The Economist pays homage to an artist who pretty much made a career our of painting unadorned home interiors


* A treasure trove of previously unknown Kafka writings has been discovered

* A linguist explains why texting is good for writing and spelling

* Bertelsmann, which owns some trifling American press (the name escapes me), has given up trying to sell books in China

* Don’t you just love it when Michael Orthofer gets on his hobby horse? He’s chosen to vent his fury on an incredibly botched publication of Danilo Kiš, and I’m behind him 100 percent. How you call yourself a publisher if you can’t even list your books on Amazon? Heck, why not just dig a huge hole in the ground and bury them while you’re at it? Chad Post also has thoughts.

* Gotta love puritanical America. A high school teacher gets teens interested in reading, and they reward her with 18 months suspension, pending possible trial.

* The Koreans have set up an organization to evaluate the quality of translations made from Korean to English. So far, about 10 percent rate "high readability"


* The Complete Review reviews Mute Objects of Expression, a book I’ve been staring down and quietly muttering promises to for quite a while now


* Deborah Eisenberg on Fire and Knowledge by Peter Nadas, in the NYRB

* The Translator’s Paradox


* This video has nothing to do with books, but I think I can promise you that if you view it you will never look at walls the same way again. And who can pass up a promise like that?

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

The Rest

* This must mean something important, I just can’t tell what. A TV show has spawned a book club devoted to titles relating to the show. (Attentive readers will have already guessed the show.)

* Maybe screens won’t be the way we read in the future. The Earth is rapidly running out of metals essential to the construction of computer screens. Trees = replenishable; gallium, perhaps not.

* Alex Ross offers his top 20 books and CDs on 20th-century classical music. Doctor Faustus is #1.

* Another test offers evidence that the SAT I is a poor indicator of college performance. According to the study, high school grades and AP courses taken (but not AP test scores) do better.

* I think in this day and age, it’s a good time to retire the adjective explosive in conjunction with books; e.g. "I’m writing an explosive book," or "in Mr. Suskind’s new explosive book"

* Scott McLemee opines "both Time and Newsweek long ago gave up being anything except television minus the electricity" and who am I to disagree? And apropos of Malcolm Jones’s question "Who puts the theory of evolution and the Civil War in the same sentence?" (from the article that outraged Scott), I can only reply: Louis Menand, that’s who. Of course, Jones can be forgiven for forgetting The Metaphysical Club; it only won a Pulitzer, after all.

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