Weekly News Roundup, 23 October 2015: Goog, Good Books

This week's literary highlights, lowlights, and mid-lights from across the world.

Hey, happy Friday! First, brilliant news we’re bursting to tell: The Guardian has just announced their brand-new “books network,” and Asymptote is one of eleven launch partners thus formalized—we’re extra chuffed to be the only one dedicated to world literature! The partnership will see content from both our quarterly and blog shared with The Guardian‘s vast international readership up to eight times a month (all the better to catalyze the transmission of world literature, we say); watch for the very first Asymptote article on this space next Tuesday.

This week, we noted technological inroads into the way we read: giant love-em-or-hate-em behemoth Google won a big fair use lawsuit—and its massive Internet-library project means literally billions of books are set to be scanned for your onscreen perusal. And upon the announcement that the New York Times will partner with Google to provide perusal-via-virtual reality: the future is now.

Speaking of archives—but of the decidedly more old-fashioned kind: Colombian literary giant Gabriel García Márquez’s archive is openly available for research at the University of Texas’ Harry Ransom Center. 

And here’s something that’ll spin your translation-know-how right around: the presumed earliest draft of the King James Bible has been found, and it suggests the ol’ KJV was not a group effort, as widely believed. What a “leap-out-of-bathtub” moment! And in the vein of blasphemy, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has begun “translating” Shakespeare into our millennial vernacular.

And this week in awards, though for a younger set: the shortlist for the Arabic children’s literature award has been announced. The ginormous ($50,000-worth) Kirkus Prize has announced its winners: Hanya Yanagihara for A Little Life, Ta-Nehisi Coates for Between the World and Me, and Pam Muñoz Ryan for her young-adult novel, Echo. 

This week in profiles: thanks to the New Yorker, here’s a look at how prolific Somalian-British poet Warsan Shire “writes primarily about the immigrant experience, but also tweets about reality television” (as if the two were incompatible?!). And in the vein of promoting women’s voices, the women-in-translation team has published the rather depressing stats of our favorite translation publishers—who drop the ball, unfortunately, when it comes to women in translation.

In terrible, terrible, terrible news, Iranian poets Fateme Ekhtesari and Mehdi Moosavi have been sentenced to egregiously harsh punishment for their poetry. Our thoughts are with them.

And finally … this week … another grammatical bane … or “brilliant innovation” … in English-language … writing. Are you annoyed yet? Here’s how the ellipsis landed in English literature.