weekend links: New Directions, Bear Bellinger, jocks and nerds

punctuation chart
punctuation chart

A chart comparing frequency of punctuation found in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! Image courtesy of Adam J. Calhoun/Medium

We love independent publishing company New Directions for its commitment to international, experimental, and otherwise risky literature, a legacy of its founder James Laughlin. We do not love that Laughlin may have been an “originator” of the cloying celebrity nickname trend that’s foisted upon us such travesties as J. Lo., ScarJo, and R. Pattz. Thanks a lot, J. Laugh. [New Yorker]

Bear Bellinger’s potent, well-crafted essay on his experiences as a Black working actor reminds us that the entertainment industry’s race problem goes way, way, way beyond the Oscars. [Vox]

Writing about working-class literature, Adam Fleming Petty makes some great observations about marginalization, escapism, and the capricious meaning of authenticity. He also makes a timely dig at Alex P. Keaton! [Electric Literature]

The latest battle in the never-ending war between jocks and nerds comes to us via Joey Stern, who has divided the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels list into jock/nerd subcategories. Let’s ignore the fact that duh, jocks don’t read, and just focus on how wrong he is about The Great Gatsby: Tom’s a jock, and he’s the worst person in a book full of terrible people. I rest my case. [The Toast]

We can’t stop studying Adam J. Calhoun’s visualizations of punctuation in novels. Those heat maps! [Medium]

The 24th annual Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest has announced its winners! Congrats to L. Shapley Bassen on taking first place, and on the excellent title “Portrait of a Giant Squid.” [Austin Chronicle]

Seth Orion Schwaiger's fantastic exhibit at pump project, COMPLEX 1, comes to a close today. Read this write-up, then get out there and see it before it's too late. [Austin Chronicle]

Buzzfeed named us one of their “29 Amazing Literary Magazines You Need To Be Reading.” Thanks, Buzzfeed community! This is such a surprise—we don’t even have a speech prepared! But it is truly an honor to be considered alongside Tin House, Conjunctions, Granta, Ploughshares, Oxford American, et al. We’ve been celebrating all week, no sarcasmo! [Buzzfeed]

—Alyssa G. Ramirez

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