Jaipur Literary Fest vids from the fall

Which I’m just now figuring out exist. This first one’s “On Cultural Appropriation,” with Anne Hillerman, Jovan Mays, Saikat Majumdar, and Yassmin Abdel-Mageid,  Laird Hunt moderating:

And this one’s “Ancestral Cultures: Legacy of the First Nations,” with Crisosto Apache, Erika Wurth, and Janice Gould, Margaret Coel modding:

Just became aware of these thanks to Bret Smith posting this clip on Facebook:

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Back Cover Copy

Strikes me that the reason a lot of novels start out so slowly is that they don’t take into account the version of the catalog copy on their back cover. That copy nearly always gives away the central conceit or trick or surprise of the novel, but the novel, pretending to itself that it exists as pages only, no marketing involved, plays its central whatever close to the vest for eighty or a hundred pages, taking the reader up an agonizingly slow incline to the first of its twists or reveals or big developments. Except the reader, because of that back cover copy that got them to buy the novel in the first place, they’re not reading in a “wait, what’s going to happen here?”-mode but a “when’s what I read about on the back cover going to happen”-mode.

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Words per minute

I dream of a word processor that throws a little a WPM gauge up in the right corner, so I can keep a close eye for when I’m backing off the throttle more than I should. Way back, when instant-messaging first came around? I used to write chat scripts to talk to different hardly-remote people, and we’d testrun it, use the chat to IM, all that. What I found out pretty quick with that was that I never cared for the content of our back and forth. What mattered to me was winning the race: getting my reply jammed in faster than the person on the other end could even read it. And have it be proper and right, of course. In short, I wasn’t good to chat with, since it was never about the discussion, always about the speed.

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