It goes without saying that Hitler is a taboo subject in Germany, which is why it’s remarkable that a German novelist, Timur Vermes, has caused a sensation with his book about a time-travelling Fuhrer. In the Times, Janet Maslin reviews the first English translation of Look Who’s Back. You could also read Merve Emre on Ben Urwand’s book about Hollywood and the Nazis.
Perhaps inspired by the similarly-named astronomer, Freeman Dyson wrote an entry for the NYT’s By the Book series, in which he praises Edward Wilson, Kristin Ghodsee, Robert Kanigel and Octavia Butler, the last of whom he dubs his favorite novelist of all time. Sample quote: “The Magic City can be read on two levels, as a children’s adventure story and as a critique of modern society. Karl Marx was a friend of [Edith] Nesbit’s family.”
Pantone has released a Queenly color wheel, made especially to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. The wheel is made up of the Pantone referents for the colors her Majesty has worn throughout her reign, and each chip bears a historical note on the particular hue’s tie to her wardrobe. This is especially good news if, like Slate, you think that the Queen is the most fashionable woman in the world.
Three Percent crunches the numbers on all the translated fiction and poetry published in the U.S. in 2009. The overall numbers were down in 2009 from 2008. The top language to be translated? Spanish, followed by French, German, Arabic, and Italian. (Thanks, Laurie)
The New Yorker announced that their literary blog, The Book Bench, will henceforth be called Page-Turner. The name change signals a “building on the work of the Book Bench blog, and expanding on it.” In an inaugural post, Ryan Bloom translates the deceptively simple first line of The Stranger.