books

/Tag: books

So I wasn’t really expecting Karl Marx to talk about the economic impacts of mufti day1) in his seminal 1867 work, Capital. Volume I: The Process of Production of Capital and yet… here we are.

(I’m not even making this up. The English translation literally uses the word “mufti”—the term meaning “casual dress” has been in use since 1816—and it’s in the context of perceived worth and how a general has more of such, i.e. what we’d now call “social capital”, when in uniform as opposed to not.)

  1. (Incidentally, the term “mufti” in a modern context is probably kind racist, given its appropriative Orientalist roots, so… there’s also that. ^
2019-01-04T13:27:05+00:002nd January, 2019|Tags: books, culture, economics, politics|

Comforting myths.

This is not to say that we were not, or are not, “world literature.” We might be different from what passes for regular American lit, or as I like to call it, common literature. What I’m saying is that there is more other, scarier other, translated other, untranslatable other, the utterly strange other, the other who can’t stand you. Those of us allowed to speak are the tip of the iceberg. We are the cute other.

I use the term jokingly, but also deliberately. All of us on that world-literature list are basically safe, domesticated, just exotic enough to make our readers feel that they are liberal, not parochial or biased. That is, we are purveyors of comforting myths for a small segment of the dominant culture that would like to see itself as open-minded.

Rabih Alameddine on world lit.

This is just one small excerpt but I would strongly encourage everyone to go read the entirety of Alameddine’s essay, because it is very, very good.

2018-06-26T08:14:38+00:0017th December, 2018|Tags: books, culture|

I didn’t come into the bookstore to be attacked like this.

2018-12-31T09:54:20+00:0030th November, 2018|Tags: books|

This cover is just so freakin’ spectacular, though?

2018-11-08T13:15:42+00:008th November, 2018|Tags: books|

The formula can only be failed.

“Write X many books and you’ll make five digits!” When? In a year? That’s not that impressive. In a month? In a lifetime? What’s the time frame here? It’s never explained and yet the formulaic approach, the idea that it’s just a matter of numbers and not talent or connections or luck, is a very attractive one to some people. It was to me.

C.M. Stone on indie magic.

This is about oversupply and burn-out in the indie publishing scene, specifically in the romance genre. And also, semi-tangentially, about Cockygate which if you missed it, is mildly amusing in a WTF sort of way (although, it should be noted, was devastating people hit by it).

Incidentally, this whole flooding-the-market-with-dreck is known as forming a market for lemons, and there is an excellent discussion on how it applies to ebooks (of all types) here

2018-05-09T08:03:51+00:003rd November, 2018|Tags: books, ebooks, self-publishing|

The page gap.

I mean, I’m sure no one would be surprised to find out that books by female authors are priced lower than books by male authors, but by 45%?1 Ouch.

  1. Or 9%, when things like genre-based price differences were controlled for. ^
2018-05-22T09:01:53+00:0031st October, 2018|Tags: books, culture|

New books, October edition!

New additions to Mt. TBR:

  • Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis and Other Stories. Mostly I liked this book as a physical art object; it has those inside-cover-flap things, as well as deckle edged pages, which I know some people loathe but personally I am 1000% here for.
  • Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body & Other Parties. Oh, hey! I found where the bookstore keeps its short story anthologies!
  • The Prose Edda. I’ve read various bits and pieces of various translations (and not-translations!) of this before, but have never actually owned a physical copy. Well… now I own a physical copy. (Though, minor disappointment that this is only the English text, not a side-by-side with the original.)
  • William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch. A “classic” I’m probably going to hate but keep meaning to read anyway…
2018-10-10T08:09:47+00:0010th October, 2018|Tags: books|