What we're reading:
Foreign orchestras offer misleading credentials
(New York Times): "The Dublin Philharmonic that played two years ago in nearly 50 towns? Mostly Bulgarians. The Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra that toured the United States last year? Largely freelancers." A classical music agency is mostly to blame.
How's Ai Weiwei doing?
(Guardian): According to his wife, he appears to be physically healthy but mentally conflicted, with red eyes and visible tension
The School of Life
(London Review of Books): Classes at Alain de Botton’s London school include "Filling the God-Shaped Hole", "How to Face Death" and "How to be Cool"
"No, writing cannot be taught. Yes, writing programs are a scam—a kind of Ponzi scheme. Yes, writing programs make all writers sound alike. Yes, they turn writers away from the “real world,” where the real stories are, fastening their gazes to their navels. No, MFA students do not learn anything truly valuable."
~ Mark McGurl, author of "The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing" (Los Angeles Review of Books)
Picture credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com