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Ali A. Mazrui (1933-2014)

I'm a bit late in reporting this -- he passed away on the 12th -- but Ali A. Mazrui has died; see, for example, Douglas Martin's obituary in The New York Times or Horace G. Campbell on The Humanism of Ali Mazrui at counterpunch. TheShow More Summary

Chinese reforms

I mentioned Chinese president Xi Jinping's recent address on cultural production in China and, regrettably, it already seems to be having some effect. In the South China Morning Post Nectar Gan reports that the Ministry of Culture thinks...Show More Summary

Claude Ollier (1922-2014)

At 91, French author Claude Ollier has passed away; he published his last book... last year: Cinq contes fantastiques (see the P.O.L. publicity page). Surprisingly little notice of his death so far, even in the French press -- but see,...Show More Summary

Online Book Discussion of Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER: Week Three

Here’s a horrifying little story from this week’s Guardian newspaper for those of us who have been spending our reading time following Marina up the Amazon in recent weeks. (Warning: For those of you who suffer from debilitating arachnophobia, do… Continue reading ?

Nobel-effect on Modiano sales

So far there have been few articles about the sales-effect of the announcement that Patrick Modiano is this year's Nobel laureate -- in part, in the US/UK, no doubt because almost none of his works are actually available or in printShow More Summary

LaBruce and Taste

“It’s interesting for me to make a film that’s more accessible to a larger audience because it makes me realize that, you know, if you keep on making just harsh, pornographic films your whole career then you are going to… Continue reading ?

International publishing statistics

In The Bookseller Joshua Farrington reports that IPA: UK publishers 'published most in the world' in 2013, summarizing the new International Publishing Association Annual Report (warning ! dreaded pdf format !), as: UK publishers released...Show More Summary

Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER: Week Three

Like Sergei, I find much to unpack in the scene set among the copse of fertility trees. And here I want to introduce a new thread for discussion—the depiction and role of the novel’s indigenous characters. Marina’s introduction to the… Continue reading ?

Translating Modiano

Mark Polizzotti on translating Patrick Modiano. His translation of Suspended Sentences comes out next month from Yale University Press. The Occupation has been described as the “black hole of French memory.” Modiano’s particular talent...Show More Summary

DSC Prize for South Asian Literature longlist

They've announced the ten-title strong longlist for the 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. A couple of real heavyweights on the list: books by Jhumpa Lahiri, Khaled Hosseini, and Kamila Shamsie. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's The Mirror...Show More Summary

Beckett’s Letters, Part III

Another review for Volume 3 of Samuel Beckett’s Letters. The Independent. The success of Waiting for Godot is still warm and he faces a world of admirers in new translators, writers, journalists (“the bastards”), actors and directors: “people, people, signatures, smiles, confusion of names”. Show More Summary

Online Book Discussion of Ann Patchett’s STATE OF WONDER: Week Three

Is Dr. Swenson a visionary scientist or a monster? For me, that question is at the core of this novel for a reader, and David has identified the complex moral problem that her research poses: once we know that her… Continue reading ...

Augustpriset shortlists

They've announced the shortlists for the Augustpriset, one of the leading Swedish literary prizes.

If You Don’t Know About Publishing . . .

Busy day today, so I don’t have the time to catalog all the absurdities here, but needless to say Matthew Yglesias should stick to industries he understands. And he might want to learn to write like a grown-up. Here’s a little real talk...Show More Summary

The iPhone Considered as a Work of Art

Is my iPhone a 21st century work of art? The exquisite touch of realism in the faint shadows under the icons at the bottom: The sleek, Brancusi-like sleekness of line and form: The use of color and the attention to… Continue reading...

The Fall review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps, Diogo Mainardi's The Fall.

Wittgenstein's Searchlight

You may have heard about Wittgenstein's poker, or Wittgenstein's nephew or Wittgenstein's mistress...

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