Should Critics Reviewing Translations Know The Work In Its Original Language?

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“If you don’t know the poet’s original work, what are you reviewing? But when you whittle the already small pool of poetry critics down to those who are multilingual or translators themselves, the result is that hardly anyone reviews translations, and in turn fewer people read them. If nobody reads poetry, less than nobody reads international poetry.”

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Toni Morrison Changed Publishing Forever

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“During the years that she worked at Random House, she published books by Muhammad Ali, Henry Dumas, Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, Toni Cade Bambara and Gayl Jones, whom she discovered in the 1970s. Jones’s manuscript was so impressive that when Morrison read it for the first time, uppermost in her mind, she once wrote, was ‘that no novel about any black woman could ever be the same after this.'” Oh, and then she started writing her own novels.

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Lost In Translation (The Art Of Translating Is All Around Us)

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“There is clearly a tension between the varieties of “translation” happening all around us—every moment of every day, truly one of the fundamental activities that hold our world together—and the persistent recycling of platitudes about how this activity, so basic and ubiquitous, is impossible. If the platitudes are recalled more often than translation’s pervasiveness, it is only because translators are usually invisible, their work mysterious.”

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The ‘Netflix For Books’ Opens A (Big) eBookstore – And It’s Not (Just) About Competing With Amazon

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“Tell me, what do you think is the most common reason given for cancelling a subscription ebook service like Oyster? If you answered ‘I can’t find the ebooks I want’ then you won the prize. … But now Oyster can promise to sell the ebooks which it was unable to lend, and that is going to keep some subscribers from leaving.”

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How I Found Georges Perec’s Lost Novel

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David Bellos: “Preparing for [a] move in spring 1966, [Perec] stuffed redundant paperwork into a cardboard suitcase intended for the dump, and put his literary papers in a different case of similar appearance. In the move, the wrong case got junked. All of Perec’s manuscripts and typescripts prior to the writing of Things disappeared. The story led me to expect I would never get to read those lost works.”

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What Kind Of “Truths” Should We Expect In Poetry?

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“In general, one does not look to poems for factual truths, lest Keats’s Cortez be permanently swapped for Balboa in the history books. But if poetry proves largely unsatisfactory to Plato and Detective Sergeant Joe “Just the facts, ma’am” Friday in terms of veracity, then what kind of truth is poetry after?”

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Atticus Lish Wins PEN/Faulkner Award

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In their citation, the judges wrote that Preparation for the Next Life “scours and illuminates the vast, traumatized America that lives, works and loves outside the castle gates. The result is an incantation, a song of ourselves, a shout.”

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BuzzFeed – Yes, BuzzFeed – Is Launching Writers’ Fellowships And A Literary Magazine

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Poet Saeed Jones: “The fellowship is just the beginning of what I really like to think of as a kind of literary movement coming to BuzzFeed. In addition to the fellowship program, I’ll be launching a literary magazine — about a year from now — as well as a reading and salon series. We’ll also be hosting creative writing workshops.”

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What It’s Like To Be A Ghostwriter

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“For me, ghostwriting fulfills the creative side where I get to take a story from scratch—material that has been rolling around in the head of my subject—and build it up. On the other side, I can pay the bills, the mortgage, and have a great income.”

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Report Details Digital Failures Of Library Of Congress

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“Taken together, the reports reveal library mismanagement costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, and outdated and inefficient systems in the U.S. Copyright Office. And despite the library’s reputation as an early Internet pioneer, various reports have found that it hasn’t kept up with the rapidly evolving digital times.”

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So It’s Come To This: An Offer To Buy The New York Daily News For $1

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“The offer would come one month after New York media and real estate magnate Mortimer Zuckerman said he was considering selling the newspaper and had hired Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) to assist with the process. It underscores the declining readership and plunging advertising revenue that have plagued the tabloid for years.”

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Why We’re Still Fascinated By Jane Austen

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“What explains the continued popularity of Jane Austen and the handful of novels she wrote? It is, after all, rather remarkable that a woman who spent her life in quiet provincial circumstances in early 19th-century England should become, posthumously, a literary celebrity outshining every author since then, bar none.”

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Reading Shakespeare In Tehran

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Professor Stephen Greenblatt on his lecture at the first Iranian Shakespeare Congress: “Most of the questions were from students, the majority of them women, whose boldness, critical intelligence, and articulateness startled me. Very few of the faculty and students had traveled outside of Iran, but the questions were, for the most part, in flawless English and extremely well informed.”

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The English Language Stinks At Describing Smells

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For instance, observes linguist Asifa Majid, there’s a Southeast Asian language that has a dozen different words that denote specific odor characteristics. Leaving aside words that refer to specific substances with particular scents (e.g., cinnamon, sulfur, burning rubber) English has – “musty”.

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Why Would Anyone Start A New Literary Magazine? (But Then…)

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“Demand isn’t fixed or finite; it has the opportunity to surprise us. In strict consumer terms, people can’t demand what they don’t know about. The introduction of a service​, a product or an idea is what ultimately drives demand. One of the things the LA Review of Books proved was that the demand for smart writing is larger than anyone expected, and what we’ve found in recent weeks is that there does seem to be demand for what we’re supplying.”

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Princeton Review Gives Taylor Swift An “F” For Bad Grammar (But…)

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In a Princeton test paper, a section headed “Grammar in Real Life” told students: “Pop lyrics are a great source of bad grammar. See if you can find the error in each of the following.” Taylor Swift’s song Fifteen was then cited as containing the line “Somebody tells you they love you, you got to believe ’em.” A fan posted her sad reaction online: “I was just having an amazing time studying for the SAT and now I feel attacked.” Then Swift herself responded on Tumblr: “Not the right lyrics at all pssshhhh. You had one job, test people. One job.”

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