In the long run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government
- Thomas Carlyle
Each week, Dr Kirstin Ferguson tackles questions on the workplace, career and leadership in her advice column “Got a minute?” This week, exaggerated “flummery” on LinkedIn, supporting employees during the pandemic and confronting an unvaccinated hired carer.
HSBC, BlackRock, Nestle to help design nature-driven risk framework Reuters. The finest, most upstanding corporate citizens you could ever hope to meet!
In City Journal Jonathan Clarke finds: 'A decade after his death, one of our greatest literary stylists has fallen into critical disfavor', in John Updike and the Politics of Literary Reputation.
Updike’s reputational decline coincides with a decisive shift in the aesthetic preferences of the American literary mainstream. Much of American literature is now written in the spurious confessional style of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Readers value authenticity over coherence; they don’t value conventional beauty at all.Dead authors do tend to fade fast these days -- sometimes to be resurrected after a decent interval has passed, sometimes not --, which would seem to me to explain a lot. As to 'the American literary mainstream', I have far too little familiarity with it; indeed, I'd be hard pressed to guess what/who qualifies as that.
With his Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth just (about) out, Wole Soyinka is really doing the publicity-rounds: there's now yet another Q & A, this one at The Guardian, with Chibundu Onuzo, Wole Soyinka: ‘This book is my gift to Nigeria’.
Among his responses:
Do you have hope for Nigeria’s future ?
Oh, hope. Again, that’s another word that I don’t use, like happiness. When you even mention the word Nigeria, I don’t know what that is. I feel nothing for it because it’s totally diverged from what I knew as Nigeria as a child. I don’t recognise this country. That’s the truth. And so to that question, my answer is very mixed.
Wole Soyinka Q & A
Wole Soyinka's Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth is just (about) out, and in The Los Angeles Times Anderson Tepper has a Q & A with him, in ‘At long last, Idunit!’ Wole Soyinka on his first novel in nearly 50 years.
Among other things, he discusses the effects of winning the Nobel:
Do recall, I did have a “platform” even before the Nobel. I had and routinely exercised that voice. The Nobel, however, began to render the voice hoarse and brittle from expectations and demands. Worst of all was that I lost even my remnant shreds of anonymity. That’s the unrecognized part, and one to which I am yet to be reconciled.
Joshua Cohen Q & A
In Frieze Lincoln Michel has a Q & A with Joshua Cohen on Truth and Half-Truths in Fiction, speaking mainly about his recent novel, The Netanyahus.
Among other things, Cohen notes:
That’s how books have changed, since I started writing them: they became tedious redoubts for the pious certainties of a besieged, over-educated and underemployed intellectual class dissatisfied with -- and powerless to change -- the mindless, capital-driven popular.