Culture Blog


Welcome to the Culture Blog, a comprehensive feed of engaging content, featuring work form over fifty leading sites on the topics of literature, art, photography, and film.

While this is something of a departure from the specifics of short fiction, we believe it’s important to acknowledge the intersection of the arts and appreciate that many of the best creations come from the blending of ideas.

We hope you’ll find things that will inform, entertain, and inspire.


  • Matching the Smells of Musty Manuscripts with Chemical Compounds
    The library of Dean and Chapter at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where researchers sampled book smells (photo by Andrea Vail/Flickr)Bury your nose in the nearest old book (or imagine a low-lit library, if you don’t have one on hand) — what do you smell? Some weathered tomes give off smoky perfumes of ash and incense; others emit whiffs of mustiness, like old clothes. These olfactory characteristics can communicate the presence of chemical compounds that may indicate degradation, something vital for conservators and curators to recognize. They can also convey the history of a book, what it’s made from, and where it’s been. Yet as Cecilia Bembibre and Matija Strlič, researchers ...
    Source: HyperallergicPublished on 2017-04-26By Allison Meier
  • A Long Overdue Biopic Tells Tom of Finland’s Life Story
    A scene from Tom of Finland (all photos courtesy of Protagonist Pictures)The new biographical film Tom of Finland has a lot of the trappings of the art of Touko Laaksonen, better known by his nom de pencil. There are beautiful, muscle-bound men in taut uniforms and gleaming leather, secretive encounters in moonlit parks, outrageous scenes of eroticism around swimming pools and in leather clubs. But director Dome Karukoski smartly juxtaposes the drawings’ fantasy worlds of libidinous liberation with the extremely repressive world Laaksonen inhabited for much of his life. Beginning with his time fighting in the Finnish army alongside the Nazis and moving through his late-life celebrity, just as the ...
    Source: HyperallergicPublished on 2017-04-26By Benjamin Sutton
  • Losing
    They questioned some of the scholarship kids first, boys with cheap-cut shirts and shabby jackets—the ones who tied their neckties as if they meant it, not with the shrug of boys who’d been born with a tailor in the next room. This was at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, high on a hill overlooking a factory town where shoes were sold with metal tips, so if you dropped your hammer you wouldn’t break your toes. Next they questioned the rougher kids, the ones who’d give the gym coach the finger while he was watching, ones who laughed in chapel ...
    Source: The Paris ReviewPublished on 2017-04-26By Brian Cullman
  • Sci-Fi Icon William Gibson Imagines a World in which Hillary Clinton Is President
    And more news from around the literary webToday in the literary world we saw a creative bookstore Instagram, a study proving British people love lying about what they’ve read, and (probably not related) Granta’s take on the best young American writers. Oh yeah, and a novel that imagines what a Hillary Clinton Presidency would have been like (alas). Also, Marcel Proust loved to complain about his neighbors’ loud sex…https://medium.com/media/5c503abfb3cd8a533ab8f3da8833df7e/hrefIndependent Bookstore in France Brings Books to Life Via InstagramLibrairie Mollat, in independent bookshop in Bordeaux, has started a clever Instagram campaign that brings book covers to life. The photos mash-up faces of customers ...
    Source: Electric LiteraturePublished on 2017-04-26By Jackson Frons
  • Tahereh Mafi is Writing Three More Books in the SHATTER ME Series!
    GUYS. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. ☝☝☝ 3 more SHATTER ME books! ❤ i'm around now to answer some questions if you've got them! pic.twitter.com/ycvSsEguHB — Tahereh Mafi (@TaherehMafi) April 26, 2017 We are going to be getting even more Juliette and Warner! Not only is the TV series in the works, but Tahereh Mafi has announced that she is writing three new books in the Shatter Me series! Tahereh Mafi did an exclusive interview with EW and revealed some of the details. These books aren’t going to be spin-offs, but a continuation of the original series. The ...
    Source: Book RiotPublished on 2017-04-26By Beth O'Brien
  • Streep, Sondheim, the Women’s March, and a Call to Arms at the PEN America Gala
    Last night at the Museum of Natural History, the fight for free speech hit close to homeStephen Sondheim and Meryl StreepIt’s a new era for PEN America. The organization, which has long helped champion freedom of expression around the world, is now grappling with new threats on the home front, namely a President who is openly hostile towards members of the media, wants to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, and not only condones but creates fake news. PEN America’s President, Andrew Solomon, addressed the tense political climate in his opening remarks: “We are living in a time of unprecedented attacks ...
    Source: Electric LiteraturePublished on 2017-04-26By Carrie V Mullins
  • WITS in Action! Turiya Autry at Grant High School
    We visited Grant High School to see WITS writer Turiya Autry working in Courtney Palmer’s classes. Autry is teaching in two sections: African American Literature and Latin American Literature. For the latter, she began by asking the twenty-two students in class, “What are a few issues that concern you? Or things you take issue with?” Several hands shot into the air. “Backseat driving!” said one student. “People not responding,” said another. Autry wrote each contribution on the whiteboard. “Fake people,” said another. “The fact I can’t recycle my toothbrushes.” “Co-signers,” said another student. Autry stopped writing. “What is a co-signer?” she ...
    Source: Literary ArtsPublished on 2017-04-26By mel
  • The Rumpus Book Club Chat with Julie Buntin
    The Rumpus Book Club chats with Julie Buntin about her debut novel, Marlena, the writers and books that influenced it, tackling addiction with compassion, and the magic of teenage girls. This is an edited transcript of the book club discussion. Every month The Rumpus Book Club hosts a discussion online with the book club members and the author, and we post an edited version online as an interview. To become a member of the Rumpus Book Club, click here. Upcoming writers include Gabrielle Bell, Samantha Irby, Achy Obejas, Danzy Senna, and more. This Rumpus Book Club interview was edited by Marisa Siegel. *** Marisa: ...
    Source: The RumpusPublished on 2017-04-26By The Rumpus Book Club
  • What Do Germans Think of the Juicero?
    Deutschland über us (now almost as strong as two human hands).Image: [martin]Despite the recently accepted honor of most important country in the world, Germany is a small place. Geographically, it is not even the size of Montana; its population (80 million very stern people) is about twice the size of California. At the same time, German speakers are very obsessed with the news: in parts of Germany and all of Austria, for example, the $7 price of a cup of coffee at a Kaffeehaus is justified because patrons can sit and nurse that coffee for ten hours while they read literally ...
    Source: The AwlPublished on 2017-04-26By Rebecca Schuman
  • Watch a Female Animator’s Abstract Films from the Mid-20th Century
    Mary Ellen Bute, still from “Tarantella” (1940) (image courtesy Center for Visual Music)Years before Disney’s Fantasia combined classical music and animation for a mass audience, Mary Ellen Bute was pioneering her own form of visual music. Bute was influenced as much by modern artists like Wassily Kandinsky as by musical innovator Léon Theremin, whom she apprenticed with, and fellow artist and animator Oskar Fischinger. Between the 1930s and 1950s, Bute produced a series of short, abstract animated films in which vibrantly colored shapes, lines, and squiggles dance across the screen, set to soundtracks by Bach, Shostakovich, or other classical composers. Critic and curator Ed ...
    Source: HyperallergicPublished on 2017-04-26By Matt Stromberg
  • Survivor
    A hypochondriac’s guide to rare diseases.   I recently made a wrong turn out of the parking lot of the Danbury Fair Mall, where I’d indulged in a bag of Auntie Anne’s pretzel nuggets and a pair of cheap earrings at Claire’s. Bemoaning my love for this soulless crap—and not paying attention to my route—I found myself at the entrance to NORD, the National Organization of Rare Disorders.  I’m a hypochondriac. I’ve also been a state-licensed EMT for nineteen years. EMTs are taught not to diagnose, but in my case these are wasted words. I keep my “findings” to ...
    Source: The Paris ReviewPublished on 2017-04-26By Jane Stern
  • 10 Classic Gothic Novels Everyone Should Read
    The best Gothic novels The following list is not supposed to represent the ten most definitive Gothic novels ever published – it’s a list to inspire debate and discussion as much as it is a list of recommendations of classic Gothic works of fiction. Nevertheless, we reckon the reader of Gothic fiction could do worse […] ...
    Source: Interesting LiteraturePublished on 2017-04-26By interestingliterature
  • Book Riot’s Deals of the Day for April 26th, 2017
    Book Riot Deals is sponsored today by The Darkest Night by Rick Reed, set in the Louisiana swamplands, where it takes a cop like Jack Murphy to find justice. Available now from Lyrical Underground. Today’s Featured Deals:   The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald for $2.51. Get it here or just click the cover image below:     Lost Stars by Claudia Gray for $3.99. Get it here or just click the cover image below: In Case You Missed Yesterday’s Most Popular Deal:   Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Talb for $2.99. Get ...
    Source: Book RiotPublished on 2017-04-26By Jeff O'Neal
  • Let’s All Move To Alaska
    They still have Blockbuster there.Image: hector e. balcazarThe stores’ survival has depended on aggressive real estate deals with landlords willing to offer short-term leases and reduced rent. It has required running the business “a lot differently” than Blockbuster ever did, avoiding what Payne calls “a contentious culture over late fees.” Unlike the old Blockbuster, Payne’s version never sends out invoices to customers for late fees; they are simply collected whenever they come into the store. But he has also refused to eliminate late fees entirely like Blockbuster did, a decision Payne calls the “final nail in the coffin.”Still, a great deal of ...
    Source: The AwlPublished on 2017-04-26By Silvia Killingsworth
  • The Elizabeths: Elemental Historians
    CONJECTURES #4 — Carla Nappi conjures a dreamscape from four archival fragments — four oblique references to women named “Elizabeth” who lived on the watershed of the 16th-to-17th century. ...
    Source: The Public Domain reviewPublished on 2017-04-26By Adam Green