An Internet Style Guide, the Cold War and Creative Writing, and Amazon

Field Notes headerCheck out this week’s edition!

How Iowa Flattened Literature

Eric Bennet opens his article with a provocative question:  “Did the CIA fund creative writing in America?”  In examining the link between Cold War-era funding and the growth of America’s most famous M.F.A program, Bennet also questions why the Iowa Writer’s Workshop has the power it commands.  Although he graduated from the program, Bennet is suspicious of Iowa’s influence over the development of creative writing programs in America.

LOL and/or Lol!  The Internet Has a Style Guide Now

Good news for all would-be bloggers, tweet-ers, and users of the Internet.  Buzzfeed, our favorite source for lists and memes, has published an Internet Style Guide.  This article in The Atlantic recaps the answers to the most pressing questions of Internet grammar (defriend or un-friend? Twitter or twitter?), but consult the original for any more arcane issues.

Is Amazon Bad for Books?

George Packer’s long form piece in The New Yorker traces Amazon’s fraught and complicated relationships with books and the publishing world.  Beginning with Amazon’s origins as a bookseller, Packer recounts the company’s ironclad grip on major publishing houses.  By analyzing Amazon’s impact, Packer questions how the traditional role of a cultural gatekeeper has evolved and how these shifting roles define ‘publishable’ material.  The article also alludes to larger questions surrounding digital publishing and readership:  how does the medium shape the message?

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