November 29, 2016

The year-end lists are beginning to come out, with the New York Times releasing its “100 Notable Books of 2016” this weekend and the TLS asking authors such as John Ashbery, Mary Beard, Mark Ford, Marina Warner, and Edmund White to pick the best books of the year.

Forbes Media will begin publishing books with Advantage Media Group. ForbesBooks plans to publish faster than traditional book publishers and allow authors to retain ownership of their work.

The Paris Review has redesigned its website, as well as digitized every article from the last sixty-three years. “Now you can read every short story and poem, every portfolio, every hastily doodled authorial self-portrait, and every introductory notice from the unassailable George Plimpton, who used to use the front of the magazine to brag about its ever-longer masthead.”

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. Photo: Chris Boland

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie. Photo: Chris Boland

Novelist and Boots No7 spokeswoman Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks to the New York Times about the intersection of feminism, fashion, and writing. Adichie remembers wearing makeup in Nigeria in order to be taken seriously: “It was easy for men to dismiss what I said because they thought I looked like a small girl.” But upon moving to America, Adichie said, “I very quickly realized that if you want to seem as a serious writer, you can’t possibly look like a person who looks in the mirror.”

The Associated Press addresses the proper use of the term alt-right, cautioning against using the phrase “generically and without definition” and speculating that “the term may exist primarily as a public-relations device to make its supporters’ actual beliefs less clear and more acceptable to a broader audience.” The AP notes that previously, the beliefs espoused by the alt-right were referred to as “racist, neo-Nazi or white supremacist.”

At The Intercept, Lee Fang points out that it’s not just Macedonian teenagers or Russian propaganda teams that promote the spread of fake news: Laura Ingraham, owner of online publisher Ingraham Media Group and possible White House press secretary, owns LifeZette, a news site known for proliferating Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories and fake news. Poynter finds that 80 percent of traffic to hyperpartisan news pages, on the left and the right, came from Facebook. By contrast, “Facebook accounted for about 20 percent of traffic to The New York Times and 11 percent of visits to CNN.”

The New Republic’s Jeet Heer explains why fact checking has no sway over the president-elect. Using Freud’s theory of “kettle logic”—the technique of promoting parallel but contradictory narratives simultaneously—Heer points out that Trump’s disinterest in sticking to facts is an expression of his authoritarian nature. “A president who uses it is making a raw assertion of power: What I say is the truth, even if it contradicts what I just said a few minutes ago,” Heer writes. “Unless we analyze how he’s attacking not just facts but also logic, we can’t measure the full damage he’s doing and respond accordingly.”

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