ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas

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At PEN America, Major Dissension Over The Israel-Hamas War In Gaza

"Several authors have turned down awards and awards nominations from PEN America, citing unhappiness with the literary and free expression organization’s stance on the war in Gaza." - AP

Book Bans In US Schools Reach Record Levels, Reports PEN America

"The new report, Banned in the USA: Narrating the Crisis, reports 4,349 book bans recorded across 23 states and 52 public school districts from July to December 2023. ... More book bans were recorded during the first half of the current school year than in the entire 2022-2023 year." - Publishers Weekly

AI Is Replacing Translators In Commercial Publishing

Income from commercial translation work has fallen significantly since the beginning of 2023. The loss of non-literary streams of income for literary translators will mean the “raising of the bar to entry into the industry, with only those with wealth able to translate literature for publication”. - The Guardian

Major US Publishers Join Lawsuit To Stop Iowa’s Book-Banning Bill

"Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Sourcebooks announced that they have joined the initial plaintiffs, which included PRH, the Iowa State Education Association, four renowned authors (Laurie Halse Anderson, John Green, Malinda Lo, and Jodi Picoult), and a group of teachers and students." - Publishers Weekly

AI Translators Are Crushing Languages

The generative-AI boom, despite promises to bridge languages and cultures, may only further entrench the dominance of English in life on and off the web. - The Atlantic

The Irish Lads Who Founded Smut Press Are Having A Bit Of A Laugh

“The goal of Smut, says Scollard, is to 'champion work that might find it difficult to get published elsewhere – maybe a bit risqué or provocative. But the main basis is that we want to work with queer artists.'" - Irish Times

Why Are Seattle Libraries Announcing 1,500 Hours Of Closures In Eight Weeks?

Library workers aren’t happy. "The City is denying Seattleites 1,500 hours of learning, checking out books, applying for jobs, talking with neighbors, sheltering from bad weather, and, though librarians should not be de facto social workers, perhaps overdose prevention, workers said." - The Stranger (Seattle)

Civil War And Displacement – Through The Eyes Of A Poet

Emi Mahmoud has been trying to bring Sudan to life for non-Sudanese people for years. But now, the poet’s urgency has increased due to the country's last year of intense civil war. - NPR

The Publishing World Is Drowning In Books

"What a remarkable change it would be if corporations would allow their employees to do the best job they can with each book that the company has chosen to buy, rather than allowing them to flail.” - LitHub

Hollywood Writers End Their Rollercoaster Of A Year With Very Late Awards Show

Don’t the Writers Guild Awards usually happen before the Oscars? Sure, but not every year includes a monthslong historic strike. - Variety

Salman Rushdie Reads From His Memoir About Being Stabbed Onstage

“I confess, I had sometimes imagined my assassin rising up in some public forum or other, and coming for me in just this way. So my first thought when I saw this murderous shape rushing towards me was, ‘So it’s you. Here you are.’” - The Guardian

Alexei Navalny’s Autobiography Will Be Published Posthumously This Fall

"During the years leading up to his death in a Russian prison, the Russian opposition leader was writing a memoir about his life and work as a pro-democracy activist. Titled Patriot, the memoir will be published in the United States by Knopf on Oct. 22." - The New York Times

Meta Considered Buying Simon & Schuster To Train Its AI

According to the recordings, Ahmad Al-Dahle, Meta’s vice president of generative AI, told executives that the company had used almost every book, poem and essay written in English available on the internet to train models, so was looking for new sources of training material. - The Guardian

Apps That Summarize Books Are A Multi-Threat Danger To Publishing

Since these digital services first promised to boil down a title, usually a nonfiction work, a decade ago, the marketplace has become crowded. So much so that authors and publishers are concerned about the damage to sales, as well as to the habit of concentrated reading. - The Guardian

Librarians Under Threat Of Jail, Lawsuits In Trump 2nd-Term Agenda

In the foreword to Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s blueprint for a possible second Donald Trump administration, it says “people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders.” - AP

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