poetry.


Interesting piece: There is a long history of democracy or democracy-like political arrangements, and we can learn from all of it across the time, and confronting the challenges we face with rule by the people today.


Jhumpa Lahiri asks the question, “Why Is Italo Calvino So Beloved Outside Italy?” I like this idea very much: “Calvino, a distinctly Italian writer, has never written purely in Italian. On the contrary, he had his own language— an expressive kingdom belonging only to him—as do all other important and interesting writers.” 


An initial look at the overall affects on mental health of Americans during the Covid pandemic. Short story is, things seem pretty complicated, and not entirely moving in one direction or another.


I can’t get over the fact that I found this TV interview, from 1993, between my late poetry teacher Roland Flint and W.S. Merwin. Great to see them both.


A long-term perspective on our world—really long-term. It’s very thought-provoking, and in a good way.


Take care, everyone.  Remember to remember the long-term, and read just a little bit of poetry today.  Don't know where to start?  Here's a small one, by Merwin.  There; you're welcome.