So the Nobel Prize goes to Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio — a writer who I’ve never read. And it’s all because I’m one of those thuggish American idiots who Engdahl is complaining about. Mr. Orthofer, as usual, has the goods here.
I hope that I might atone for my unworldly nature by once again mentioning one of the best films that played the New York Film Festival, Tokyo Sonata. I assure you that my coverage of this movie is far from over. And I am pleased to report that the film now has an American distributor. It will be released by Regent in March 2009. I don’t yet know how many theaters it will play, but if it plays in your area, by all means catch it if you can.
Bill Peschel, playing directly to my perverse nature, has kick-started a promising series: Great Moments in Literary Sex. Unfortunately, Mr. Peschel has yet to employ the gerunds “pounding” or “thrusting” in his posts. Let us hope for more Harlequin action in forthcoming installments.
I must publicly denounce Random House for failing to send me books with bawdy covers. Oh well. Perhaps someone else will come through.
The Wall Street Journal talks with David Lodge, and has me a bit sad that I lack the financial resources to travel to London to interview the man and conduct a proper conversation. (via Frank Wilson, who dutifully takes the WSJ on for getting the tone in Lodge’s oeuvre so fundamentally wrong)
Mark Athitakis reminds us once again that there is more to Steinbeck than crowd-pleasing and ideological novels. I’m by no means a lover of all of Steinbeck’s work, but I’ve likewise never quite understood this rap. This is a nation in which writers are impugned if they get through to the masses, vilified if they don’t kiss the tastemakers’s asses, and celebrated if they abide by the take-no-chances boilerplate. There are exceptions to this, and certainly Steinbeck was an exception in his lifetime. But leave it to the next generation of closed-minded critics who would rather play predictable contrarians rather than attempt to parse books for what they are.