paper trail

Penguin Random House CEO steps down; J. M. Coetzee and global English

J. M. Coetzee

The CEO of Penguin Random House, Markus Dohle, is stepping down. PRH has been in the news lately as the company had a proposed merger with Simon & Schuster blocked by a federal judge.  

At the New Yorker’s Page Turner blog, Colin Marshall looks at J. M. Coetzee’s decision to publish his new novel in Spanish before it’s made available in English, and considers the author’s contention that the Spanish translation is closer to his true intentions for the book. As Marshall reports, Coetzee said at a literary festival, “I do not like the way in which English is taking over the world . . .  I don’t like its universalist pretensions, by which I mean its uninterrogated belief that the world is as it seems to be in the mirror of the English language. I don’t like the arrogance that this situation breeds in its native speakers. Therefore, I do what little I can to resist the hegemony of the English language.”

Claudia Irizarry Aponte reports for The City on the strike by more than one thousand New York Times Guild members. Aponte focuses on the IT workers, security professionals, ushers, and sales coordinators who are picketing alongside editors and writers. Nikole Hannah-Jones addressed a rally at the paper’s New York City headquarters, saying, “When this paper struggled, all of us had to share in its austerity. When this paper is doing well, the people who work hard every day to make this place a global phenomenon deserve to share in its success.”

The HarperCollins Union, which is currently striking, has received support from more than five-hundred authors. As Andrew Limbong points out at NPR, the strike is part of a broader wave of white-collar workers organizing, as the Times walkout and strike at the New School have shown. 

On Friday, December 16, n+1 will co-host a launch party for the first issue of Parapraxis, a new magazine about psychoanalytic thinking. A preview from issue one includes online pieces by Maggie Doherty, Alex Colston, Hannah Zeavin, Max Fox, and more.       

On Tuesday, January 17th, the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research will host a discussion about Franz Kafka’s diaries. The event will feature Christine Smallwood and Ajay Singh Chaudhary talking to Ross Benjamin about his new translation of the journals, which will be published in January.