August 18, 2017

Michael Chabon

Novelist Michael Chabon has written “an open letter to our fellow Jews,” stating that, although some Jews have not opposed President Trump because he seems to be a friend to Israel, it is no longer acceptable, or even safe, to remain quiet. “Now he’s coming after you,” Chabon notes. “The question is: what are you going to do about it?”

“On the floor by my bed there are heaps of books I want to read, books I have to read and books I believe I need to read. So we are talking about id, ego and superego books.” Karl Ove Knausgaard talks to the New York Times about what he’s reading.

T magazine has announced that Thessaly La Force will be joining the magazine as the features director and Kurt Sollers has been hired as an articles editor.

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is offering a class on Proust’s Swann’s Way, which will run from September 11 through October 2.

The Poynter Institute has revamped their ethics policy, in part because of criticism they received earlier this year for taking funding from a group called FAAR (Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility), which is supported by the alcohol industry. Poynter has now posted a list of all their largest donors, which include the Charles Koch Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Of crafting the new guidelines, Poynter vice president Kelly McBride said, “It was time-consuming, tedious work—and a reminder of why so many news organizations struggle to create and maintain relevant ethics guidelines.”

At FSG’s Works in Progress blog, Sam Stephenson discusses his new book, Gene Smith’s Sink, a biography of photojournalist W. Eugene Smith. Smith was best known for his midcentury Life magazine photo essays, but he was also an avid jazz fan who made more than four-thousand hours of audio recordings, what Stephenson calls “post-war urban field work.” The biography took twenty-plus years to complete, and Stephenson describes how tricky it was to capture his elusive subject: “I’ve been through a lot of therapy in my life. I know firsthand how difficult it is to get things right, even things about myself. Memory is dubious, though also more powerful than anything else. If you can’t get yourself right, then how can you get someone else right, especially someone as complex as Smith?”

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