April 4, 2014

Yahya Hassan

Yahya Hassan

A first book of poems by an eighteen-year-old Danish-Palestinian poet, Yahya  Hassan, has sold more than a hundred thousand copies since last fall. The poems, written only in uppercase, criticize the Danish government, the poet’s family, and “Danish Muslims at large for hypocrisy, cheating and failure to adapt.” About the right-wing Danish People’s Party having taken a shine to him, “It’s all the same to me,” Hassan says. “I have the responsibility for my poems. I don’t have any responsibility for what others do with them.” Hassan has received numerous death threats, and been assaulted in a railway station.

Turkey has lifted a two-week ban on Twitter in accord with a ruling by the constitutional court. The ban was instituted during the run-up to last Sunday’s election in order to obstruct the dissemination of leaked wiretapped recordings of officials.

David Letterman plans to retire in 2015.

OR Books has acquired a new book by Julian Assange, When Google Met WikiLeaks, which includes the transcript of a conversation between Assange and Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, as well as Assange’s proposal for “a radical overhaul of the naming structure of the internet” that would make it “faster and much more difficult to censor.”

James Camp considers the promise of Spritz, a start-up that claims to hold the key to speed-reading.

An old friend of the late Kurt Vonnegut has put together a book titled If This Isn’t Nice, What Is?: Advice to the Young, a collection of extracts from Vonnegut’s many commencement speeches.

 

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