The great experiment in charging for once free web content begins: The New York Times's long-rumored pay-wall plan was announced today. Beginning on March 28, readers will be able to access twenty articles a month before the Times starts charging, with various e-subscription plans available (an all-access plan will cost $35). Subscribers to the print edition will have free access to all online articles.
Mina Pam Dick
Jonathan Franzen didn’t win the NBCC award in fiction, but his picture still illustrated the LA Times story reporting that Jennifer Egan had won the prize (they later changed it). Was this slip-up sinister or sincere? Most importantly, is it fodder for more Franzenfreude? The Times explains.
The Paris Review has an excerpt from Edouard Leve’s forthcoming Autoportrait, a book Leve wrote while traveling in the US in 2002 taking photographs and musing on, well, absolutely everything. “There are times in my life when I overuse the phrase ‘it all sounds pretty complicated,’” he writes. And: “I am bad at throwing. I have read less of the Bible than of Marcel Proust.” There is a melancholy to these observations, but also a connection to life. Which makes Leve’s final novel, Suicide, all the more disturbing. Just after Leve handed that manuscript into his publisher, he took his own life.
This week Melville House is donating all of its online profits to disaster relief in Japan.
Tonight at Poet’s House, an intriguing trio of authors—Mina Pam Dick, Christian Hawkey, and Wayne Koestenbaum—read and discuss the work of early twentieth century Expressionist poet George Trakl. Trakl, who fought in the first world war, robustly ingested drugs, and died young, was the subject of Hawkey’s recent book, Ventrakl, in which Hawkey imagines himself collaborating with his subject and translating reconfiguring his text: He shoots volumes of Trakl’s work with a shotgun, soaks its pages in water, and generally subjects it to torment that no Kindle could bear, creating an intriguing hybrid portrait of the two poets in the process.
The Millions leaks the first sentence of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, breaking Little, Brown’s request for pre-publication silence.