At the Guardian, Ryan Chapman recounts how Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory resonated with him during the pandemic and helped him navigate our changed reality. “My listlessness ended after I pulled Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography Speak, Memory from my bookshelf,” Chapman writes, “more or less at random. I first read it 10 years ago and quickly saw the wisdom in the author’s oft-quoted line, ‘One cannot read a book: one can only reread it.’ Nabokov’s remembrances granted reprieve from the new abnormal and—crucially—guidance on how to navigate it.”
Not only does China employ some two million censors to monitor microblogs and the internet, but the nation also has a formidable staff – both official and unofficial – to monitor literature and print publications. Indeed, reports Andrew Jacobs for The New York Times, “It is the editors at Chinese publishing houses themselves who often turn out to have the heaviest hands. ‘Self-censorship has become the most effective weapon,’ said the editor in chief of a prominent publishing house in Beijing … ‘If you let something slip through that catches the attention of a higher-up, it can be a career killer.’”
Good Books is an online book retailer that donates all of its proceeds to Oxfam. It’s also a big fan of trippy literary homage. In a collaboration with two creative studios, and without consulting the Hunter S. Thompson or Franz Kafka estates, the group’s released a promo that draws on some of the most “out-there” elements of both writers.
Think your novel could use a language of its own, but don’t have the philological powers of Tolkien? Then take a few lessons from Game of Throne‘s resident linguist, David J. Peterson, who turned George R.R. Martin‘s 55 Dothraki names into a 4,000 word vocabulary with a working grammar.