June 14, 2017

Bob Dylan

The New York Times offers a thoughtful response to Delta Airlines and Bank of America’s decision to pull financial backing from a new Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, which bestows the title dictator with Trumpian qualities. In withdrawing their financial support, the two companies “have proved more sensitive than even Queen Elizabeth I. ‘I am Richard II, know ye not that?’ she famously remarked around 1601. Yet the queen pointedly refused to pull her support for Shakespeare’s company, which continued to perform at court, or even for that play, though Richard II had been staged on the eve of an uprising against her near the end of her reign.”

Ed Victor—the Bronx-born, London-based literary agent and man about town—has died. Over the years, his client list has included Erica Jong, Iris Murdoch, Edna O’Brien, John Banville, Carl Bernstein, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards.

Did Bob Dylan use Sparknotes to compose his Nobel speech? As author Ben Greenman recently observed, the singer seemed to have “made up” a quote from Moby-Dick during his Nobel lecture. Now, Slate’s Andrea Pitzer says that the quote wasn’t invented. “I soon discovered that the Moby-Dick line Dylan dreamed up last week seems to be cobbled together out of phrases on the website SparkNotes, the online equivalent of CliffsNotes.”

At Vice, Christian Lorentzen talks with novelist Michel Houellebecq about his new show of photographs.

Time Inc. is eliminating about 300 jobs.

The Australian website Mamamia has apologized for disparaging comments it posted about author Roxane Gay, the author of Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. In remarks posted alongside a podcast interview with the author, the website asked: “Will she fit into the office lift? How many steps will she have to take to get to the interview?” Gay tweeted in response: “I am appalled by Mamamia. It was a shit show. I can walk a fucking mile.”

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