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Posts Tagged ‘Sylvia Plath’

Vice Gets Vicey With Photo Spread Glamorizing Suicide [Update]

Vice has always been good at stirring up controversy, and a new photo spread shows the magazine is still at the top of its game. The piece, titled “Last Words,” shows women portraying literary icons who committed suicide. Each model poses in the way in which the writer took their life. For Iris Chang, the model holds a gun pointed toward her face; for Sylvia Plath, the model is depicted staring at an open oven. You get the idea.

Last Words is gross because it glamorizes suicide. There’s nothing sexy, fashionable, or edgy, about people killing themselves. Hell, the least Vice could’ve done was list some of the writers’ work. But nah, why do anything to distract from the goal of trolling people?

Vice has — once again — managed to attract attention by publishing low brow material. Let’s not act surprised, or for that matter, upset. Let’s just acknowledge the fact that Vice is consistent.

Update (2:16 pm):
Vice has removed Last Words from its website. In its place is the following statement:

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Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Art.Write.Now. Exhibition Coming to Pasadena

Art.Write.Now., a traveling exhibition of the works of winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, will make its debut in Pasadena next month. Local students Lachlan Turczan, 17 (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts); Isabel Bennett, 16 (Culver City High School); Juan Correa, 17 (Loyola Academy); and Benjamin Sprung-Keyser, 16 (The Harvard Westlake School) will be honored.

The organization has been giving awards and scholarships to high schoolers for artistic and literary achievement since 1923. And they have a pretty good track record of spotting talent. Past winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards include John Baldessari, Sylvia Plath, John Lithgow, Truman Capote, Robert Redford, and Andy Warhol.

The show is free and opens May 7 at the Lineage Dance Performing Arts Center.

Mediabistro Blog-Family Roundup

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  • Keith Olbermann discovers that he’s got a Twitter impostor- WebNewser

  • Visual design lead Douglas Bowman leaves Google out of frustration with design-by-committee processes- UnBeige
  • UK newspapers hit by layoffs- FishbowlNY
  • Former DNC chairman and 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean has joined CNBC as a contributor- TVNewser
  • Nicholas Hughes, the son of late poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, has committed suicide- GalleyCat

  • Peggy Noonan Talks to Us About How She Got Her Start in Women’s Magazines

    noonglynn.pngMore Peggy Noonan from the Time Warner Political Summit. This conversation, about how Noonan got her start at Mademoiselle as a college student who’d won a magazine writing contest, was the result of an earlier conversation we’d had about the Rosenbergs: at one point I’d mentioned that my first and strongest Rosenbergs reference came from the opening of Sylvia Plath‘s The Bell Jar — turns out Noonan had worked for the same editor at Mademoiselle that Plath had twenty years earlier. Later I asked Noonan what she thinks of the new media world college grads are encountering today: “It’s a talentocracy. Meritocracy, I’m not sure, it’s one of those debatable words, but talent? You can come from anywhere, have no credentials, but if you have humor, wit, brilliance, an ability to explain what it is…you can become an overnight blog sensation.” Full video after the jump.

    A side note: Rachel Sklar and I conducted this interview in a busy hallway between panel rooms; a number of people saw us talking to Noonan and later made it a point to tell me either what big fans they were of hers (many of them, regardless of her views), or how they’d also experienced first hand how generous she is with her time.

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    MoDo Enters Borders, Discovers ‘Chick-Lit’ Phenomenon

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    We read Maureen Dowd‘s Times column over the weekend, the one where she takes a stroll through a D.C.-area Borders with New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier and declares, among other things, “I even found Sylvia Plath‘s The Bell Jar with chick-lit pretty-in-pink lettering.” Far from experts in chick-lit or literature written by chicks, we’ll let Ron Hogan at GalleyCat explain Dowd’s plundering:

    Dowd’s stroll through a D.C. bookstore with curmudgeonly blockhead Leon Wieseltier is filled with ridiculous flourishes, as when she declares, “I even found Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar with chick-lit pretty-in-pink lettering.” Let’s assume she was talking about the cover at right, which graces the most recent HarperPerennial reprint. Yes, Plath’s name is in somewhat pinkish letters, and, yes, the cover does make use of the classic “legs-in-isolation” theme. But to compare this somber-hued, dully typefaced cover with the bright colors of explicit chick lit novels published by, say, Red Dress Ink or Plume or even Harper’s Avon division is rather a stretch, unless you’re looking to be deliberately argumentative. And then there’s the idea that “the bachelorette party of log-rolling blurbs by chick-lit authors” makes the books feel “interchangeable.” Because, Lord knows, that sort of thing never happens in the rarefied world of literary fiction.

  • Heels Over Hemingway [NYT]