I don’t know much about this Quantified Writer Project, but seeing that it combines two of my favorite things—Arnon Grunberg’s work and neuroscience—I feel like I really should.
Here’s the basic description from Arnon’s website:
Dutch author Arnon Grunberg and his publishing house, Nijgh & Van Ditmar, initiated the formation of a top class research team that will investigate the physiological processes governing the production and perception of art in a unique collaboration between scientists, an artist and the public.
The team plans to take detailed measurements of the brain activity and the physical signals recorded from the author as he writes his new novel. This will take place in New York, where Grunberg lives, starting November 19th and lasting two weeks. The next phase, in the fall of 2014, will be to study members of public (n=~50) reading the new novel in a controlled situation. On top of this, and using a limited set of parameters, the team will study brain activation in several thousand readers.
There is also a LiveStream box on this page, so maybe we’ll all have the chance to watch as Arnon writes? Regardless, this sounds really cool, and I’m very curious about the results. It seems like something could fit right into Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine, but, you know, actually factually accurate. (Yeah, I went there.)
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .
Like any good potboiler worth its salt, Fuminori Nakamura’s The Gun wastes no time setting up its premise: “Last night, I found a gun. Or you could say I stole it, I’m not really sure. I’ve never seen something so. . .
Heiner Resseck, the protagonist in Monika Held’s thought-provoking, first novel, This Place Holds No Fear, intentionally re-lives his past every hour of every day. His memories are his treasures, more dear than the present or future. What wonderful past eclipses. . .
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate office, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.” To Björn, the office worker who narrates Jonas Karlsson’s novel The Room, the reality is simple: there’s a door near the bathroom that leads. . .
I recently listened to Three Percent Podcast #99, which had guest speaker Julia Berner-Tobin from Feminist Press. In addition to the usual amusement of finally hearing both sides of the podcast (normally I just hear parts of Chad’s side. . .
Let’s not deceive ourselves, man is nothing very special. In fact, there are so many of us that our governments don’t know what to do with us at all. Six billion humans on the planet and only six or seven. . .
“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“And this—what. . .
Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .
In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:
When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .