In Ishinomaki, a Japanese town wrecked by the earthquake and tsunami, reporters published their newspaper using felt-tip markers and large sheets of paper, as all other technology had failed. A recently penned headline: “We Now Know the Full Extent of the Damage.”
The New York Review of Books blog has published an essay by the late Roberto Bolaņo about the books he remembered best, such as Camus’s The Fall: “I read it, devoured it, by the light of those exceptional Mexico City mornings . . . on a bench in the Alameda, with no money and the whole day ahead of me, in fact my whole life ahead of me.”
Rebecca West’s impassioned call to critics, “Our first duty is to establish a new and abusive school of criticism. There is now no criticism . . . there is merely a chorus of weak cheers,” is as true now as when she wrote it in 1914. Then again, even the most mild-mannered negative review can sometimes lead to charges of criminal libel.