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Greil Marcus’s philosophy of criticism; Conde Nast union workers walkout today

Greil Marcus. Photo: Ida Lødemel Tvedt

Unionized workers across several Conde Nast publications are walking out today in protest of “the unlawful handling of layoff negotiations and bad-faith bargaining.” Over 400 workers are holding a work stoppage and rally today, and asking readers to respect a digital picket line of GQ, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit, Vogue, and other publications.

For the latest issue of the Yale Review, Greil Marcus considers “Why I Write” and what criticism means to him. For Marcus, it started with reviewing the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed in 1969: “Why am I reacting to this so intensely? Why does this make me smile and scare me at the same time? Does it matter if he’s saying ‘death’ or ‘bed,’ or does the real power in the word lie in the way it slides away as it’s sung? To ask these questions was a claim of cultural citizenship: not only do I have the right to say in public what I think this is and why that mat­ters, I have an obligation to do so. Listen to me; I’ll listen to you.”

The new issue of Parapraxis magazine is available now, with essays exploring the theme of “the wish” by Amber Jamilla Musser, Grace Byron, Anna Kornbluh, and more. 

At The Baffler, read Ajay Singh Chaudhury’s argument against resilience: “Resilience emphasizes some of the stickiest, socially destructive ideals of our time: the hardy survivor, the endlessly flexible and adaptable worker, and the self-reliant community, all of whom continue to function within even the most corrosive socioecological conditions and deprivations.” This piece is excerpted from Chaudhury’s forthcoming book The Exhausted of the Earth: Politics in a Burning World

Online now, you can watch a discussion of Big Fiction, Dan Sinykin’s study of American literature and conglomeration in publishing, hosted by the Strand bookstore and filmed for Book TV. Sinykin talks about his book with Mark Krotov, publisher of n+1, and fields an audience question from Gerry Howard, a longtime editor who worked in publishing during the era of conglomeration.