Friday, July 07, 2017
Arts Journal - Words
Pamela Paul and Maria Russo of The New York Times Book Review say that “raising a reader is fun, rewarding and relatively easy” – and explain how. (First key hint is not to wait to get started: “Baby books are a necessity. … Read out loud, every day. Any book. … The content doesn’t matter.” And audiobooks don’t count.)
“Started in 1999 by then-computer science student Aaron Peckham, the crowd-sourced online dictionary that The New York Times calls the ‘lexicon of instant argot’ has grown over the past two decades into an internet behemoth.” Problem is, the definitions are submitted by ordinary users. In other words, as Clio Chang argues, “it is a pure product of the internet hordes” – and the hordes have contributed some very ugly stuff to the site, stuff that Peckham seems uninterested in policing.
“While bitter experience has shown poetry exactly where it stands in the marketplace, and the novel has shrugged off multiple reports of its death and maintained pre-eminence, the short story is continually characterised as the neglected form that will be great again. The funny thing is, when you explore its history you find the perception of a distant golden age, an undistinguished present and a return to glory has always been around: the short story has a problem with reality.”