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
Carlton is to publish its most expensively originated book on Super Thursday (4th October), an augmented reality (AR) novel for children. The Ghostkeeper’s Journal Field Guide, written and produced by Carlton’s digital director Japhet Asher (pictured), is an immersive adventure for readers aged 10 and up, priced at £14.99.
The book builds on Carlton’s AR range, with the publisher having sold more than four million copies of such titles around the world, including Jurassic World, Bugs and Alien, through retail or coedition partners. It also represents a change for the mainly non-fiction publisher—Asher said the title was the “first ever augmented reality powered novel”.
Continue @ The Bookseller-Jul 30, 2018
When Christine Riccio was a teenager growing up in New Jersey, she and her sister would upload videos to YouTube of the two of them being silly, dancing to Britney Spears’s “Piece of Me” or attempting a back flip. It wasn’t until Ms. Riccio was in college in 2010 that she “actually talked to the camera” for the first time and decided to upload a video book review of Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games.”
“I was reading a lot of books, and I had no one to discuss them with,” she said, explaining why she turned to the internet. “I was like, ‘I’ll be lucky if I ever get 500 subscribers over here.’”
Continue @ New York Times