Friday, September 04, 2020

Ongoing Reckoning In The Publishing World

 ‘Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?’

The Ongoing Reckoning In The Publishing World

Publishing has rather a lot to do to catch up in the diversity, equity, and inclusion fronts. Lisa Lucas, the outgoing director of the National Book Foundation, who is Black, says, “What do you do with data that tells us we’re not diverse enough for the year 2020? We make the culture — we make books. If we are serving a whole country, then we need people within our publishing houses who reflect what our country looks like.” – GEN

The agency’s new guidelines are wrong, so states have to step up on their own to suppress the coronavirus. By Harold Varmusand Harold Varmus is a former director of the National Institutes of Health. Rajiv Shah is the president of the Rockefeller Foundation. “We were startled and dismayed last week to learn that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a perplexing series of statements, had altered its testing guidelines to reduce the testing of asymptomatic people for the coronavirus. These changes by the C.D.C. will undermine efforts to end the pandemic, slow the return to normal economic, educational and social activities, and increase the loss of lives. Like other scientists and public health experts, we have argued that more asymptomatic people, not fewer, need to be tested to bring the pandemic under control. 

       Jo Nesbø earnings 

       At Forbes David Nikel reports that Norway Crime Author Jo Nesbø Earns $5.1 Million Book Royalties In 2019, as he takes advantage of the fact that in Norway tax information is a matter of public record, and the numbers are in for Nesbø's "two publishing-related companies" for 2019 (though not yet his personal accounts). 
       I wonder if they tally up all the prominent writers' numbers in Norway; it would be interesting (and probably a bit depressing) to see what they earn. 

“For me, the greatest philosophical thrill is realizing that something I’d long taken for granted might not be true” — Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside) on the difference philosophy that opens and philosophy that closes

“When you enter the walk-in closet of your soul, are your politics just a youthful fad, as dispensable as drunk-ordered harem pants?” — Kim Kierkegaardashian offers advice to a young anti-capitalist Marxist who longs for a collection of designer handbags, in The New Yorker

A book complaining about “cynical theories” itself suffers from “misplaced cynicism combined with unwarranted confidence in such cynical interpretations” — and contains so many misinterpretations of philosophers’ views that it “looks much more like incendiary fan fiction than scholarly analysis”

It would be perfect irony if Voltaire was “canceled” — ask yourself before clicking: do you want it to be true that he was?

For Vanity Fair, novelist Jesmyn Ward writes about losing her husband just before the pandemic descended on America. She begins:

My Beloved died in January. He was a foot taller than me and had large, beautiful dark eyes and dexterous, kind hands. He fixed me breakfast and pots of loose-leaf tea every morning. He cried at both of our children’s births, silently, tears glazing his face. Before I drove our children to school in the pale dawn light, he would put both hands on the top of his head and dance in the driveway to make the kids laugh. He was funny, quick-witted, and could inspire the kind of laughter that cramped my whole torso.

Vale Richard di Natale.

Richard di Natale left his party much as he led it without fuss or fanfare, quiet, reasonable, and always at a certain distance from the turmoil of parliamentary conflict.Continue reading