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.)
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .