Recommended Reading: Clare Cavanagh on the experience of translating the work of Polish poet and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska.
Writing about a foreign country is always a dodgy proposition, but it seems to be especially thorny when English people and Americans take on their transatlantic brethren. Looking over two contributions to the genre by English writers -- Terry Eagleton’s Across the Pond and A.A. Gill’s To America With Love -- Carlin Romano concludes that neither manages to “teach us something new about ourselves.”
"Updike stopped cartooning while he was an undergraduate at Harvard. This is a factually true statement, but it ignores a larger reality. While Updike might have ceased cartooning, the visual language of comics was never far from his mind. Cartooning was an inextricable strand in his creative DNA." Jeet Heer writes about John Updike, cartooning, fandom and "bedesque" prose for The Paris Review. Pair with James Santel's Millions essay on "The Curious Paradox of John Updike."
If we are, as Adam Kirsch writes, in the midst of a golden age of essays, we might want to ask exactly which essays are proof of this golden age. His first three picks -- My Heart is an Idiot, I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Pulphead -- are unsurprising choices, but then it gets a bit more interesting when he looks at Sheila Heti’s latest novel. (You could also check out a few of our pieces on these books.)
Parul Sehgal, nonfiction editor at Publisher's Weekly (and sister of The Millions intern Ujala Sehgal), has been awarded the National Books Critics Circle "Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing." Previous winners include Joan Acocella, Ron Charles, and Sam Anderson. The award was based on her diverse portfolio of work as a reviewer, including a review of Susie Linfield's The Cruel Radiance, a review of Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra: A Life, and her piece on David Abram's Becoming Animal. Congratulations!
A while back, I noted that Moleskine was preparing an initial public offering on the Italian stock exchange. Well, now the time has come. On April 3, you will be allowed to buy shares of the notebook company (and perhaps keep records of them within your Moleskine). If you’re interested, you might want to read up on the company’s history – and also on how to pronounce its name.