paper trail

Cartoonists and n+1 types wade into PEN fight

The New York Times is restructuring its daily meetings to prioritize digital content ahead of the print paper. Executive editor Dean Baquet told the staff that print is still pretty important, though: “Page One, and the print newspaper, remain a crucial part of what we do. . . . Our increased emphasis on digital publishing does not in any way detract from our commitment to giving our print subscribers the richest, most inviting experience every day."

Keith Gessen has written a piece for n+1 explaining why he signed a protest letter to PEN over the awarding of this year’s freedom of expression prize to Charlie Hebdo. At Genius, former n+1 editor Christopher Glazek annotates Gessen’s letter. And the debate rages on: Vladislav Davidzon writes that the PEN boycott makes Americans look like “crude provincials;” Alison Bechdel says that while she thinks the Hebdo cartoons are crude, she still supports the right for them to be made; and Art Spiegelman says that through the controversy, he’s “found that some of my cohorts and brethren in PEN are really good misreaders.”

The shortlist for this year’s Best Translated Book Award is out (winners to be announced at BEA on May 27). Fiction finalists include works by the late Bohumil Hrabal, Tove Jansson, and Sergei Dovlatov, as well as by Elena Ferrante, Can Xue, and Valeria Luiselli—and, delightfully, Julio Cortázar’s comic-book novella from 1975, Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires (in which Susan Sontag, among others, makes an appearance).

Archivist Richard Kreitner has an essay on Walt Whitman’s recently republished “Drum-Taps”, and on Whitman’s still “constantly contested” legacy.

And, from Gawker, a survivor’s account of NYC literary readings: "Don’t you see me? I want to yell. Don’t you know a woman my age would never ask a question without having read the fucking book? But no, the moderator doesn’t seem to know!"