Last week, Tom Cruise's face had a moment.
"Tom Cruise Looks Like Whole New Person At Baseball Game."
"Tom Cruise Look Puffy After Having New Face."
"The Truth Behind Tom Cruise's Swollen Face."
Welcome to equal-opportunity body-shaming, where it matters not that we all completely respect the decisions individuals make about their bodies, we'll damn well comment on them all the same.
There is philosopher William Lane Craig who sees the (un)reasonableness of mathematics as huge evidence for God.
Mita Kapur Q & As
In the Hindustan Times Simar Bhasin has an Interview: Mita Kapur, Literary Director, JCB Prize for Literature - “I want to make the JCB Prize a true representation of what India reads”, while last week in The Hindu Anusua Mukherjee also had a Q & A with her, Art will always rise up to face adversity and succeed’: Mita Kapur.
The winner of this year's JCB Prize for Literature is to be announced on 13 November.
They announced the winner of this year's Premio Planeta de Novela last night, but earlier in the day they already dropped a bombshell about this prize which has long been by far the richest single-book-prize going: while they've paid out €601,000 to the winner in recent years, they've now topped-up the prize money, with the winner from now on getting a cool million. Very cool -- at yesterday's exchange rate that's about US$1,160,000 (or about 116 times what an American National Book Award winner-gets, or 77 times what a Pulitzer Prize-winner collects), and, at least this year, that's more than the Nobel Prize pays out. (The euro/dollar value of the krona-denominated Nobel varies year to year, depending on the exchange rate.) See, for example, the El Mundo report.
Manuscripts for the prize are often submitted under pseudonyms -- among this year's finalists, pseudonyms included: 'Yuri Zhivago' and 'El Arlequinado' -- and this was also the case for the winning title, submitted as Ciudad de fuego by 'Sergio López'. It turns out there's a well-known name behind Sergio López -- Carmen Mola, who has published several popular books in Spanish (none of which appear to have been translated into English yet); see, for example the Hanska agency information page, or 'her' official site. But ... 'Carmen Mola' is, itself, a pseudonym ! And the three -- yes, three -- authors behind the name revealed themselves for the first time with the Premio Planeta win: Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero, and Agustín Martínez. So they'll have to divide the (record) prize money by three .....
Not only was the name they submitted the manuscript under fake, so was the title: it will be published as La bestia.
See also, for example, the EFE report, El Planeta del millón de euros acaba con el secreto de Carmen Mola.
The winner was selected from 654 entries, including 13 from the US, 2 from Israel, 1 from Romaina, and 389 from Spain. There was only 1 entry from Cuba, but 39 from Mexico, 41 from Argentina, and 18 from Colombia
Nobody knows what the experience is worth
but it’s better than sitting on your hands,
I keep telling myself.
Things slowly curve out of sight
until they are gone. Afterwards
only the curve
Fred bought a pair of ice skates.
That was 20 years ago.
He still has them but he doesn’t
skate any more.
The last surprise is when you come
gradually to realise that nothing
surprises you any more
With so short a time to live and think
about stuff, I’ve spent just about
the right amount of time on this
Sally Rooney (not) in Israel
I had not thought that Sally Rooney (or any author) could possibly get more (over-heated) press coverage, good and bad, than she recently has after the publication of her new, very bestselling novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You, but oh how wrong I was .....
As you've no doubt heard, Rooney has, as she puts it: "for the moment, chosen not to sell these translation rights [for Beautiful World, Where Are You] to an Israeli-based publishing house"; you can find her full statement here, for example.
This has ... elicited reactions.
No way am I weighing in on this, thank you very much, but I am impressed by how quickly everyone seems to have formed an opinion (and, in most cases, published it), and obviously it's a 'big' story; if you do want to wade in, here are some links:
[Note: links are not to be considered endorsements of the opinions or the framing of the facts and/or arguments in these pieces. I've collected what I could find and thought might be of interest; I'm sure I've missed many insightful takes and the fact that that (or your) perceptive piece/take is not linked to should be considered an oversight, or attributed to hitting paywalls, or simply my laziness or carelessness; any and all snubs are not intentional.]
- Sally Rooney turns down an Israeli translation on political grounds by Lucy Knight in The Guardian
- The Sally Rooney Hebrew row -- explained by Emily Tamkin in the New Statesman
- The Sally Rooney Translation Boycott, Explained by Claire Lampen at The Cut
- Everything you need to know about the Sally Rooney/Israel controversy. by Walker Caplan at The Literary Hub
- Sally Rooney Won't Let Israel-Based Publisher Translate Her Latest Book by Justin Curto at Vulture
- How to have a conversation with friends about the Sally Rooney translation boycott by Karl Quinn in The Age
- The Sally Rooney boycott brouhaha is right out of a Sally Rooney novel by Talya Zax in Forward
- I fought South African Apartheid and the Israeli occupation. Sally Rooney's decision is wrong by Todd Gitlin in Forward
- 'A hypocrite': Israelis in publishing say Sally Rooney is turning her back on Hebrew readers by Michele Chabin in Forward
- 'What she's doing is anti-translation.' Why Israeli translators are upset about Rooney's boycott. by PJ Grisar in Forward
- Sally Rooney's empty Israel boycott by Sam Leith at UnHerd
- Sally Rooney and cultural boycotts by Alexander Larman in The Critic
- Sally Rooney's Israel boycott distressed me. I take solace in knowing that a Jewish reader schooled Charles Dickens on antisemitism. by Erika Dreifus at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
- Sally Rooney's Israel boycott over publication of her new book will only backfire by Evan Fallenberg at NBC
- Woke posturing by Sally Rooney on Israeli publisher ban by Niall O'Dowd at IrishCentral
- Sally Rooney's novels don't deserve to be translated into Hebrew by Julie Burchill in The Spectator
- Sally Rooney and the bigotry of the BDS movement by Brendan O'Neill at spiked
- We Need to Talk About Sally Rooney. Or Do We ? by Flora Moreau in The University Times
- Sally Rooney Is Right to Boycott Israel by Daniel Finn at Jacobin
And for some laughs (okay, yes, I do presume to judge at least this piece ...), check out Harriet Johnston's *thorough* spin on/take-down of Rooney in the Daily Mail with the breathless and very, very long headline, Normal Marxists ! How Sally Rooney loaded bestselling books with communist ideas -- from saying the 'world's beauty died with the fall of the Soviet Union' to money being a 'social construct'.
About any and all of this: no e-mails, please; thank you.
Oh, yes, also: I haven't read or reviewed (or indeed seen) any Sally Rooney titles (or TV-miniseries adaptations), but if you're interested in Beautiful World, Where Are You, see the official site, or the publicity pages at Faber and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk. (It's also been widely -- to say the least -- reviewed.)