• Okay, a considerable number of obligations preclude me from lengthy posts over the next few days. But once I get over the hump, there will be a considerable amount of content here. Bear with me. In the meantime, here are a few short blips.
  • Clive James’s “The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered.”
  • I was in a Midtown diner yesterday and I overheard two young gentlemen, both low-level workers in a financial firm sitting at an adjacent table, remark that “the Nobel’s currency has plummeted” in response to the news that Paul Krugman had won the prize for Economics. It is worth noting that these two gentlemen assured each other in desperation that they understood what the current Dow Jones yo-yo meant. And my dining companion and I, who were discussing the Literature and Peace prizes, were highly amused when they failed to offer an explanation for this apparent confidence and understanding, and the two gentlemen, in turn, began to cadge from our conversation when they ran out of conversational topics.
  • If you genuinely believe that USA Today represents a legitimate outlet for books, consider its current books page. The two top stories involve Tony Curtis and Maureen McCormick, making this purported “books section” no less different from People Magazine. This, I presume, is the wave of the present.
  • It appears that Milan Kundera is now in the process of being denounced. Orthofer has more, but I’m wondering if anyone will have the bravery to declare how overrated this Czech writer is.
  • Tod Goldberg on Lawrence Shainberg’s Crust.
  • Finally, when you’re a VP candidate who can’t even get support at a hockey game (complete with thundering music attempting to drown out the boos), chances are that your campaign is pretty close to finished.


  1. “I’m wondering if anyone will have the bravery to declare how overrated this Czech writer is.”

    I’m wondering the opposite: how many will resist the urge to toss twigs on this bonfire?

  2. I’m with Steve: indeed, I’m tempted to hope that we’ll learn about people whom Auster and J-Franz have had sent to the gulag so that their overratedness can be denounced too.

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