paper trail

Merve Emre on the function of criticism; Ottessa Moshfegh talks with Sheena Patel

Merve Emre

The Oslo-based online literary magazine Vinduet has published Merve Emre’s lecture on the function of criticism. Emre says, “To narrate the authority of criticism in all its richness and variety requires starting from the inside of this arrangement, from the critic’s mind, and working our way outward, to the contexts in which criticism circulates.” Her lecture does just that, ranging from the 1655 collection The World’s Olio, through considerations of George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, and more. 

Paul Yamazaki, a bookseller who has worked at City Lights for more than fifty years, will receive the 2023 Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation. 

The 2023 New Yorker Festival’s full lineup has been announced. The three-day event, which begins on October 6, will feature Spike Lee, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Emma Cline, Mary Gaitskill, Judy Blume, Curtis Sittenfeld, Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, and many more writers, journalists, and performers.

For the New York Review of Books, Ben Tarnoff reviews two new books about Silicon Valley. Considering Malcolm Harris’s Palo Alto and John Tinnell’s The Philosopher of Palo Alto, Tarnoff writes about the origins of one of the wealthiest and most influential areas of the US: “Sometimes the culture of the valley is described as idealistic, and one can certainly find utopian notes in the language of prominent figures and in the mission statements of prominent companies. But it would be more accurate to say that the valley is a community of believers. They think they know the future, because they are the ones who are building it.” 

In BOMB, Ottessa Moshfegh interviews Sheena Patel about her new novel, I’m a Fan, which Graywolf Press just published. Patel tells Moshfegh: “I had a grand idea of breaking the structure of the novel. I wasn’t coming to the publishing industry from the inside, I wasn’t coming to writing trained in any way, though I am an avid reader. I figured the only way I can do this is to break it.”