paper trail

Oct 22, 2010 @ 9:00:00 am

Ben Greenman

At the New Republic, Ruth Franklin weighs in on the weak Kathryn Harrison review of Lydia Davis's new translation of Madame Bovary. Unlike Harrison, Franklin actually addresses the quality of the translation, and in some ways finds Davis's approach lacking: "Faithful to a fault, even to the extent of preserving awkwardnesses and infelicities that other translators have silently smoothed out."

Rick Moody has kicked off his series of tweets about the future of publishing.

Mediabistro's GalleyCat recently joined other book review editors on a a panel to offer recommendations for how to pitch books for review. One of GalleyCat's tips: "We suggested that publicists, authors, and publishing folk consider pitching GalleyCat features instead of traditional book reviews. For example, we recently ran [a feature] about Marilyn Monroe's literary bookshelf." To put it another way, figure out how a website might cover your book without having to read it.

Ben Greenman has finally brought some class to the literary mashup genre, which until now has been dominated by Jane Austen zombie novels. In his latest book, Celebrity Chekhov, Greenman, an editor at the New Yorker, recasts the Russian master's short stories, replacing the original characters with modern famous people. In place of Ivan Yegoritch Krasnyhin, we get Eminem. And in place of General Zakusin, Greenman offers a character named Sarah Palin.

Tonight, we'll be at BookCourt to see the stellar music critic Alex Ross read from his latest essay collection, Listen to This, which, after offering a rousing argument for the importance of so-called classical music, offers inspired and tactile reflections on Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Radiohead, Bjork, Sonic Youth, Cecil Taylor, and others.