Check out the great new feature on literature in translation up at PEN.org—including the latest online “translation slam.”
Abbas Kiarostami, probably Iran’s most esteemed living filmmaker (his films include Taste of Cherry, among many others), has written a letter calling “for the release of Jafar Panahi and Mahmoud Rasoulof, two directors recently detained by the authorities” in Iran. (PEN is currently lobbying for free expression in Iran along with five other organizations; learn more here.)
Kiarostami sent the Persian-language text of his letter and an English translation to a New York Times blog, The Lede, through Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ (and a contributor to PEN America 10: Fear Itself). You can read it here.
David Cole has written a long post about John Yoo and the torture memos for the excellent blog of The New York Review of Books. Cole, a professor of constitutional law, has been covering this story in detail for some time (he also participated in both the New York and Washington, D.C. versions of “Reckoning with Torture”) and will have a longer version of this piece in The NYRB’s next issue.
Progress has been made in the fight for reader privacy, despite some recent setbacks.
David Shields’s Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, excerpted in PEN America 11: Make Believe, continues to provoke reflections on writing, reality, fiction and more; this week, James Wood responds to the book in The New Yorker.
Tomasz Rozycki’s guest post here on the blog is now a finalist for “The Quark,” a prize for the best blog writing of the year. The winner will be decided by Robert Pinsky.