paper trail

Pankaj Mishra on the West’s flawed historical memory; the National Book Critics Circle’s new prize for translated literature

Pankaj Mishra 

The editors of The Drift interview Pankaj Mishra about the mainstream media’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West’s lack of historical memory, de-Americanization, and the collapse of American ideology abroad. “A lot of what we’re seeing today, whether it’s Modi’s Hindu chauvinism, Chinese supremacism, or Russian imperialism, is an attempt to resurrect or recreate or forward some kind of ‘indigenous’ ideology,” Mishra notes. “Because there’s a big vacuum there, left by a catastrophic loss of faith in America.” 

National political reporter Felicia Sonmez has been fired from the Washington Post following a conflict over newsroom culture and the paper’s social-media policy. 

Tao Lin (Leave Society) and Jordan Castro (The Novelist) conduct a highly meta interview over Google Docs and Gchat for the Paris Review. Toward the beginning of their exchange, Lin tells Castro, “We’ve discussed this conversation—commenting on the slow rate of production, suggesting back-up plans—more than we’ve had the conversation itself. We’ve done 222 words in ~2.5 months. Now it’s your turn to say something. I’ve said more than you in this conversation so far.” 

On Monday, June 13th at 12pm EST, Jewish Currents is hosting an event, “The Soviet Jewry Movement, Revisited,” featuring contributors from the magazine’s special issue on the subject. That night at 7pm, Jessi Jezewska Stevens will talk about her new book, The Visitors, with Joshua Cohen, hosted by Community Bookstore in Brooklyn. Both virtual events are free if you RSVP.  

The National Book Critics Circle has announced a longlist committee for their inaugural Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, which will be awarded for the best English translation in any genre of books published in the US in 2022. 

The university press issue of the New York Review of Books is out now.