It is laughable that Sarah Palin considers herself an intellectual. That she “always wanted a son named Zamboni” is a sure sign that this nation is well on its way to a dystopia in which Gatorade has replaced water. (One thing that can be confirmed: Sarah Palin’s got electrolytes!)
This John Updike profile would have played better with me, had Emily Nussbaum written in a manner suggesting that she had thoroughly read the book. But Nussbaum spends most of her time dwelling on Updike’s personal life, playing amateur psychiatrist like some chirpy undergrad hoping to coast through an elementary English lit class on hunches. (“It occurs to me that divorce is a central subject of The Witches as female psychology,” Nussbaum writes, but doesn’t cite anything from the text.) How different is Nussbaum’s article from a People Magazine puff piece? (via Mark Athitakis)
Moby Lives appears to have returned in written form.
Just because John Freeman declares the National Book Awards finalists to be “in dialogue with world literature,” this does not make it so. This is what’s known in logic as the bare assertion fallacy. The books themselves represent an output of consciousness, but this output is subject to interpretation by other people. Freeman’s sanction (“I say it because it’s true!”) does not mean that it is true, or that there is any foolproof answer. This is not what any “dialogue with world literature” I know is about. And on a more literal level, so far as I know, Aleksandar Hemon is not chatting with Elfriede Jelinek on the phone.
Brian Lehrer is discussing Arts & Culture Funding on Friday’s show, and has set up a wiki to receive feedback from listeners. I’ve left my remarks, spurned on by Jacket Copy.
Philip Hensher confesses (more than he knows) that it’s difficult to have humility when you’re on the Booker shortlist. Is it just me or is Mr. Hensher quickly become the UK’s answer to Jonathan Franzen? Will we see a creepy Discomfort Zone-style essay in which Hensher sobs over Andy Capp’s hat? (via Mark)