Roundup

  • I am now reading more books than you would believe one man could read. And I have only myself to blame. While things have not yet escalated to the point where exercising the espresso option on my coffeemaker becomes mandatory, they are certainly getting there. And if I start to cackle wildly in the forthcoming weeks or you see some balding man attempting to scale the side of the Grand Army Plaza arch in desperation, don’t say I didn’t warn you. In the meantime…
  • Sacha Arnold considers The Three Paradoxes.
  • Of all the astute pens for hire, why the hell did Tanenhaus opt for Rex Reed? But it is good to see Good Man Park make the cut.
  • 318 different covers of War of the Worlds. (via Paul Collins)
  • Edith Wharton in Esperanto.
  • Here’s the problem with current literary journalism: “I’ve since read the book–and liked it a lot, it’s one of my favorite books of the year–and I must say I’m completely flummoxed by the apparently controversy that’s surrounded the book.” What is the point of talking with an author if one has not read the book in question? An extended conversation along these lines is useless for both author and audience if the interlocutor has not bothered to read the book in full. That Nissley remains “completely flummoxed” because he has not bothered to use his deficient noodle is not much of a surprise. Nor is it particularly earth-shattering to discover that his questions are more generic than Akiva Goldman’s best attempts at narrative. Is this cheap blanket advocacy an effort by Tom Nissley to cope for his clear shortcomings? Or could it be that the Amazon blog is about as journalistic as a golden globular quid pro quo afforded to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association? Here on the Internet, we have a great medium to deflect this sort of thing. And Nissley’s blown it because he prefers being a toothless tool.
  • Sarvas on Shalom. McLemee on Mailer.
  • If all goes according to plan, I hope to make my thoughts known about Judith Freeman’s The Long Embrace in a rather unusual manner. But for the moment, check out Richard Rayner’s review in the LATBR.
  • Bob Hoover believes that “[s]uccess as a novelist is found between the pages, not the sheets.” But cannot success in the latter lead to success in the former? Or are stopperage-specific muses inherently worthless?
  • Anita Thompson ain’t a fan of the Jann Wenner HST oral history. Apparently, Wenner took her out of the book because “she has an exaggerated sense of who she was in terms of Hunter. She had another kind of role.” Which leads one to wonder what Wenner perceives that role to be. Handmaiden perhaps? (via Likely Stories)
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2 Comments

  1. Cool! I just finished “Long Embrace” too, so I’m curious what you thought of it. I thought it was excellent, even though I disagreed with a lot of her conclusions. She presents so much information and context, reading it felt like I was arguing with a friend, in a good way. I finished it a few days ago, and I’m not only still thinking about the book, but pulled my Chandler LofA volume off the shelf for a read.

  2. I just realized I am senile when I thought: Why would Jann Wenner do an oral history of Harry S. Truman when Merle Miller did that great one decades ago?

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