January 31, 2014

Author Alain de Botton is leading a new news organization—run entirely by philosophers. The Philosopher’s Mail claims to have bureaus in London, Amsterdam, and Melbourne, and is “committed to bringing you the latest, biggest stories, as interpreted by philosophers rather than journalists.” Check out the homepage, which currently offers philosophical takes on tabloid-ready topics such as “Anne Hathaway takes her chocolate labrador Esmeralda for a walk.”

Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag

Susan Sontag wrote 17,198 emails. Benjamin Moser, who is writing a biography of Sontag, recently read them. At the New Yorker, he describes the “feeling of creepiness and voyeurism” he experienced while going through the e-mails—a feeling that “struggled the unstoppable curiosity that I feel about Sontag’s life.”

In Portland, Oregon, a federal judge has sentenced arsonist Rebecca Rubin to read Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants“in order to teach her more about nonviolent protest.”

The Harvard Kennedy School has announced the six finalists for the 2014 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Journalism. The prize has a $10,000 reward for finalists and $25,000 for the winner.

Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout

For those of you in New York, we recommend two poetry events this weekend: Rae Armantrout (Just Saying) and Mark Bibbins (poetry editor at the Awl and the author of the excellent new collection They Don’t Kill You Because They’re Hungry, They Kill You Because They’re Full) read at NYU tonight; and on Saturday, Daniel Nester will launch his new anthology The Incredible Sestina at Poets House.

The second annual Los Angeles Art Book Fair starts this weekend.

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