paper trail

Man Booker International shortlist includes Ferrante

Yan Lianke

The New Republic’s editor in chief Gabriel Snyder is leaving the magazine after seventeen months in charge. His departure comes on the heels of the recent sale of the publication to Win McCormack. “We published some damn fine work, sometimes under difficult circumstances,” Snyder said in a memo, with admirable understatement.

The shortlist is out for this year’s Man Booker International Prize, and contenders include Orhan Pamuk, Yan Lianke, and the elusive Elena Ferrante.

The New York Times is investing $50 million in a new team called NYT Global, which hopes to dramatically expand the publication’s international audience.

New York Post editor in chief Col Allan, a longtime friend of Rupert Murdoch and a News Corp stalwart of forty-two years standing, is retiring and will be replaced by the paper’s Sunday editor, Stephen Lynch.

In The Baffler, Chris Lehmann considers Gay Talese’s “The Voyeur’s Hotel,” a New Yorker piece set to be published as a book this summer. It’s about Gerald Foos, a hotel owner who constructed a crawlspace that allowed him to look down on his guests in their rooms, thus fulfilling his self-assigned destiny as the world’s foremost freelance sex researcher. Talese met Foos, read his copious notes on the hotel-room hijinx, and once even joined him spying—the dapper Talese’s necktie drooped through the viewing vent and appeared mere feet above a (distracted) copulating couple. Lehmann takes issue with Talese’s flimsy “chin stroking” premise that all journalists are, to some extent, voyeurs, and argues that the story is hardly newsworthy: “If it weren’t for Talese’s unarticulated belief that Foos’s antics bore some larger public significance, we wouldn’t know anything more about what Foos thinks and believes than we would about the inner life of, say, the roving Seattle masked masturbator, or that of any other dreary sex offender on any major metropolitan police blotter.”

At the Poetry Foundation, Win Bassett writes of his time as a chaplain in a Virginia hospital, and of the importance of verse to him and the patients: “After a few weeks of confidence-boosting patient encounters, I realize poetry might . . . be helpful. . . . The patients don’t know the poems I carry in my pocket the way they know their hymns, but they quiet nonetheless. I chalk up these powers to poetry’s economy of words. When you know you don’t have much longer in this life, why not make every word you speak and hear pack as much meaning as possible?”

In May, the Brooklyn Institute will run a day of reading, lectures, and discussion on Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Early enrollment is open until this Sunday.