paper trail

Nassim Nicholas Taleb accuses Chinese printers of censorship; Patti Smith reflects on Nobel ceremony

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

At the Washington Post, Philip Bump explains why both supporters and detractors of the president-elect should be pushing him to give a press conference, writing that “the best way to get the most information is to empower the question-asker, not the person who's giving the answers.” At the Huffington Post, Michael Calderone notes that Trump has waited longer than both Barack Obama and George W. Bush to hold a press conference after the election, instead distracting “the press by bringing stars through the Trump Tower lobby, holding meetings which on their face have nothing to do with how he’ll govern.”

The Black Swan author Nassim Nicholas Taleb has accused Chinese printers of censoring a reprint of his 2012 book Antifragile. A manuscript of the book was returned with a request for Taleb to change mentions of Taiwan to “China, Taiwan.” After tweeting a photo of the page in question, Taleb wrote, “Most authors, I was told, complied. I assume hundreds kept their mouth shut. Not me.” The Guardian reports that Random House, the publisher of the first edition of Antifragile, has since switched publishers in China.

Tobias Carroll writes about adapting Alice Munro’s fiction to the screen. The most recent attempt, Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta, is based on three of Munro’s stories and will be released in the US this month.

Patti Smith reflects on her performance of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at the ceremony for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Smith writes that she had been asked to perform months before she knew the ceremony would honor Dylan, and that she fretted about how Dylan would feel about her participation. After a shaky performance, Smith was seated with the American ambassador, who had read the letter Dylan sent for the ceremony. “I could not help thinking that he had two strong women in his corner,” Smith writes. “One who faltered and one who did not, yet both had nothing in mind but to serve his work well.”

Tonight at the Strand, Siri Hustvedt will be in conversation with Jason Yougaw about her new essay collection, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women