June 19, 2014

Hanya Yanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara

The 2014 PEN shortlists have been announced. In the running for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize, which grants $25,000 to a debut novelist, are Anthony Marra, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, Ian Stansel, Shawn Vestal, and Hanya Yanagihara; competing for the Art of the Essay award are Janet Malcolm, David Sedaris, Rebecca Solnit, and James Wolcott.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has reached a settlement in a civil class-action lawsuit over the price of e-books. The terms of the settlement haven’t yet been released, but the plaintiffs were demanding $840 million from Apple on grounds that the company had overcharged e-book consumers by a third of that amount, or $280 million.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has published George Will’s syndicated column for years, but yesterday the paper announced that it is replacing Will with columnist Michael Gerson. The Post-Dispatch says in a statement to its readers: “The change has been under consideration for several months, but a column published June 5, in which Mr. Will suggested that sexual assault victims on college campuses enjoy a privileged status, made the decision easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.”

The New York Times company has shrunk by more than half in the past eight years, but the salaries of the paper’s top three executives have held steady, says Reuters. In 2013, the total compensation (including stock awards and incentive payments) of Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., CEO Mark Thompson, and Vice Chairman Michael Goldman was, added together, $11.9 million.

1Peter Mendelson has posted the jacket design for Tom McCarthy’s novel Satin Island, which will be published by Knopf in February 2015.

At the Baffler, Jacob Silverman reflects on YouTube’s recent threat to block the videos of independent labels if the labels don’t agree to YouTube-set terms. The company’s “rough tactics clash with its self-generated populist aura,” Silverman observes.

An interview with Barbara Cassin, the author of the Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon, which appeared originally in French and has been reworked and rereleased in multiple languages. “The term untranslatable is itself difficult to translate,” Cassin says. “I might translate it into English, as—this is not a real word—“un-translated-able,” that is, unable to be finished being translated.