“There is always something lost, or exchanged, when the imagined world evoked by the written word, unique for every reader, is replaced by a provided set of visual references. In this particular case, the artist is faced with translating the unbelievable, even the metaphysical, into visual imagery, and within a relatively constrained form.” Jenna Brager on Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.
The Commission Générale de Terminologie et de Néologisme – the division of the French government responsible for preserving the integrity of the Gallic language – ruled last week that enough is enough when it comes to “hashtag.” They feel the word is just too English for the banks of the Seine. They recommend instead using the decidedly softer “mot-dièse” (pro: 'Mo-Dee-YEZ'). Previously the group asked residents to replace “email” with “courriel.”
Jonathan Franzen's 2011 Kenyon commencement speech, published this weekend in the New York Times, covers love, consumerism, and narcissism in the digital age. If you're concerned with critical reception, looks like you're not a creator of "serious art and literature," in Franzen's eyes.
In book-to-film news, Lupita Nyong'o has signed on to produce and star in an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Americanah, and we couldn't be more excited. For more from Adichie, be sure to check out her "Year in Reading" piece for The Millions.
Roger Boylan at the Boston Review writes about the flourishing posthumous career of Mark Twain: "...more than 5,000 previously unknown letters of Twain’s have surfaced in the last 50 years. This represents an average of two new letters per week, but still only about one-tenth of the 50,000 or so he is believed to have written." And at Slate, Craig Fehrman discusses the "brilliant brand management" behind the handling of Twain's autobiography.
Jaden Smith is going from an action movie career to starring in an adaptation of James McBride's National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. Liev Schreiber will play John Brown. If you're unsure about casting a rapper to play the protagonist, take it up with McBride, who is also producing the film.
"I feel very transparent to myself. I'm more like an observer. I'm interested in what's going on. I'm not sure that I really have a personality," Joyce Carol Oates said in The New Yorker's micro documentary about her writing life and routine. Pair with: our essay on Oates' The Accursed.