Best Of The Web
“There’s no sense of urgency for a literary Nobel, aside from the fact that, for the most part, it can’t be awarded posthumously. It’s a lifetime achievement award for writers, meaning it’s much more difficult to talk about who “deserves” to win a Nobel than it is for, say, the US national book awards, or the Man Booker, which are given out to specific works in a year. (Really though, for any literary prize, it’s hopeless to debate something so arbitrary.) Indeed, the rules stipulate that the nominees for a prize year can’t be revealed until 50 years later.
In 2016, when musician Bob Dylan won the prize, it was a bummer for the publishing industry. Because book prizes aren’t primarily about giving out awards to people who deserve them; they’re about deciding who gets a sticker on the front cover of her book, who should be showered with public praise and/or skepticism. It’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool, a publicity award more than a literary one.
The prize of course affects authors differently. Readers generally benefit most when the writer is relatively less known. When Patrick Modiano and Svetlana Alexievich received the prize in 2014 and 2015 respectively, it prompted new translations of their works into English, and helped readers around the world to discover worthy writing.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Like many Western analyses of the Middle East, they reduce Iraq’s complex internal conflicts to catchall explainers of ‘sectarianism’ and ‘tribalism’ – presuming that some groups of people are intrinsically primed for antagonism."
" he's a loser in the precise sense that his singular accomplishment in American public life has been to lose a Senate race to the stupendously unpopular Republican Ted Cruz."
"While applauding the social impetus, Israelis are divided in opinions on an American-based initiative and question its grammatical integrity."
A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.
"The Department of Homeland Security wants to use credit scores to determine immigration cases. That sets a dangerous precedent."
"Traffic. Congestion. Pollution. Hours-long commutes. What if you could leave it all behind and trade it in for an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient personal copter—all without a pilot’s license?"
"“But Qutb saw something else. The dancers in front of him were tragic lost souls. They believed they were free, but in reality they were trapped by their own selfish and greedy desires.”"
Cliches can be used as a political tool. "Prefabricated language helps everybody from prime ministers to CEOs disguise what they really want to say."
"Santa is nothing but stress for families who don’t believe in him. Trying to keep other kids from finding out the truth can cause a holiday-season-long headache."
"Umami is hard to describe in words. In the New Yorker, Hannah Goldfield defines it as “that deep, dark, meaty intensity that distinguishes seared beef, soy sauce, ripe tomato, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and mushrooms..."
"The designer babies have thus been called the “future-we-should-not-want” for each new reproductive technology or intervention. But the babies never came and are nowhere close. I am not surprised."
"Thousands of secular Israelis became newly observant and joined Haredi communities in the 1970s and ’80s. Now, their children and grandchildren are searching for a place of their own."