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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Literary Tumblrs & How Tos

Posted by Alison Hallett on Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Six months ago, The Millions posted a roundup of the best literary Tumblrs (is adding "on the web" here redundant? Pre-coffee inner copy editor says "yes, but your sentence is too short without it." COFFEE). But "six months in the real world is different from six months online," writes the Millions' Nick Moran, "and Tumblr now has grown by a few million blogs. So with that in mind, I’ve decided it’s time for another list — a better list, a bigger list."

It's a big list indeed.
I've only scratched the surface, but I'd never seen The Monkeys You Ordered ("Literal New Yorker captions"), so it's already been worth my time.

Also on the list, a new project from former Eugene Weekly Music Editor/my pal Molly Templeton, who's been getting a lot of coverage for her Tumblr "The How-To Issue." Molly conceived the project in response to the New York Times Book Review's recent How-To issue:

The cover of the How-To issue lists eight pieces, two of which are by women. The cover reads, in part, "Judith Warner on How to Raise Your Kids" and "Kate Christensen on How to Cook a Clam." These phrases share space with "Roger Rosenblatt on How to Write Great" and "Garry Willis on How to Win an Election."

That cover made me feel like I was in a time warp. There is nothing wrong with cooking and raising children; there are lots of things right and wonderful with these pursuits. They are also, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you, traditionally female tasks, and when you take into consideration the VIDA stats, the history of gender imbalance in literature and journalism and the world at large, you might find yourself a little frustrated by the fact that it's 20goddamn12 and we are still too often relegated to writing about deeply gendered topics. (Of the 18 bylined reviews and essays in the issue, five are by women.)

So she started a Tumblr of women writing about things they know how to do; you can check Sarah Mirk's contribution right here. (I haven't contributed yet; the only remotely esoteric thing I know how to do is tell if a guinea pig is a girl or a boy.)

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