Adrienne Rich, Panama Papers, and the Trump Campaign’s HQ: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too.Today, we have stories on the poetry of Adrienne Rich and Stéphane Mallarmé, a detailed account from inside Trump HQ, and a report on the biggest data leak in the history of journalism.

Wired reported the story behind the “Panama Papers,” a stockpile of confidential documents leaked to journalists more than one thousand times the size of the 2010 “WikiLeaks” data dump, which led to a coordinated set of reports released by 100 media outlets across the globe, which were published Sunday.

The documents trace $2 billion of hidden money tied to Vladimir Putin through accounts held in the names of family members and his celebrated musician friend Sergei Roldugin. Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson is facing demands from the previous Icelandic prime minister that he resignafter the Mossack Fonseca documents showed that Gunnlaugsson may have failed to disclose ownership of a stake in certain Icelandic banks under the government’s rules for officials. And the leaks drag FIFA officials back into the news, showing that even an ethics lawyer for the world soccer body had financial ties to another FIFA official already accused of corruption.

New York magazine’s newest cover story looked inside the Donald Trump campaign machine, which does not look anything like a conventional politician’s.

Trump’s campaign employs a core team of about a dozen people; his campaign lists 94 people on the payroll nationwide, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing (Hillary Clinton has 765). Trump has no pollsters, media coaches, or speechwriters. He ­focus-groups nothing. He buys few ads, and when he does, he likes to write them himself. He also writes his own tweets, his main vehicle for communicating with his supporters. And it was his idea to adopt Ronald Reagan’s slogan “Make America Great Again!”

The New Republic painted a more intimate portrait of how famed feminist poet Adrienne Rich rediscovered her sexual identity and her political fire, based on her personal letters with her friend, confidant and fellow poet, Hayden Carruth.

Rich really began to think like an activist when she ventured out into the world of work. In 1966, still recovering from an operation for her arthritis, Rich began to teach, first at Swarthmore (where she did not like the students) and then at Columbia (where she liked them very much). These were her first excursions back into the real world after her sons were grown, and her early remarks on teaching are flavored with a feeling of new freedom: “[The students] are extraordinarily unhypocritical, candid, impatient of anything that seems abstract or mere ritual. I feel they live in a different time-scale from us. I like them better than most of their elders, I suppose, but I have never felt so concretely that I’m thirty-eight, middle-aged, and drenched in assumptions which they haven’t even heard of.”

The New Yorker , meanwhile, reported on the under-appreciated influence of nineteenth-century French poet Stéphane Mallarmé, whose work does not receive as much recognition as other great poets, because translators have found it unapproachable.

All great poets are untranslatable, their music audible only in their native tongue. The particular problem with Mallarmé is not simply that his writing loses lustre as it moves from French to English; it’s that the mere act of translation erases the ambiguities that throng the text.