Does Literature Help Us Live?

Is literature wise? In the sense, does it help us to live? And if not, what exactly is it good for?

One way into that question might be to look at how great writers themselves have benefited. Or haven’t. The situation is not immediately promising, since the list of writers who committed suicide, from Seneca the Younger to David Foster Wallace, would be long; Nerval, Hemingway, Plath, Pavese, Zweig, Mayakovsky, and Woolf all spring to mind. But I suppose you could argue that there are situations where suicide is the wise decision, or that without literature these talented people might have gone much earlier. The list of those who have driven themselves to an unhappy death would likely be longer still. Dickens, Tolstoy, Joyce, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Henry Green, Elsa Morante, and Dylan Thomas arguably fall in that category. Not to mention those forever frustrated by insufficient recognition and other occupational hazards; the gloom of Giacomo Leopardi would appear to have been oceanic. It is not that there aren’t cases of writers who have approached the end of their lives happily enough—Victor Hugo, Alberto Moravia, Natalia Ginzburg, Fyodor Dostoevsky of all unlikely candidates, even that great pessimist Thomas Hardy—simply that a few moments reflection will suffice to convince us that being a fine writer does not necessarily mean being “skilful” in the Buddhist sense of acting in such a way as to foster serenity, joy, happiness.

Continue @ The New York Review of Books

US Eyes the End of the Film Distribution System That Rules Hollywood

Well, this would be huge!

 

U.S. antitrust officials are considering terminating a 70-year-old Hollywood settlement that governs how films are distributed around the country, potentially upending negotiations among movie studios and major theater chains over blockbuster releases.

The Justice Department said Thursday that the agreements, known as the Paramount Pictures consent decrees, may no longer be effective given that they have been around since the late 1940s. The settlements stem from a 1948 Supreme Court case that dismantled the old Hollywood system in which film studios also owned the theaters where their pictures were shown.

Bloomberg

https://bloom.bg/2MgywTR

9 spectacular places to watch a film outdoors this summer

What a cool bucket list idea for any travel / film fanatic!

Pulpit Rock in Norway was turned into an open-air cinema last night

Norway’s dramatic Pulpit Rock became the unlikely setting for an impromptu screening of Mission: Impossible – Fallout last night.

Critics are raving about the latest installment of the film series, though it surely pales when compared to the drama of Pulpit Rock.

Of course, this Norwegian landmark isn’t the only spectacular setting being used to screen flicks. From Hollywood cemeteries to the Sahara Desert, here are nine scenic spots to catch a flick.

Continue @ Telegraph.co.uk

This company is using 3-D printing to democratize fine art

Wow.  I never dreamed of 3D printing being used for something like this.  Not entirely sure how I feel about it.

We all hope to fill our homes with great art. But realistically, great art is expensive, and few of us have the cash to splurge on a Rothko or Monet. At best, we might be able to afford a print of a famed work to grace our walls. But thanks to 3-D printing, fine art may soon become more accessible to the masses.

Earlier this year, actress Portia de Rossi, who is perhaps best known for her role as Lindsay Bluth in Arrested Development, launched a new company called General Public with the goal of democratizing art ownership. The idea is simple, as de Rossi explains: Art’s value shouldn’t hinge on scarcity. Anyone and everyone should be able to experience art in their homes without breaking the bank, but shouldn’t have to settle for a cheap knockoff print that doesn’t fully capture the original work’s grandeur. General Public hopes to make this possible with a new kind of 3-D printing technology that can recreate, in incredible detail, an original painting — from the artist’s unique color palette, to the paint’s texture as it dried on the canvas, down to the particular motion of the very last brushstroke. General Public calls its reproductions “Synographs.”

Continue @ The Week Magazine

How to take travel photos with just your smartphone

smartphone travel photography tips header

Big cameras mean big features — and trekking to a travel destination with gear heavy enough to put a kink in the neck and extra baggage fees in the airline ticket. Smartphone cameras, on the other hand, are perfect for travel photography. They are easy cameras to pack, because it’s always in your pocket, and the newest models have great specs for capturing great images (and videos) of entire vacations, from start to finish (you can also quickly share to social media to induce instant jealousy from your followers). But, are they ideal for travel photography — do you risk missing out on something by not bringing more advanced cameras?

Continue @ Digital Trends

The Only 3 Full-Frame Lenses You Need for Travel Photography

For the photographers whose studio extends far beyond the four walls, and for jetsetters and road warriors who are called to a life of travel photography, full-frame lenses are key. Any photographer loves new glass and photography is like any passion or hobby — there are so many amazing, shiny tools that can get a job done.

But when you’re traveling, it’s not just about performance, but also weight, versatility, and durability. You can’t just pack up everything including the kitchen sink. You have to choose your tools wisely and shoot simply while on the road. So here is a list of the top travel lenses for photographers ready to capture and photograph the world.

But before I go into discussing the list, I want to give a quick tip that I’ve learned over the years when I travel: unless your job requires it, leave the prime lenses at home. While there are some fantastic options out there, especially for portrait photography, prime lenses lack the versatility and range of a zoom lens. Every trip I’ve gone on, I’ve always brought a prime, and every time, it’s gone unused because I have more reliable, versatile lenses I grab first. Save yourself the extra weight and skip the prime lenses for job on the road.

Continue @ Adorama

Ernest Hemingway story from 1956 published for first time

The themes and trappings are familiar for an Ernest Hemingway narrative: Paris, wartime, talk of books and wine and the scars of battle.

But the story itself has been little known beyond the scholarly community for decades: A Room on the Garden Side, written in 1956, is being published for the first time. The brief, Second World War-era fiction appears this week in the summer edition of The Strand Magazine, a literary quarterly which has released obscure works by Raymond Chandler, John Steinbeck and others.

Continue @ CBC.ca

Teacher restores over 1000 ancient books in 13-year career

#CHINA-HEBEI-ANCIENT BOOK RESTORATION (CN)

Photo taken on Aug. 2, 2018 shows some of the tools used for ancient book restoration in Shijiazhuang, capital of north China’s Hebei Province. Gao Huiyun is a teacher of cultural relics restoration and protection at Hebei Vocational Art College. Gao has restored over 1,000 ancient books in her 13-year career time. (Xinhua/Chen Qibao)

Continue @ Xinhua