Saturday, October 12, 2019

Red Increases Attractiveness, But Can It Increase Book Sales




Recent research showed that individuals are perceived as more attractive when presented with the color red.

Elliot and Niesta (2008) found that men consistently rated women as higher in attractiveness when a border of red framed their photographs or when they were presented with a red shirt compared to other colors. This red effect was also found for women perceiving men (Elliot et al., 2010; Roberts, Owen, & Havlicek, 2010). 

Red color, for example, represents a sexual signal that might have evolved from our biological heritage. This reasoning is supported by research showing that nonhuman female primates exhibit red coloration for example as indicator of fertility (Elliot & Niesta, 2008). [...] Thus, it is most likely that the meaning of the color red also has a biological background [...] Nonetheless, societal learning seems to have turned the originally pure sexual meaning of red color into a more romantic association: red equals love. 

Bearing in mind that people are likely to associate (i.e., learn to associate) wearing red with being attractive, we now propose that the color red can heighten individuals’ self-attractiveness. 

Judging oneself as more attractive, when the desire for a sexual intimacy is increased (through the color red), seems to be an efficient strategy to attract potential partners.

In sum, given that the meaning of red has such genuine biological roots and is bolstered through societal learning, we argue that wearing red affects individuals’ self-attractiveness judgments, because the color shapes their look and they are inclined to base inferences on their appearance (Bem, 1967). Accordingly, the color red should be influential when inferring one’s sexual receptivity and self-status. We assume that those two variables mediate the effect of color on self-attractiveness, as was found regarding the perception of others (Elliot & Maier, 2012; 2014). 

Thus, based on the results of this study, red increases one's self-attractiveness and attractiveness, but can a red book cover increase sales? Interestingly, red enhances men’s attraction to young, but not menopausal women. And we know a red bearded New York based author who gets complemented consistently on his barbe rouge.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Introvert = [Good] Writer?


When Boris Kachka interviewed Bari Weiss at the Lambs Club during the launch party for her first book, he told her that, "[...] she seemed unusually extroverted for a writer [...]", Weiss agreed and shared that she would love to be an agent, because she loves "[...] making matches with people." Whereas an introvert generally wants to avoid people.

Jenn Granneman related on the blog Introvert, Dear that John Green, The Fault in Our Stars author, opined: “Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.”

Although, Granneman admits that not all writers are introverts (e.g., Hemingway), she lists three reasons why introverts make great writers:

1. Good writing is good thinking. And who thinks more than introverts?
2. We’re comfortable with solitude.
3. We’re keen observers of people, places, and details.




Sunday, September 8, 2019

A Summer Pastime: Viewing Public Art in NYC

Ryan Sullivan | High Line Art

Sadly, summer is ending along with one of our favorite summer pastimes, which is viewing public (abstract) art. To name a few, we were fortunate to view Ryan Sullivan's paintings exhibited on the High Line.


Joseph La Piana Tension Sculpture C, 2019

Joseph La Piana's Tension Sculpture(s) on Park Avenue. 

Mark Manders: Tilted Head 

And Mark Manders' Tilted Head in Central Park.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Does Fiction Reveal Writers?


Do you agree with Naipaul? We say that "never" and "totally" are hyperbolic, but we generally agree with Naipaul. And Naipaul's quote is interesting in light of Henry Miller's and Vladimir Nabokov's oeuvres. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Best Books About Writers


This excerpt from Katy Waldman's New Yorker review of Andrew Martin's Early Work confirmed one of my concerns about white people who listen to hardcore rap:

"Yeah, I'm pretty into monotonous drug rap right now," she said. "I mean, like everybody. I guess it's the usual racist thing, where white people like it because it takes their worst suspicions about minorities and confirms them in lurid and entertaining ways?"

However, while reading the novel, I found the references to writing, novelists, poets, books, and publishing intriguing, which reminded me that the best books and films about writers/artists are the ones that depicts the writers writing. (Interestingly, Early Work's narrator opined that Balthus' perverted paintings of girls and cats are "wonderful".)


Unlike Olivier Assayas' Something in the Air (2012) and Personal Shopper (2016), I was disappointed with Non-Fiction (2018) [French: Doubles vies] because, although the dialogue about writing and publishing was extremely interesting, the writer wasn't shown honing his craft - not one time.

For the record, our top three books and films about writers/artists are:

Books
The Tenants Bernard Malamud
Transparent Things Vladimir Nabokov
Look at the Harlequins Vladimir Nabokov

Films
The Tenants (2005)
Something in the Air (2012) 
Personal Shopper (2016)



Saturday, July 27, 2019

Writer's Block = Lazy Writer?


I've written a number of books, and I've never suffered from writer's block - thank God. 

But I don't know if I would subscribe to Tom Clancy's notion, in Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), that writer's block is synonymous with laziness (i.e., the antithesis of grit).

Tom Clancy: "I don't subscribe to the notion of writer's block."
Female Admirer: "You never experience it?"
Tom Clancy: "Writer's block is a term invented by the writing community to justify their laziness. My success is nothing more than that I have the determination and stamina [i.e., grit] to sit and get the work done."





Friday, July 26, 2019


Universe Size Comparison (3D)

I am one person out of (over) 7,000,000,000 people on the planet Earth.

Earth is one out of eight planets that are orbiting the the Sun.

The Sun is one star out of 300,000,000,000 stars in the Milky Way galaxy.

The Milky Way is one galaxy out of (over) 200,000,000,000 galaxies. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

National Museum of African American History: GOOD TIMES


We recently visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C..  Although a bustling and entertaining city, we had no intention on returning to D.C. any time soon;so, we perused the entire library in one visit! Overall, it was an enlightening experience, but three exhibits stood out:

1. The New York Conspiracy, 1741 where enslaved Africans and poor whites conspired to torch New York City, execute affluent whites, and appoint a new king and governor. The interracial rebels set firer to the governor's mansion and around NYC . Ultimately, a number revolters were accused of conspiracy and were harshly punished. 

2. Jimmie Walker's hat, Good Times, 1974-1979

April 4 by Sam Gilliam
3. And the abstract art in the Visual Art & The American Experience room

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Review: Apple News+ | For Voracious Magazine Readers


We're avid readers of The New YorkerNew York MagazineVanity Fair and the Arts section of The New York Times, but unless we can find an Instagram deal, the subscriptions can be cost prohibitive for most New York City based writers. 

That's why we signed up for Apple's News+ where we get subscriptions to the The New YorkerNew York Magazine, and Vanity Fair for less than $10 per month. And since subscribing, we've started reading The Hollywood Reporter for intriguing news about the film, television and streaming industries and Adweek for inside news about the advertising industry. 

Admittedly, it took us some time to get used to reading avidly on an iPhone, and we still have to get The New York Times via a relative's (free) student account, but if you're a voracious magazine reader, News+ may be a good investment.