On Tuesday the Guardian’s weekday paper launched a new longreads section, headed up by Jonathan Shainin, previously at the New Yorker. The “Journal,” as it is called, will include opinion and reviews together with features of three to five thousand words. Among the section’s first pieces is a profile of the Uruguayan president, José Mujica, an adherent of what the writer, Giles Tremlett, calls a “soft, pragmatic socialism.”
At the New York Times Magazine, John Jeremiah Sullivan profiles Donald Antrim, whose new collection of stories, The Emerald Light in the Air, just came out. What distinguishes Antrim from the school of writers he’s usually associated with (DFW, George Saunders, the Jonathans Lethem and Franzen, David Means, Jeffrey Eugenides), Sullivan argues, is the unredeemed nature of his characters. “Antrim’s fictional universe is different. It doesn’t bend toward justice, not even the kind that knows there is none but sort of hopes art can provide absolution. His universe bends — it is definitely bent — but always toward greater absurdity (in both funny and frightening guises).” Amie Barrodale interviewed Antrim for Bookforum back in 2012.
Over at the LRB, Andrew O’Hagan reviews Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide, in which, O’Hagan reports, “Greenwald hops from anxiety to anxiety, and spends quite a bit of time objecting to the Guardian’s ideas.” O’Hagan notes some “glory-hunting” on Greenwald’s part, but he is on the whole admiring: Greenwald “emerges from his own book as a very necessary kind of reporter in these times, someone who, no matter what his motivations, was able to withstand the hostile fire coming at him from members of his own profession.”
An interview with the pseudonymous translator of a new translation of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s A Sentimental Novel, which the interviewer describes as “a compendium of . . . sadistic fantasies”—to be more precise, two hundred and thirty-nine numbered paragraphs describing a fourteen-year-old girl’s violent sexual initiation—explains the translator’s decision to remain anonymous as “unrelated to the possible reactions it might elicit in the United States or other English-speaking countries. It was, rather, necessitated by personal reasons having to do with my travels to parts of the world where association with the material could put me at risk.” Dalkey published the book earlier this year.
Ben Lerner calls the poet Ariana Reines a “go-for-broke artist who honors her traditions by being like no one else.” Of Lerner, Reines says that whenever she hangs out with him she wishes “it could go on for infinity.” At Bomb, the two converse.