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Where is the literary and cultural capital of the world...right now?

I'm watching a documentary on Netflix called "New York in the 50's" about poets, journalists, and free thinkers in the Village during the Eisenhower administration. The interviewees keep referencing a self-conscious attempt to emulate life in Paris in the 1920s. So two questions come to mind: 1) Where is this occurring today? Does it only appear in hindsight? Accordingly, 2) Where else have such flowerings occurred? Paris in 1848? Prague in 1968? Has the internet made this kind of location-based creativity irrelevant?
posted by jefficator on Sep 9, 2014 - 20 answers

high-concept low-spectacle speculative realistic fiction

What are some good novels that have a high-concept speculative element in the background, but aren't quite about that? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Jul 28, 2014 - 34 answers

Seeking information about Doubleday, Junior Literary Guild, Junior Books

Do you know something about the history of publishing? Help me out. [more inside]
posted by crazylegs on May 13, 2014 - 2 answers

Today's science-fiction story: P. Anderson's classic "A Plate of Beans."

In Poul Anderson’s “The Last of the Deliverers,” (spoilers ahead) he describes a future America in which, for all practical purposes, cheap solar energy and a culture of decreased desires for material advancement (people are essentially satisfied with a comfortable, but low, standard of living) have led to a kind of utopia. The plot of the story is, more or less, that two representatives of remnants from an older culture – a small-government type in the Barry Goldwater mold as well as a member of the American Communist Party – meet in a village and argue about the virtues of their respective ideologies, but cannot appreciate that social evolution and the lack of scarcity produced by it has made their political differences (and their politics) largely pointless and obsolete. So how am I to understand the last half-paragraph of the story, which seems to undercut the entire story in a most paradoxical way: [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Apr 21, 2014 - 4 answers

How important is emotional literacy to academic success?

Most of the academic textbooks I've read have had a drawn-out presentation style based on psychological observations as part of an effort to project a particular voice. [more inside]
posted by Musashi Daryl on Apr 18, 2014 - 3 answers

Business, Murakami, DFW, and Music

Book suggestions for a gift exchange recipient that combine business, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and/or music? (here's hoping my recipient isn't also a Mefite!) [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 4, 2014 - 10 answers

John Steinbeck Literary Mystery

John Steinbeck included this inscription in a friend's copy of Cannery Row: Kahn ni melm Sarat Twini Sener Ni Melm Siri Here is a copy. Any ideas on what it could mean are much appreciated. [more inside]
posted by JCMFD on Feb 4, 2014 - 11 answers

Looking for a good literary magazine...

I want to submit my short story to the kind of literary magazine that I'd actually enjoy reading. Do you have any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on May 25, 2013 - 12 answers

Literary novel with trailers joined in a circle

Identify this book. Literary novel, probably a first novel, published between 1994 and 1997, written by a guy who had taught writing at Harvard. The only thing I remember in it is an obsessive character in the desert who has welded multiple trailers or mobile homes in a circle so he can obsessively walk in circles inside them. [more inside]
posted by Unified Theory on May 13, 2013 - 7 answers

The Good Book as good read

I am looking for recommendations for bibles in languages other than English, specifically for their literary qualities. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit on Apr 16, 2013 - 8 answers

Help make me literate like an engineer

So people like to name-drop authors and works that those who went to university and/or have a curiosity about the world should know as part of the basic vocabulary of being an educated Westerner. For example, "Kant" or "Dickensian", or "Gertrude Stein". I would like to learn this stuff, please. [more inside]
posted by grahamsletter on Mar 20, 2013 - 34 answers

Career Ideas

I am finishing my associate of arts degree. I am trying to think of possible career paths. The careers I am thinking of are related to librarian work, academia, reading/literacy teacher, speech language pathologist. Some of my interests/strengths are clerical work, very creative, research/writing, counseling/teaching, art layout, health, the outdoors. I like working with children. Are there any careers along these paths that I should consider ?
posted by Lillian7 on Feb 19, 2013 - 10 answers

Vey iz mir.

Bookish Mefites, help me come up with a list of literary sad sacks. [more inside]
posted by Currer Belfry on Jan 31, 2013 - 29 answers

Young writer connected with HTMLGiant and made funny xtranormal videos?

I forgot the name of this young author I like. He writes weird, short fiction and had a crazy LiveJournal page (or something outdated like that). I think he's connected with HTMLGiant or some similar hip online literary site. [more inside]
posted by jng on Dec 7, 2012 - 5 answers

Turns out they were novellas.

I'm ready to try and publish, but it turns out all my work is an unsaleable length. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by thesmallmachine on Oct 25, 2012 - 13 answers

Blind Submission

Like many people, I have A Novel... I have been working on it for a while and now have the opportunity to submit it to a friend of a friend who expressed interest. How am I supposed to act? What do people expect from novel-submitter-people? [more inside]
posted by kettleoffish on Sep 10, 2012 - 9 answers

I queried the HiveMind; I wrote my question

Can anyone tell me what this Aztec literary/oratorical technique is called? [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum on Aug 22, 2012 - 5 answers

I Ought to Be in Pictures?

What are the realistic odds of a movie studio buying rights to fiction? What steps could one take to even attempt this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 6, 2012 - 21 answers

Through the looking glass, to the yellow brick road

What well-known/classic stories involve someone being transported to a magical world, from which point onwards he/she is primarily trying to get home? Important: the main character must meet fantastical characters on the journey, who eventually become his or her allies or guides. [more inside]
posted by np312 on Jun 12, 2012 - 32 answers

An Online Writer's Community

Can you recommend a good online literary short fiction writers' community? [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jan 18, 2012 - 1 answer

Helene Hanff's career-changing ad?

In 84 Charing Cross Rd Helene Hanff's 1st letter to the bookshop Marks and Co., written in October 1949, says she's responding to an ad she saw by them in the Saturday Review of Literature. One little problem: I recently went over a library archive of the Saturday Review. I couldn't find an ad from Marks and Co. in any of the October issues of 1949, nor in any of the issues in September, August, or July. This involved looking at both the display ads and the small-print classifieds. It also involved looking at the Saturday Review's 25th Anniversary issue, August 6, 1949, which was more than triple the size of a typical issue of the time (180+ pgs vs. 50+ pgs, and so many one-off advertisers it had an index to them). So... Has anyone ever seen this ad, that caused such a big change in Hanff's life? Did she perhaps get the magazine wrong? If so, which magazine was it in, and when?
posted by aurelian on Mar 20, 2011 - 17 answers

What are your interpretations of Broken Social Scene's "Market Fresh"?

Again moved by the shimmery beauty of Broken Social Scene's "Market Fresh", after not listening to it for a long time, I decided to look up the song lyrics. I'm interested in people's interpretation of them.. [more inside]
posted by robobrent on Mar 6, 2011 - 4 answers

The novel, not sane, stood by itself against its shelves, holding darkness within.

Literary eerie suspense novelists: I've read and loved a certain type of author and I am looking for more like them. Their main novel tropes are unreliable narrators (i.e., are they being haunted by a ghost or their own mind?) and a good balance of suspense and philosophy (well-paced novels of ideas with likable, believable characters). Prose style is literary and intelligent but not metafictional. [more inside]
posted by xenophile on Dec 27, 2010 - 36 answers

Qualitative research w. literary qualities

Recommend me some qualitative studies with literary qualities [more inside]
posted by okokok on Sep 5, 2010 - 8 answers

The black hole that is my aging mind...

Mind freeze: what is the word/term for a literary mistake in a piece of fiction like the wrong stovetop chimneys in Charles Dickens? Something an author has put in a period piece but could not possibly exist in the time the work of fiction took place? [more inside]
posted by eatdonuts on Jun 8, 2010 - 7 answers

86ing 2666?

Help me read 2666. Or, y'know, not read it. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on May 17, 2010 - 15 answers

Please help me find the name of the novel where God literally falls to Earth, stone dead, from Heaven.

I'm looking for the name of a novel in which God, portrayed as a gigantic being thousands of feet tall and weighing millions of pounds wearing robes and having a flowing white beard, quite literally falls to earth from heaven, stone dead. The story is all about the repercussions on Earth after this event.
posted by DrDreidel on Apr 27, 2010 - 16 answers

Advice on the book publishing industry in Canada

Should I try to move from the newspaper industry to the book publishing industry? Or is this just jumping from one sinking ship to another? Canada-specific advice appreciated. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 24, 2010 - 5 answers

Can I REALLY get a bunch of 18-year-olds to dig The Odyssey?

I"m looking for good hints on teaching a literature survey course to (mostly) college freshmen. This will be my second year of this course, and I really need to make some changes from the way I approached it last year. Any hints from current/former teachers or students would be more than welcome! [more inside]
posted by lucky25 on Feb 9, 2010 - 8 answers

Help me suggest a virtual event to my virtual friends...

What kind of mellowish, retroish virtual entertainment can I suggest at my friend's Second Life sim? [more inside]
posted by RedEmma on Jan 20, 2010 - 4 answers

Small press. No, not THAT small.

As a writer trying to press into the next stage of my career, how can I emphasize in my publishing history that "small press" isn't always a euphemism for "vanity press"? [more inside]
posted by 256 on Nov 11, 2009 - 17 answers

What are the great patterning works of literature?

What are the great patterning works of literature? In Book by Book, Michael Dirda presents a list of what he calls “patterning works” which he describes as books that “. . later authors regularly build on, allude to, work against.” and which he says “ . . . ought to lie at the heart of any structured reading program.” [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 17, 2009 - 73 answers

Nice set of wheels you got there—

Is the use of meronym and synecdoche the same thing? If not, please illustrate. I am confused.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Aug 30, 2009 - 12 answers

In space no one can here you scream, he wrote

What's the best literary equivalent of Alien/Aliens? [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Aug 9, 2009 - 21 answers

I need famous drinks from famous books.

I need famous drinks from famous books. Kind of like how Holden Caulfield always drank Tom Collinses in Catcher in the Rye. Or how the Famous Five always had Tea with their scones. Thanks!
posted by Sully on Jul 14, 2009 - 46 answers

I need an antidote for Caliban.

I just finished John Fowles, The Collector, and I need it's opposite. Spoiler inside. [more inside]
posted by duckus on May 5, 2009 - 18 answers

Looking to engage the mind and have some fun

Really cool freeware word games? [more inside]
posted by watercarrier on Feb 3, 2009 - 4 answers

I want to be a book when I grow up.

Can the hive mind help me by suggesting some good, but simple, literary costume ideas for halloween? [more inside]
posted by anoirmarie on Oct 30, 2008 - 29 answers

Maintaining a NYC college's undergraduate literary blog

Deep breath: I am the online editor for a New York college's undergraduate literary journal's blog, and a complete beginner. I'm wondering about increasing net-presence, keeping the site timely, and making it vibrant. Very open to ideas. Hive mind? [more inside]
posted by omnigut on Oct 8, 2008 - 6 answers

The phenomenology of text

The phenomenology / ontology of text: has anyone examined this issue directly in philosophical, literary and/or critical terms? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Sep 18, 2008 - 26 answers

Good examples of exemplary creative nonfiction?

What are your favourite pieces of creative nonfiction? [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Sep 14, 2008 - 34 answers

Can you recommend a literary agent or attorney?

Can you recommend a literary agent or attorney? I'm in the US. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 13, 2008 - 4 answers

Which books are most representative of each city?

What one book will allow others to gain the truest insight into the soul of each city or region [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 6, 2008 - 16 answers

Please help me understand this obscure science fiction story

Question about obscure science fiction short story, "Allegory," by William T. Powers, which was reprinted in Groff Conklin's 13 GREAT STORIES OF SCIENCE FICTION. The question is: what is this story an allegory of? To put it another way, is there some real-world or historical event that this story is a comment on? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Justice on Apr 29, 2008 - 8 answers

Creative Writing Musts in Aix & Paris?

Help me create a literary tour of both Aix-en-Provence and Paris. [more inside]
posted by annabellee on Apr 21, 2008 - 4 answers

Should I send them the manuscript?

An agent is interested in my book but says that they only have an "optional" contract- authors can sign it or not, given their preference. Should I give them my book? [more inside]
posted by arnicae on Apr 13, 2008 - 15 answers

How to find an obscure literary term

Years ago when I took a classical mythology course, my professor used a literary term for a being who can travel between planes of being at will. [more inside]
posted by miss-lapin on Apr 10, 2008 - 8 answers

PoetryNerdFilter

I need poetry related anecdotes. [more inside]
posted by lucia__is__dada on Mar 26, 2008 - 13 answers

help me find a reference

Please help me reference a literary quote? [more inside]
posted by daveyt on Mar 4, 2008 - 6 answers

Great adventures? Please guide the way!

I need me some literary adventure stories! Yeehar! [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Nov 19, 2007 - 27 answers

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