MyAppleMenu Reader

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

On Envy And Time: A Craft Essay, by Lisa Low, Cincinnati Review

Thinking about envy a lot this past year, while feeling envious and then writing about feeling envious, I searched for ways to understand it better. One way was time: the common refrain of “feeling left behind” in envy—something I’ve felt sporadically about my writing, career, and home life—suggests its temporal aspects. Envy, I noticed, is often recurring and assumes a linear timeline, that there’s a specific order or time frame in which professional milestones or life stages should happen. On top of that, the privacy and shamefulness of envy can reinforce this linear worldview. Not only did I not want to talk to friends about being envious, especially if I was envious of them, I realized I also didn’t know who my closest friends envied, if they even struggled with it at all.

I Was Envious Of Anna Akhmatova. So I Translated Her Poems, Sort Of., by Noah Berlatsky, Cincinnati Review

When I first started reading Anna Akhmatova in earnest, I was fascinated, thrilled . . . and also (you probably can guess already) somewhat resentful. Akhmatova is widely considered one of the greatest Russian poets. I’m just some wannabe American with a long-forgotten vaguely Russian Jewish ancestry. It would clearly be silly to resent her talent or her renown, and since I am obviously mature and not silly, I did not resent either of those things much.

Instead I started resenting all her translators who can read Russian and translate Akhmatova because they are not sad uncultured monoglots like myself.

How Actors Remember Their Lines, by John Seamon, MIT Press Reader

Actors face the demanding task of learning their lines with great precision, but they rarely do so by rote repetition. They did not, they said, sit down with a script and recite their lines until they knew them by heart. Repeating items over and over, called maintenance rehearsal, is not the most effective strategy for remembering. Instead, actors engage in elaborative rehearsal, focusing their attention on the meaning of the material and associating it with information they already know. Actors study the script, trying to understand their character and seeing how their lines relate to that character.

Can Shame Make You A Better Person?, by Shayla Love, The Guardian

If you find that shame frequently haunts you, it could be helpful to reframe how you view shame, what it’s for and its source. While many people experience shame in response to the perceived judgements of others, the ancient philosophical tradition of Confucianism characterized shame differently. In Confucianism, shame is a crucial tool that leads you toward your best self, and you have more power over it than you know.

'Cujo' Character Returns As One Of 12 Stories In Stephen King’s ‘You Like It Darker', by Rob Merrill, AP

In Stephen King’s world, “It” is a loaded word. It’s hard not to picture Pennywise the Clown haunting the sewers of Derry, Maine, of course, but in the horror writer’s newest collection of stories, “You Like It Darker,” “It” ranges from a suspicious stranger on a park bench, to an extraterrestrial being bestowing a gift that helps best friends realize their potential, to telepaths whose sole job is to keep airplanes from falling out of the sky.

Ghost Mountain By Rónán Hession: Book Review, by Jo Higgs, The Skinny

Ghost Mountain is the richest and grandest of Hession’s works, yet remains firmly in the bracket of warm and quiet novels of his former works. Death after death can do nothing to detract from page after page of delight. The novel makes a motif out of summing itself up in the most succinct and accurate of ways: Ghost Mountain was Ghost Mountain.

The Other Angelenos: What A Naturalist's Survey Of Los Angeles Wildlife Reveals, by Daniel Vitale, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles tends to strike outsiders as a borderless mishmash of suburbs spread over an unfriendly landscape with no significant natural source of water. When it’s not on fire, it seems to be sliding into the ocean or collapsing under the weight of its own untamable development.

And yet Los Angeles transplants will still brag to their loved ones across the country that they could go skiing and surfing in the same day (if for some reason they felt so inclined). As the conservationist Craig Stanford reminds us, however, you don’t have to drive to Big Bear or the beach to feel the pulse of nature in L.A.

Nostalgia: A History Of A Dangerous Emotion By Agnes Arnold-Foster Review – The Past Isn’t A Foreign Place, by Matthew Reisz, The Guardian

Even if nostalgia is a less “dangerous emotion” today than it seems to have been to the Swiss soldiers, it well deserves to be taken seriously and sympathetically. We are clearly stuck with it and it would itself be a silly kind of nostalgia to think we could ever go back to some imagined pre-nostalgic age.