• August 21, 2018

    Tom Clark

    At the Paris Review Daily, Larry Bensky remembers the prolific author Tom Clark, who died on August 17th. Clark was a poet, biographer, novelist, and nonfiction writer who also blogged daily with his wife at Beyond the Pale, a photo and poetry site that focused on the daily life of refugees. From 1963 to 1973, Clark was the poetry editor of the Paris Review. Bensky quotes some of Clark’s last words from his blog, in a post titled, “the dance of conquest is going to have to wait/museum of memory” : “your twittering machine won’t let you rest… tweet with me now, it croons impatiently… your tiny fat fingers do an anxious little jig around it and now you hardly know what you’re doing… you’re in power glide… then its strange ravening dead bird mouth beak opens and… out comes a sound only other dead birds and Republicans can hear!”  

    The New York Times reports on the emerging literary scene in Bhutan, where literacy rates have gone from around 3 percent in the 1950s to about 60 percent now. This week, Thimphu is hosting an international festival, with writers from the United States, Europe, and Asia. Gopilal Acharya, a Bhutanese writer (and big Raymond Carver fan), writes in English but is dedicated to the country’s traditional narratives: “These stories are how we are anchored as a society. We don’t have military or economic power. Our culture is all we have.”  

    At Vanity Fair, Maya Kosoff writes about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who said in a recent CNN interview,  “I think we need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit . . . is more left-leaning.” Dorsey was attempting to defend the social-media platform against charges that it “shadow bans” conservatives, but, as Kosoff points out, those writers now view the second half of his remarks as proof that the system is biased against them.   

    At the Chronicle of Higher Education, Corey Robin writes about the Avital Ronell sexual harassment case at NYU. Building on a December article by Melissa Gira Grant, Robin points out the “unsexy truth” about harassment cases—they are about power as much as sex: “For all the revelations of sexual harassment within academe that we’ve seen in the past few years, we continue to leave that imbalance of power to graduate students, as individuals, to figure out. Thinking, as always, that sex is somehow different, more peculiar, more idiosyncratic, than what, in the end, as Gira Grant made clear, is the most boring and familiar story of all.”

    Today, the hosts of the “dirtbag left” podcast Chapo Trap House are publishing a new book. The six hosts will launch The Chapo Guide to Revolution tonight at the Strand bookstore in Manhattan.

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