Our pick of longform we came across this week ranges from the love story of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s parents, to what it means to be a female editor in the journalism world, via an insight into how the language of colour rewires how we perceive colour:
1. Colour messes with our brains
The crayola-fication of the world: How we gave colors names, and it messed with our brains (part I and part II) – Wired – 11 June, 2012 – Aatish Bhatia
In Japan, people often refer to traffic lights as being blue in color. And this is a bit odd, because the traffic signal indicating ‘go’ in Japan is just as green as it is anywhere else in the world. So why is the color getting lost in translation? This visual conundrum has its roots in the history of language.
2. A relationship – with a place, not a person
From lost to loved in Bihar – 24 February, 2014 – Amy Gigi Alexander
I was resistant to Calcutta’s overtures at first. I arrived overwhelmed in a taxi in the middle of the night, and when I walked out into the steaming street, I could only see hastily built hovels, beggars and crumbling buildings covered in mold. The decay and decadence of a past era, mixed with a chaotic collection of people who seemed on the edge of starvation and disaster.
3. How privileged writers dehumanise the non-privileged
Literature still urgently needs more non-white, non-male heroes – The Atlantic – 20 May 2014 – Monica Byrne
Despite a liberal upbringing and an education at a women’s college, it didn’t occur to me that my identification with male heroes had damaged me in any way—that is, until I became a writer, and found myself weirdly reluctant to write a woman hero. This wasn’t an accident.
4. The magical realism of how Garcia Marquez’s parents first met
Serenade: how my father won my mother – 19 February 2001 – New Yorker – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In the numerous conversations I had with her and my father, together and separately, they agreed that their fulminating love had three decisive moments. The first was on a Palm Sunday during High Mass. Luisa Santiaga was sitting with Aunt Francisca on a bench on the side of the Epistolary, when she recognized the sound of my father’s flamenco heels clicking on the tiles of the floor, and he then passed so close to her that she felt the warm gust of a sentimental cologne.
5. What Jill Abramson’s depature from the NY Times means for female editors
Editing while female – 16 May 2014 – Politico Magazine – Susan B. Glasser
There are shockingly few women at the top anywhere in America, and it’s a deficit that is especially pronounced in journalism, where women leaders remain outliers, category-defying outliers who almost invariably still face a comeuppance.