No, it’s the litblog roundup. No, really. Litblog Roundup is a bi-weekly overview of topics, trends and highlights from the literary Internet. No, totally.
“No” doesn’t always mean “no.” No, really. The New Yorker explains,
“No, totally.” “No, definitely.” “No, exactly.” “No, yes.” These curious uses turn “no” into a kind of contranym: a word that can function as its own opposite. Out of the million-odd words in the English language, perhaps a hundred have this property. You can seed a field, in which case you are adding seeds, or seed a grape, in which case you are subtracting them. You can be in a fix but find a fix for it. You can alight from a horse to observe a butterfly alighting on a flower. Such words—also called auto-antonyms, antagonyms, Janus words, and antiologies—can arise for different reasons.
There’s a new litblog and it’s shaping up to be an exciting one. It’s called Literary Hub and it has launched recently at lithub.com. The blog has a daily roundup of literary happenings, feature articles, excerpts from new books, and a bookshelf page with links to posts about the books. The site’s “About” page explains, “Literary Hub is an organizing principle in the service of literary culture, a single, trusted, daily source for all the news, ideas and richness of contemporary literary life. There is more great literary content online than ever before, but it is scattered, easily lost. With the help of its partners—publishers big and small, journals, bookstores and non-profits—Literary Hub will be a place where readers can return each day for smart, engaged, and entertaining writing about all things books.”
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ annual conference has recently concluded, so naturally that means there are some roundups to read. Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog has a humorous guide for following the AWP conference on social media. Publisher’s Weekly has several articles about key events during the conference. The hashtag for the event was #AWP2015.
April is National Poetry Month
In honor of National Poetry Month, Poetry magazine is giving away digital copies of the April issue, which is “largely devoted to the work of the BreakBeat poets.” They’ve also published an enjoyable and lengthy Spotify playlist to accompany the issue. If that’s not enough listening pleasure for you, they’ve also launched a new podcast.
Do Genres have Political Tendencies?
In the Guardian’s books blog, Val McDermid suggests that “crime fiction is leftwing and thrillers are rightwing” because “today’s crime novels are overtly critical of the status quo, while the thriller explores the danger of the world turned upside down.” Jonathan Freedland disagrees, “my quibble is not really with McDermid’s claim that the crime novel leans leftward. I want to object to the other half of her case: that the thriller tilts inevitably towards the right. As someone who is both a card-carrying Guardian columnist and a writer of political thrillers, I feel compelled to denounce the very idea.”