paper trail

Apr 9, 2010 @ 6:36:00 am

Michael Hofmann

“Are You Absolutely, Positively, and Wholeheartedly Ready to Publish Your Novel?” You can find out here.

On April 30, the PEN World Voices Festival is hosting a panel discussion called "A New World of Yesterday: Stefan Zweig’s Utopian Nostalgia." It will feature Zweig enthusiasts Klemens Renoldner, the director of the Stefan Zweig Centre at the University of Salzburg, and George Prochnik, who has written about Freud's trip to America and the importance of silence (he is now writing a book about Zweig).  Here's the kicker: the panel will also feature Michael Hofmann, whose resume includes translating Thomas Bernhard, writing poetry, discovering (for us, at least) Lydia Davis, and making anyone who praises Stephan Zweig feel angry (he calls the author "the Pepsi of Austrian writing," in one of his gentler moments). Renoldner responds to the latter attack here. We happen to like Zweig's Beware of Pity, and are excited for this lively debate.

They don't cover "Zweig" (zvIg), but California's Diesel Bookstore has produced a handy chart that tells you how to pronounce authors' names. Print it out and tape it on the wall next to your desk, aspiring book nerds! And trust us, don't rely on this Village Voice guide: it got us into serious book-party trouble when it came out in 2003 (back when literary greats George Plimpton and John Updike still walked among us).

Malcolm McLaren, the man behind the Sex Pistols, is dead at 64. Here's what Greil Marcus said about him in his 1989 book on punk rock and the Situationist, Lipstick Traces: he realized the fact that rock songs such as "Stairway to Heaven" were "oppressions." "Thus [McLaren and the Sex Pistols] damned rock 'n' roll as a rotting corpse: a monster of moneyed reaction, a mechanism for false consciousness, a system of self-exploitation, a theater of glalmorized oppression, a bore." (page 57)