paper trail

Michael Kinsley to write monthly column for Vanity Fair; Walter Isaacson edits via crowdsourcing

Matthew Derby

Michael Kinsley is leaving his position as editor at large of The New Republic to become a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, for which he will write a monthly column. He plans write about “what I’ve written about most of the time: politics, in one form or another.”

Walter Isaacson, author of the bestselling biography of Steve Jobs, is putting together a new encyclopedia of innovators. For some entries, he is trying out some unorthodox methods: He’s crowdsourcing the edits.

The Paris Review has reprinted filmmaker David Cronenberg’s introduction to Susan Bernofsky’s new translation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. At Bookforum, Andrew Hultkrans notes: “In our present era, marked by a ferment of genetic engineering and hybridization (not to mention alienation and economic hardship), revisiting Kafka's totemic novella seems not only appropriate but necessary.” (In other vaguely Cronenberg-ish news, today marks the release of Call Me Burroughs, Barry Miles’s biography of the author of Naked Lunch, a novel that Cronenberg adapted for the screen.)

FSG editor Sean McDonald was drawn to the forthcoming book The Silent History—which originated as an app—“because of its unique origins as a nonbook, and because of its ‘literary sensibility.’” The book, by Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffat, is part of FSG’s “Originals” series, which focuses on paperbacks (notably John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead) and e-books: formats that cost less to produce and therefore allow “editors to take chances on books that are more experimental.”

Kathryn Schulz lists the five best uses of punctuation marks in literature.