Tag Archives: Slate

Randall Kenan’s posthumous work: collecting my friend’s unfinished novel and uncollected essays after he died | Slate

By Daniel Wallace, April 03, 20235:50 AM

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate

When writers die, they sometimes leave a raft of unfinished work behind, in various stages of incompletion.

It’s not uncommon to find most of a book or a hefty number of poems, stories, or essays languishing in a desk drawer, where these things used to languish, or these days, on their laptops. When a writer of some note dies, there’s a brief burst of interest in him and his work, especially if he’s produced little for the last few years. You may even have assumed he was already dead, and discovering that he was alive is a double shock: forgotten but not gone.

Randall Kenan at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in 2017. Paul Ward/Sewanee Writers’ Conference

Regardless, this is when previously unpublished work enters the terrain of the posthumous. It’s impossible to know how much work is left behind by the dead, and of that, how much is work that’s “worthy” of posthumous publication, work to which attention should be paid. No novel is ever judged purely on its own merits: Marketing follows us into the afterlife.

Few want to publish a dead author’s book if that book’s prospects will be lessened by the fact that he will not be around to go on tour. Think of midlist authors (like me, for instance) who really aren’t all that terrifically popular when they’re alive, spending their careers clamoring (as only the living can clamor) for whatever attention they can get. Our books, posthumously, will be on their own.

To make matters worse, many writers leave some manuscripts “in progress” behind when they die, sometimes work of great potential. This doesn’t mean that it ever would have been finished or live up to that potential. All we can know is what didn’t happen and never will, because if one thing in life is certain, it’s that the dead can be depended on to contribute very little indeed.

Source: Randall Kenan’s posthumous work: collecting my friend’s unfinished novel and uncollected essays after he died.

Brain development: The myth the brain “matures” when you’re 25 | Slate

A powerful idea about human development stormed pop culture and changed how we see one another. It’s mostly bunk.

By Jane C. Hu, November 27, 20227:00 PM

Illustrations by Rey Velasquez Sagcal

When Leonardo DiCaprio’s relationship with model/actress Camila Morrone ended three months after she celebrated her 25th birthday, the lifestyle site YourTango turned to neuroscience.

DiCaprio has a well-documented history of dating women under 25. (His current flame, who is 27, is a rare exception.) “Given that DiCaprio’s cut-off point is exactly around the time that neuroscientists say our brains are finished developing, there is certainly a case to be made that a desire to date younger partners comes from a desire to have control,” the article said. It quotes a couples therapist, who says that at 25, people’s “brains are fully formed and that presents a more elevated and conscious level of connection”—the type of connection, YourTango suggests, that DiCaprio wants to avoid.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: Brain development: The myth the brain “matures” when you’re 25.

How libraries became refuges for people with mental illness.

By Anthony Aycock, Sept 22, 20225:50 AM

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo/Slate. Photo by Chanvre Québec on Unsplash and Pawel_B/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

Welcome to State of Mind, a new section from Slate and Arizona State University dedicated to exploring mental health. Follow us on Twitter.

The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges is often credited with saying that “Paradise is a library.” He must not have meant a downtown public library, circa 8 p.m. Such places, like most communal spheres, can be a challenge to oversee.

Some people treat them like a sort of roomless hotel, sleeping in chairs and bathing in restrooms. I used to watch a man who looked like the famous woodcut of Blackbeard the Pirate ride the escalator of my three-story library up, down, up, down. For hours. Carrying a duffel bag. He never bothered anyone, so our security officers left him alone. (Can’t say the same for the lady of the evening who was meeting clients in the stairwell.)

Then there are the questions from believers in Qanon. Election deniers. Sovereign citizens. The woman who ranted about the “news” that the World Health Organization was going to “force a vote to allow them to take over the U.S. and force a lockdown like China.” (If WHO had that kind of power, why bother with a vote?)

The man who asked me how he and a few of his buddies could get into the governor’s office to “remove him” over pandemic closures. (Would that all insurrectionists did such thorough research!) Declinism is the feeling that everything is getting harder, scarier, and weirder, and a lot of people seem to have it.

Work in a library, I want to tell them, and you’ll learn what weird is.

Source: https://slate.com/technology/2022/09/libraries-mental-health-support.html

Jan. 6 hearings: Trump’s summer of bad news is about to get much worse | Slate

By Dennis Aftergut, June 06, 20226:00 AM

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

May was a bad month for former President Donald Trump.

And there are darkening clouds on his horizon. On June 9, the Jan. 6 House select committee will hold public hearings as part of its ongoing investigation into the storming of the Capitol last year.

In short order, the set of six scheduled televised sessions this month are likely to build momentum toward making the case that the president was directly involved in attempts to undermine the peaceful transition of power. And as the steady dropping of shocking findings from the committee over the course of the past months suggests, the sessions will likely have many viewers on the edge of their seats.

June’s hearings follow a series of escalations in Trump’s ongoing legal battles stemming from his attempts to undermine the 2020 election. May’s legal developments and the looming hearings suggest increasing pressures and prospects that Trump will face criminal charges.

Editor’s Note: First hearing Thursday, prime time (except Fox News)…

Source: Jan. 6 hearings: Trump’s summer of bad news is about to get much worse.

Librarian Jessamyn West on teaching computer skills in rural Vermont | Slate

In my dream world, library school would partly be help desk school.”

Podcast production by Cameron Drews, May 29, 20227:00 AM



This week, host June Thomas talks to Jessamyn West, a librarian in rural Vermont who’s working to improve computer literacy and access to library services in her community.

In the interview, Jessamyn explains her process for helping people to learn basic computer skills, like building a resume, setting up an online dating profile, or learning how to use a mouse.

She also talks about her broader mission to make sure technology is intuitive and accessible to everyone who needs it.

After the interview, June and co-host Isaac Butler discuss mantras and understanding your strengths and weaknesses.

Note: View transcript

Source: Librarian Jessamyn West on teaching computer skills in rural Vermont

The Census shows that vast stretches of America are Shrinking. Almost all of them voted for Donald Trump | slate

Ninety percent of counties that lost population in the last decade backed the ex-president.

By Jordan Weissmann, Aug 14, 20215:40 AM

A barn for Trump. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump and the Republican Party he shaped represent the fading face of the United States, winning over an older, more rural, and overwhelmingly caucasian bloc of voters that reflected the country’s past more than its more urban and diverse future.

The latest data from the 2020 Census, which the government released on Thursday to kick off the congressional redistricting process, illustrate that fact in incredibly stark terms.

It shows that the white population fell for the first time in history during the last decade, and that Americans continued to cluster in growing cities and suburbs, whether in Texas, Georgia, Virginia, or New York.

Source: The Census shows that vast stretches of America are Shrinking. Almost all of them voted for Donald Trump.