paper trail

What kinds of people trust which publications?

Joan Didion and Vanessa Redgrave

Music & Literature No. 5 is out, with portfolios of the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, the Norwegian writer Stig Sæterbakken, and the Chinese writer Can Xue. Each issue of the journal, which appears in print, celebrates three under-recognized artists, featuring work by and about them. Saariaho will present a concert on November 20 at the Scandinavia House to mark the issue launch. Past issues have profiled Clarice Lispector, László Krasznahorkai, Bela Tarr, Arvo Pärt, Mary Ruefle, and Vladimír Godár, among others. Read an interview with the journal’s editors, Taylor Davis Van-Atta and Daniel Medin, here.

The Pew Research Center releases the results of a study measuring levels of trust for various publications, broken down by ideological group. Buzzfeed is only publication that is equally mistrusted across all ideological backgrounds. The Wall Street Journal shows a similarly uniform response: It is equally trusted by people of all political persuasion. The New York Times is trusted by liberals, distrusted by conservatives, and Al Jazeera America gets the opposite treatment (distrusted by liberals, trusted by conservatives).

Vice News and the New York Review of Books are collaborating on a video series—called ”Talking Heads”—that will animate NYRB essays. The first episode aired last week, and features the journalist Orville Schell on his piece about US-China relations.

A previously unpublished 1959 essay by Isaac Asimov asks how people “get new ideas,” and concludes that it’s best to be “a person of good background in the field of interest” as well as of “unconventional” habits.Isolation is important, because “creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display.” The essay was written for an MIT spinoff called Allied Research Associates, which had been contracted by the government to work on creative approaches to the development of a ballistic missile defense system. After writing this essay Asimov declined to participate any further, arguing that his participation in the project would limit his own creative freedom.

On November 17, Vanessa Redgrave will perform selections from Joan Didion’s Blue Nights. Redgrave played Didion in an adaptation of Didion’s earlier book, The Year of Magical Thinking, as well. The show will be staged in Manhattan’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and is scheduled for one night only.