Portside Culture

Posted by Portside on October 29, 2015
The New Statesman
Walter Benjamin found his calling after accepting he would never get a job as an academic, so he junked hitherto unfathomable reflections on language to cover contemporary culture, with an emphasis on its more popular forms, for newspapers and general publishers. His radio broadcasts, many aimed at children, show writing that is engaging, vivid and, above all, understandable. Conclusion: the best thing that ever happened to the man was his failure to land a lectureship
Posted by Portside on October 28, 2015
The Guardian
These may be banner days for African American poetry and poets. For example, this year the Pulitzer Prize for poetry went to Digest, by black poet Gregory Pardlo, of Brooklyn. Yet the book trade remains overwhelmingly white. Pardlo is one of a growing number of poets and writers of color who are now challenging racial inequality in publishing, as Angela Chen reports. Along with Chen's article are links to reviews of Pardlo's prize-winning volume.
Posted by Portside on October 20, 2015
Hollywood Progressive
Director Jay Roach, known for lighter fare like the Austin Powers series and Meet The Fockers, has taken on a heady subject, no less than the most famous communist in Hollywood history – Dalton Trumbo.
Posted by Portside on October 26, 2015
People go vegan or veg for many reasons, but losing weight may become another reason to go meatless.
Posted by Portside on October 25, 2015
New York Times
When “Supergirl” has its premiere on Oct. 26, it will enter a cultural landscape where female superheroes are better represented than ever before: where they have nearly as much opportunity to right wrongs and fight crime – and to play the central roles in their own stories — as their muscle-bound male counterparts.
Posted by Portside on October 23, 2015
Playing for Time
The UK poet Jane Spiro, a seasoned traveler and keen observer, reminds us that pleasure, wisdom and all good things depend on knowing "where to look."
Posted by Portside on October 22, 2015
The New York Review of Books
Legendary rock star Patti Smith's look back expresses supremely well the tentativeness of every movement forward, the sense of following a path so risky, so sketchily perceptible, that at any moment one might go astray and never be heard from again, never perhaps even hear from the deepest part of oneself again. For a book that ends in success, it is acutely sensitive to that abyss of failure that haunts the attempt to become any kind of artist.