I see M. Lynx Qualey’s point, but I think this is a little off-base. The word “publish,” after all, includes the definition “to make public announcement of” and “to disseminate to the public” (which leads many authors to quip that they’ve been “privished” when their book is buried in a publisher’s list).
In other words, any publisher who is doing right by his or her work should do exactly what Quayley is asking for. It should be a built in part of their business. And, in fact, good publishers do all the things (or at least as . . . continue reading, and add your comments
It’s nice to see some intelligent attention being directed at Franco Moretti’s work.
That said, I don’t agree with the premise of Joshua Rothman’s piece at The New Yorker.
Should literary criticism be an art or a science? A surprising amount depends on the answer to that question. If you’re an English major, what should you study: the idiosyncratic group of writers who happen to interest you (art), or literary history and theory (science)? If you’re an English professor, how should you spend your time: producing “readings” of the literary works that you care . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Over at Three Percent, I explain why Marcos Giralt Torrente’s The End of Love should take the Best Translated Book Award. In all honesty I think this book may be a bit of a longshot because short books (in particular short books of stories) tend not to be taken as seriously as they could be, but it is good to have his name out there. As I explain in the post, there’s more Torrente on the way, and I do think there will be more for years to come.
Fun fact: in researching this piece I . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Had no idea of this.
Then, only ten days into our new life, I bent down to push some rubbish into the already stuffed bin. When I stood up half the world had disappeared. It had disappeared but it was still there, sort of. The kitchen wall was visible but it didn’t seem quite right: familiar but changed, as happens in dreams. Ah, now here was something I recognised: a strip of brown wood against the pale yellow wall. It was the frame of the mirror: I was looking into a mirror but, like a vampire, I . . . continue reading, and add your comments
For JC Hallman’s contribution to the Lydia Davis Symposium, I pretty much said, “write whatever you want on whatever you want.” It’s not a thing I’d make a habit of, but I felt fairly confident in giving a Guggenheim recipient with an abiding interest in creative criticism a little room to maneuver. And I think the results speak for themselves.
I know the Internet is all about pumping out the most mind-deadeningly contrarian material possible so as to rack up the hate-hits, but for the love of god. Really, New York Times, exercise a little god-damned sense. From the very first sentence this thing screaming “pre-pubescent geek on a power trip running off to the basement with him mom’s computer.”
Paper books are an increasingly archaic relic not long for the world. Consider the fuel consumption alone behind the production of paper, the printing of books and the transporting of these books to bookstores worldwide. If the . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Novelty: A History of the New by Michael North was a pretty fascinating read. Basically, North tries to explain various ideas of “newness” in the arts and philosophy, from Ancient Greece to the modernists. His view is that Parmenides gets the first word, and then there are periodic shifts around some fairly well-defined poles. Interesting stuff.
North begins his study by taking us all the way back to Parmenides, to show how entrenched the notion of invariance is in the history of philosophy. Later philosophical developments in antiquity, as North tells it, relegated novelty to . . . continue reading, and add your comments
Excerpted at The Paris Review. Available April 8, from NYRB Classics.
3 November 1918, Sunday. Spent with friends. Piera the tailor, Bonany, et cetera. I walk up to Sant Sebastià. A beautiful afternoon. The sinuous ribbon of road draws the loveliest afternoon light. I hear someone chopping wood in the distance. A donkey brays in a remote spot. A black-and-white magpie jumps over the green alfalfa. When I walk past Ros, I think, as I always do: I wish I owned Ros, the vineyard and the pinewood. By the hermitage, total solitude. Opposite Calella, boats—bobbing like . . . continue reading, and add your comments
One of the cool things about the Best Translated Book Award is that it brings my (and others’) attention to books like Leg over Leg. You can certainly gripe about the way awards work, things that get left off the longlist, etc, etc, but I’m fairly certain that people are reading this book because of the BTBA (I know I am, and I doubt I would have been reading it otherwise).
In case you’re wondering, this is a bilingual Arabic/English book printed in four volumes by an academic press. Oh, and it was originally published in . . . continue reading, and add your comments
On the Burning Books podcast I’m interviewed about Rilke’s amazing, bizarre, poetic, brain-rearranging novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.
It’s a book you do not want to miss.