In the Boston Review, Jess Row wades – slowly, interestingly, not always coherently – into the perpetually roiling waters of Theory of the Novel, taking on the canon wars, realism vs. the avant-garde, etc. Is it really “a safe bet that your average well-informed critic today has never read a single work of criticism by a writer of color?” Probably not, even granting Row’s exception. But possibly worth arguing about. If you like that sort of thing.
What are those crazy kids from Vampire Weekend saying in their new single, “Cousins”? It’s a little disappointing, as the beleaguered translators of lyrics at We Listen For You reveal.
The Big Short and Liar’s Poker author Michael Lewis investigates the case of Sergey Aleynikov, a computer programmer accused by Goldman Sachs of “violating both the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 and the National Stolen Property Act.” Is this the case of an international spy bent on stealing company secrets, or is this the case of an overzealous company taking revenge on an ex-employee, and using an ill-prepared government agency to do so?
Imagine that someone wrote fan fiction about you. Now imagine this fan fiction is not just about you, but inspired by selfies you posted on Tumblr. This is what happened to Arabelle Sicardi, who talks with Matthew J.X. Malady about the story she received, her fans and the weirdness of Internet fame.
Tired of waiting for George R. R. Martin to finish his next Game of Thrones novel, a software engineer has developed a neural network to write the book instead (via The Digital Reader). Pair with this consideration of how the HBO series is going off-book and breaking all the rules.
Tim Parks writes for the NYRB about writers living abroad. As he puts it, “But what about those writers who move to another country and do not change language, who continue to write in their mother tongue many years after it has ceased to be the language of daily conversation? Do the words they use grow arid and stiff? Or is there an advantage in being away from what is perhaps only the flavor of the day at home, the expressions invented today and gone tomorrow? Then, beyond specifically linguistic concerns, what audience do you write toward if you are no longer regularly speaking to people who use your language?” Pair with Hannah Gersen’s Millions piece on reading the English translation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words.