At Salon, an interview with Year in Reading alum Gary Shteyngart, whose new memoir, Little Failure, came out last week. Shteyngart talks about the rise of a new “global fiction” and laments the fact that Russia “can’t seem to catch a break.”
Two Sides of the Book Biz in Britain: A small press specializing in works in translation is seeing success thanks to uniquely personal approach… while the big presses are teaming with supermarket chains in a race to the bottom.
This essay on the proliferation of gossip in journalism is adapted from Joseph Epstein’s Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit. In it, Epstein discusses the problem of “how straight-up, no-apologies public gossip has infected standard, or what once might have been called respectable, journalism.”
Recently, a Czech linguist named Jakob Murian came up with an estimate of the number of languages your average European speaks. The study is complicated, however, by the question of how much you need to know to really understand a given language. At the LRB’s blog, Glen Newey asks: are you fluent when you can order a beer, or when you can translate Virgil? Pair with: Abigail Rasminsky on learning to speak German.