Planet News – February 23

“The storefront church is tiny, but attracts worshipers from around the world because of its Sunday performances of music by saxophone legend John Coltrane, still a towering figure in jazz nearly 50 years after his death.

“Archbishop and co-founder Franzo King says the landlord, the West Bay Conference Center, is trying to raise the church’s rent from $1,600 a month to $4,000. But King says the issue is bigger than a rent hike. The church, he says, is one of the last black-owned businesses in a neighborhood known as the ‘Harlem of the West,’ before the city redeveloped the Fillmore in the 1960s.’The outmigration of the African American community is what we’re fighting against. The salvation of black culture and people in this community,’ King said.”–Little Hope for Saving Coltrane Church, Last Vestige of SF Jazz District from KQED

“When I was in 11th grade, I had to read Macbeth, and I didn’t get it. I failed English. In 12th grade, I had to reread it, and it was really the language that gave me entrée into the play. The murderer says, “I am one, my liege, whom the vile blows and buffets of the world have so incensed that I am reckless what I do to spite the world.” The poetry in that! “The vile blows and buffets of the world.” Who talks like that? But I got it. Not only did I get it, but I was like, “This is a hard way of talking, but I know exactly what he’s talking about.” Do you understand what I’m saying? I’m like 500 years removed from Shakespeare, but I can feel exactly what he—I can put on some hip-hop, and it’s the same thing. It occurred to me that, put the drama aside, the words themselves could evoke things.”–Poetic Training: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Macbeth, Sonia Sanchez, and how poetry shaped him into the writer he is today

“The size of the company, which is held in trust, is dictated by the terms of Laughlin’s will. There are, and will be, just nine employees, and the number of books the company may publish each year is also fixed…These constraints were baked into New Directions’ business model in the interest of quality and longevity. “We’re expected to make our own way financially,” Epler told me. “The trust is just how he left it to make it safe, so we couldn’t be bought by a larger corporation.” As intended, those constraints have factored deeply into the company’s acquisition strategy. Its employees leverage connections, taste, a worldly sensibility, a capacity for risk, and thrift in order to bring revenues to the company and fine new books to a global readership”–Why bigger isn’t always better: How Staying Small Helps New Directions Publish Better Books from The New Yorker

“Punctuation does more than simply carve out a space for words. It separates them. Clearly, some authors are more okay with long rambling sentences than others. William Faulkner looks at your short sentences and says nothing less than fuck you.”–A detailed breakdown of the punctuation choices of famous authors via Medium.

“Orthofer’s project has the self-swallowing pattern of a Borges story: if you set out to read the world, how can you stop? Though the site calls itself a “survey of books old and new,” it is driven by an antiquarian zeal for record-keeping, with titles under review indexed by nationality, genre, and several other categories. It is as if Orthofer is building a snow sculpture or wunderkammer of literature on par with the completist masterpieces he admires.”–Another from The New Yorker: One Man’s Impossible Quest to Read and Review the World.

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