paper trail

Sally Wen Mao on empathy and identification; How audiobooks blur the line between work and leisure

Sally Wen Mao. Photo: Jess X. Chen

Anne Anlin Cheng talks to Sally Wen Mao about rage, Anna May Wong, and her new poetry collection, Oculus. “When I read about Wong, and her first-person accounts of her struggles, what I felt was more than empathy—it was identification. The feelings she wrote about did not require me to imagine, because I’ve felt them too,” Mao said about her persona poems in the voice of Wong. “I recognized that what I felt was more than me—it transcended me. It was about me and it wasn’t about me—both of those statements can be true at the same time.”

An unpublished sequel to A Clockwork Orange has been found in Anthony Burgess’s archive, The Guardian reports. A mixture of notes, drafts, and outlines, the manuscript of The Clockwork Condition “provides a context for Burgess’s most famous work, and amplifies his views on crime, punishment and the possible corrupting effects of visual culture.”

Columbia Journalism Review’s Mathew Ingram tries to get to the bottom of The Markup’s recent editorial shake-up.

At The Baffler, Nora Caplan-Bricker reflects on the evolution of audiobooks. Although proponents of early versions of recorded stories emphasized “the appreciation of language,” current users of Audible and other audiobooks services seem to prioritize efficiency. “The turn to audiobooks is a function of what scholar Jonathan Crary calls ‘24/7,’ a way of organizing society under late capitalism that ignores the rhythms and textures of daily life and blurs the distinction between work and leisure time,” she writes. “My monthly Audible subscription, however much I enjoy it, encourages this compression of labor and non-labor.”

CNN talks to news organizations about how they will handle hacked material during coverage of the 2020 presidential campaign. “Will anything really be different the next time around?” they ask. “Most of the news organizations that CNN Business contacted for this story did not reveal any sweeping changes to its rules about publishing hacked materials since the 2016 election. But they did make a case for publishing with care and context that is valuable to voters who read their stories.”