paper trail

R. O. Kwon on Theresa Hak Kyung Cha; Blair McClendon and three other critics to discuss reviewing Margo Jefferson’s latest

R. O. Kwon. Photo: Smeeta Mahanti 

On November 14, the National Book Critics Circle will host a panel on the craft of criticism by discussing four reviews of Margo Jefferson’s latest memoir, Constructing a Nervous System, with their authors. Critic and filmmaker Blair McClendon, who reviewed the book for Bookforum, is among the panelists. 

For Parapraxis magazine, Maggie Doherty considers Emily Ogden’s new book of essays, On Not Knowing: How to Love and Other Essays. The book’s concern with care, Doherty writes, is “both interpersonal—how a parent cares for a child, how a therapist cares for a patient—and literary-critical: how a reader values a poem, even if, or perhaps because, she cannot offer a complete account of it.”

Novelist R. O. Kwon writes about the late Korean American artist and writer Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee, which has recently been reissued by the University of California Press, for the New Yorker. Kwon remembers how her “initial, ecstatic sense of ancestor-finding dissipated into confusion” when she first encountered the book—portions of which are written in Korean, French, and Chinese—before “confusion gave way to fascination.” As Ed Park writes in an introduction to the new edition: “Language breaks down, starts up, transposes itself from French to English, becomes a deadpan grammar lesson. It ends near glossolalia.”

For Elle magazine, N. K. Jemisin—whose new book, The World We Make, was just published—recommends some memorable recent reads.  

After Elon Musk’s takeover, Twitter planned to overhaul how accounts are verified. At first, there were going to be two tiers: one, which costs $7.99 a month, called Twitter Blue, would get you a blue check (the traditional marker of a verified account) next to your name, and another, an “official” label and gray check, would be free to certain users selected by Twitter. But as Twitter Blue launched today, Musk appeared to hastily end the “official” label a few hours after it went live, tweeting “I just killed it,” before adding “Twitter Blue will be the great leveler.” Musk later clarified some of the confusion: “Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months. We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.” At the Los Angeles Times, Wendy Lee looks at how changes to verification, and the recent layoffs at Twitter, will affect journalists, while at The Atlantic, Charlie Warzel gives Musk’s management of Twitter a failing grade.