Sofia Samatar, Keguro Macharia, Aaron Bady in conversation
'Increasingly, or, perhaps better, consciously, I’ve tried to “erase” in my work (actually from the very beginning) the demarcation between fiction and nonfiction. All literature is a form of lying, and in the hierarchy of such, I view the autobiographer as the biggest liar for claiming to remember everything as it happened, whereas memory has already done its powerful editing. Next in the hierarchy of liars is the biographer, who dares to claim that he can “know” another’s life. The most honest of the hierarchy is the fiction writer, who says in effect, “This is a lie, a fiction, and I’m trying to convince you it’s all true. …”'
In our current cultural climate of feminist-defining and not-feminist-enough shaming, Roxane Gay’s ownership of the title is a tongue-in-cheek revolt, to powerful effect. “Bad feminist” is a way for her to claim the title of feminist while distancing herself from the essentialism that she feels has never represented her, that has at times even rejected her. As Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has said, “There’s the idea of feminism as a party that’s very exclusive, and some people don’t get to go.” The exclusivity is based on the idea that there exists “one true feminism to dominate all of womankind,” as Gay puts it—a kind of independence to the point of invulnerability, a heterosexual, white, middle to upper middle class, pink-hating Feminism with a capital F.
There’s something so uncannily timely about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that it’s almost disturbing. In the UK over the past few weeks, there’s been a palpable sense that the dominant reality system is juddering, that things are starting to give. There’s an awakening from hedonic depressive slumber, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is not merely in tune with that, it’s amplifying it. Explosion in the heart of the commodity? Yes, and fire causes more fire …
by Caleb Crain
Though there were a few librarians, leaders of nonprofits, and even writers present, most of my fellow conference attendees were lawyers who specialize in copyright, and I discovered that copyright lawyers see the world rather differently than do the writer-editor types with whom I usually rub shoulders. They don't expect publishing as I know it to be around much longer, for one thing. I thought I'd try to write up my impressions of the time I spent in their company. Please keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer myself. I'm just a visitor who went to the fair.
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