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I can’t wait to get back to the U.S. Open later this summer. In the interest of making a more emotional connection between players and their fans, the Womens Tennis Association just launched its campaign called “Strong is Beautiful.” From the Times’ story about the campaign: “This is a global sport and this is about…

Strong is Beautiful

I can’t wait to get back to the U.S. Open later this summer. In the interest of making a more emotional connection between players and their fans, the Womens Tennis Association just launched its campaign called “Strong is Beautiful.” From the Times’ story about the campaign:

“This is a global sport and this is about celebrating our next generation of stars,” said Stacey Allaster, chief executive of the W.T.A. She said the campaign aimed to convert “peripheral fans” who watch only a couple of major tournaments into diehards who follow the entire women’s tennis tour, which includes more than 50 events. Having players talk about their backgrounds, aspirations and drive will hook fans, Ms. Allaster said.”


Posted by Joel on May 14 2011 • Multimedia

Galleys Included?

For $2.5 million you can own Norman Mailer’s last home, his apartment in Brooklyn Heights. Mr. Mailer died in 2007, but since that time his apartment has remained as it was when he lived there. From the New York Times: “Now Michael and his eight siblings have put the apartment, a fourth-floor co-op overlooking the Promenade, the Statue of Liberty and the harbor framing the skyline of Lower Manhattan, on the market for $2.5 million and hope to share the proceeds. They have not quite decided what to do with the furniture, books and tchotchkes, but will probably divide them up. Yet, Michael Mailer said, they may be open to offers for some belongings from, say, someone planning a Norman Mailer Museum.

“‘It’s a tough thing to sell a family apartment because there are so many memories,” Mr. Mailer said. “A lot of us are not eager to sell it at all. It’s an unusual place and only someone with a particular sensitivity and style would buy it. If you’re a family it’s probably not very practical. It’s a dangerous place.’”

Take a tour here.

Posted by Joel on May 14 2011 • Current Affairs

A New Book Culture

A great paragraph from Morris Dickstein about the decline of book culture. He made the remarks at a panel on “The Next Decade in Book Culture,” with special emphasis in criticism and book reviewing, at the PEN World Voices Festival, April 27, 2011, cosponsored by the National Book Critics Circle:

“The last thing we want to do is idealize the old middlebrow culture with its genteel book industry, its banal bookchat and boosterism, its highly stratified culture—a pyramid capped by a small cadre of little magazines and rigorous critics. But we may miss its respect for the written word, the life of the mind, the culture of the past. The Internet accelerated a democratization of culture that had long been under way, a shift toward visual media and popular music that consigned literature to the outer margins. The revolution initiated by the movie screen and the TV screen is being brought to high definition by the computer screen. Here critical writing has a small niche, but will it acquire a real presence? Deployed with technical savvy, it can become a form of resistance, a rampart of personal vision within a relentlessly homogenized culture, ever in thrall to the fashions of the moment. Thanks to its open grid and easy access, the same technology that marginalizes literature and drowns out criticism leaves room for dissent, for the still, small voice that may yet find ways to be heard.”

Posted by Joel on May 11 2011 • Books

Is Journalism Worth Dying For?

This post’s title is also the title of a book containing many essays and other works on the state of journalism by Anna Politkovskaya, a special correspondent for the Russian newspaper Novaya gazeta who was murdered in Moscow on October 7, 2006, for her probing works of investigative journalism. The book contains many of the pieces she was working on at the time of her assassination.

Is Journalism Worth Dying For? is reviewed at the Barnes and Noble Review by Jason Farago. He writes that Polikkovskaya’s “enduring importance derives from her refusal to capitulate despite seemingly unbearable pressure—and, even more basically, her commitment to rigorous on-the-ground reporting when journalists, even when not faced with official intimidation, spend more time with PR flacks than sources and victims.”

Posted by Joel on May 07 2011 • Journalism