McSweeney’s #40: (Literary) Mixtape of the Month

By Tagged culture

So it’s always given me a thrill when a bunch of musicians I love play a song together, and I also sort of feel that way about writers. If anything, writers are even more of a thrill — since ordinarily writers are such solitary creatures, and outside of mystery novels and James Patterson marathon novel-writing sessions, the idea of writers teaming up rarely if ever happens. But the new fortieth issue of the literary journal McSweeney’s has a bunch of favorite-worthy writers in it — some of my favorites, and some of the site’s favorites — and it would be a considerable disservice if I didn’t give it a shout-out.

Posted on May 25, 2012

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Footnote: Finally a Movie that Understands Academia

By Tagged culture, Israel

It’s tough out there for an Israeli film at the Oscars. When an Israeli film gets nominated for best foreign language film it’s almost always because the movie references the Holocaust and/or the Israeli-Arab Conflict. But while a Holocaust theme is a guaranteed win in most categories, not so when it comes to Israeli films. And a film that seems very sympathetic to Arabs is unlikely to garner a win from the typically conservative Academy voters.

Posted on February 23, 2012

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Pharaoh Was A Nazi

You know how Godwin’s law says that every internet argument eventually breaks down into someone calling someone else Hitler or a Nazi? This is one of my greatest pet peeves in life, because it’s not just online arguments that devolve into Holocaust finger-pointing…you can find this stuff all over our culture. Want to paint someone as evil? Just connect them to the Holocaust in some way (see The Kite Runner and Girl With a Dragon Tattoo to name just two) and your work is over.

Silence, Blessed Silence

Earlier this week, Gloria Spielman wrote about finding fellow writers on the Internet and  the University of the Ghetto. Her most recent book, Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime, is now available. She will be blogging here all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.
One of the upshots of all the reading and thinking I did for Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime, was that I ended up doing a lot of thinking about something I’d never thought that much about before – silence and its power.

Posted on November 4, 2011

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My First Writing Group: The Internet

On Monday, Gloria Spielman wrote about the University of the Ghetto. Her most recent book, Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime, is now available. She will be blogging here all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog.
It all started back in March 1999. We’d just got our very first home internet connection and I was setting off to navigate cyberspace and figure out what exactly was out there in that World Wide Web thing that everyone was going on about. These were the days of the Netscape browser and dial-up internet, which hogged the phone line and meant that you could either surf or make a phone call but not at the same time. My husband had assured me that the internet would help my writing. I was about to discover he was right.

Posted on November 2, 2011

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Does This Book Actually Exist?

By Tagged culture

Besides being one of our our favorite guest bloggers, Lavie Tidhar is a great science fiction author. His books hop the realm between thoughtfully philosophical and totally bizarre. He also captures — maddeningly, hilariously well — a provocative secular Israeli‘s take on religious culture (did I mention he was Israeli?). And, with a little bit of the science fiction, a little bit of the irreverent, and more than a little tongue-in-cheekness, Mr. Tidhar just sent us the cover to his latest book, 

Posted on October 28, 2011

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