Last week at Wellesley College, six professors sent an email to fellow faculty members, urging them to reconsider the criteria by which they select authors to speak at the college. They hoped that their request would prevent speakers such as Laura Kipnis, who appeared at Wellesley earlier this month, from being invited to speak on campus in the future. In her new book Unwanted Advances, Kipnis delivers a scathing critique of the way universities have regulated sexual conduct on campuses, particularly their use of Title IX. The six Wellesley professors argued that such arguments could be “painful to significant portions of the Wellesley community.”
Patti Smith has purchased the reconstructed childhood home of French poet Arthur Rimbaud.
Graphic novelist Daniel Clowes talks about his involvement in the film adaptations of Ghost World and Wilson, and also describes how his work-in-progress changed after Trump won the election. “It’s not a political comic, really, but it was definitely begun with the thought that we were going to have a sane democracy continuing in place and not what’s going on. So now I’m rethinking it with the knowledge that I’m going to have this craziness running through my head for the next four years.”
In an essay that appears in the New Republic, Sam Sacks isolates a strain of nostalgia in the work of some of biggest novelists in the US. “You might call them the last escapists: If their books still resonate, it is not because they reflect the zeitgeist, but because they run so profoundly against it,” Sacks writes. “And as long as their brand of exuberant nostalgia holds appeal, there’s a danger of being left with a literature that tells us only what we already know, however enchantingly.”
Tributes to the New York Review of Books Editor Robert Silvers continue to roll in. At the New Yorker, Alexandra Schwartz remembers her time as Silvers’s assistant (“Bob famously lived entirely for and at the job”); and at n+1, several writers (including onetime NYRB staffer A. O. Scott) pay their respects.