Sotheby’s held a literary auction on Tuesday, and a handful of sales exceeded the auction house’s wildest expectations. Among the notable transactions, a first edition of Montaigne’s 1595 collection Les Essays went for $125,000 (it was estimated to sell for between $10,000 and $20,000); a little-known F. Scott Fitzgerald book, Flappers and Philosophers, went for $118,750 (far more than the anticipated $60,000); and a lot that included an early short story and twenty-one letters by David Foster Wallace went for $125,000—well above the predicted $10,000 to $15,000. One of the rare items that didn’t sell was William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize, was was expected to go for anywhere between half a million and a million dollars.
James Franco has signed on to star alongside Rachel McAdams, Benicio del Toro, and Paul Giamatti in an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 1943 children’s classic, The Little Prince.
Even though sales of George Orwell’s 1984 have spiked dramatically since news broke that the government is collecting vast amounts of citizens’ personal data, legal scholar Daniel Solove makes a subtle and convincing argument in favor of reading Kafka to fully understand the dangers of unchecked government bureaucracy.
In what could very well be a monumental decision on unpaid internships, a Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled on Tuesday that Fox Searchlight had broken the law by not paying production interns on the set of the movie Black Swan. Under federal law, internships can only be unpaid if the work is similar to vocational training, if the intern actually benefits from the work, and if the intern’s role doesn’t displace that of regular employees. So is this the beginning of an intern-rights movement? Perhaps: Responding to the news, Intern Nation author Ross Perlin tweeted, “HUGE victory for interns across America.”
On the occasion of New York Review Books releasing a new Sartre collection, Michelle Dean reflects on the philosopher’s legacy as it relates to mansplaining college boyfriends.