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The Digest of Arts, Culture and Ideas
Updated: 9 min 22 sec ago

Gary Shteyngart Resigns From Blurbing Books (Here’s His Resignation Letter)

April 18, 2014 - 2:13am

“It is with deep sadness that I announce that the volume of requests has exceeded my abilities, and I will be throwing my ‘blurbing pen’ into the Hudson River during a future ceremony, time and place to be determined.” (He is making exceptions, though, including all owners of long-haired dachshunds.)

Resetting ‘Three Sisters’ Among Expats In Yemen

April 18, 2014 - 2:03am

The isolated Arab country “presents a conflict zone, but not one that gets international attention; far-flung but not exotic; visitors who hope to do good with varying degrees of conviction;” and the “claustrophobia” of life in an expatriate community.

E. L. Doctorow Wins Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction

April 18, 2014 - 1:40am

Called “our very own Charles Dickens” by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, “the 83-year-old editor, professor and novelist has won almost every literary honor an American writer can receive.”

Gabriel García Márquez Dies At 87

April 17, 2014 - 6:17pm

“Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience.”

Legal Landscape Still Murky For Detroit Institute Of Art Collection

April 17, 2014 - 12:45pm

“Like every aspect of the Detroit bankruptcy, the legal issues surrounding the DIA and its multibillion-dollar collection remain a landscape of uncharted territory and foggy complexities.”

Can Loud Music Really Make Your Ears Bleed?

April 17, 2014 - 12:15pm

“If you are close to a sound source – such as a speaker – you are close to a lot of pressure waves. Direct sound exposure often doesn’t cause capillaries to burst, it’s the pressure.

Research: Artists’ Brain Structure Is Different

April 17, 2014 - 12:12pm

“Participants’ brain scans revealed that artists had increased neural matter in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery.”

Survey: Most Dancers Have Been Criticized For How Their Bodies Look

April 17, 2014 - 12:08pm

A group of 74 female dancers, training primarily in ballet and from six vocational dance training colleges across the UK, were asked if they could recall someone ever making a “critical comment” that their body “should be a certain shape, weight, or that there was a need to diet to lose weight or increase food intake to gain weight”.

Why Museum Directors Still Want To Curate Shows

April 17, 2014 - 12:01pm

“If I didn’t continue to curate—even now that I have a job that oversees six museums—I would stop breathing. The strong relationship with artists gives me the energy to take on all the business that I have to do.”

Jimmy Wales Talks About Information, Human Rights And Things You Don’t Want To Know

April 17, 2014 - 11:58am

“The Onion is my favourite humour site, a parody of news. And one of my favourite headlines in the Onion was “World death rate holding steady at 100 per cent”. So yes, in that sense, we’re all doomed.”

The Science Behind The Beats That Make You Wanna Dance

April 17, 2014 - 11:47am

“The results revealed that beat preference, when graphed, looks like an upside-down U on the scale of rhythmic intricacy. Overly simplistic beats are boring, it seems; overly complicated ones are befuddling. A mix of both, however, makes a sound that’s just off-kilter enough to be exciting.”

Change Of Venue – Now THIS Is How To See Opera

April 17, 2014 - 11:44am

“Live opera is as physical as art gets, though you would never know that from sitting in any major opera house. In the Sam Wana­maker Playhouse, you can feel singers’ breath on your face; you can hear their inhalations as well as their sung exhalations, the scratch as well as the sustained tone of the violins. Some illusions are lost but with them goes a certain artifice that holds you at arm’s length.”

You Can’t “Habit” Your Way Into Making Good Art

April 17, 2014 - 11:38am

“There is no secret ingredient to artistic success; no magic routine for producing art. Copying Joan Didion’s routine won’t make you write like Joan Didion. Writing on index cards won’t turn you into Vladimir Nabokov. We are all more than the pattern of our days and the materials of our work.”

Two Ballerinas Take On The Mythology Of Dance

April 17, 2014 - 11:35am

“Providing a behind-the-scenes look at the glory and gore of ballet, both books, in their own way, uncover unjust practices in ballet which for decades have tended to be tolerated, if not excused, in the name of art.”

Study: Creative Leisure Activities Build Better Workers

April 17, 2014 - 11:05am

“If you’re looking for workers who are unusually innovative and/or team players who enjoy helping their colleagues, check out those who spend their free time painting, playing music, or engaging in some other form of creativity.”

Artists Plan To Recreate 1914 ‘Human Zoo’

April 17, 2014 - 3:58am

“Norway celebrates the 200th anniversary of its constitution this year, and, the artists Mohamed Ali Fadlabi and Lars Cuzner plan to re-enact one of the main attractions from the centenary in 1914: ‘The Congo Village’, in which 80 Africans were put on display, living in cabins with palm roofs surrounded by African artefacts.”

Edward J. Sozanski, 77, Longtime Philadelphia Inquirer Art Critic

April 17, 2014 - 3:55am

“Over three decades [he] became a major figure in describing and documenting the city’s cultural transformation from regional byway to the national main stage.”

The Louvre Gets Its 18th-Century Groove Back

April 17, 2014 - 3:54am

“The Louvre Museum is preparing to reopen its 18th-century galleries on 6 June, after nearly a decade of renovation work.”

What’s Wrong With The Metropolitan Opera? No, It’s WHO’S Wrong

April 17, 2014 - 3:51am

In part three of a series on what’s ailing America’s flagship opera company and how to cure it, Dawn Fatale looks at engaging the public and at casting – and says the Met must stop casting five to six years in advance.