To my profound surprise, attrition has (sorta) kicked in. Corpus currently revolts, mind counters. But in the meantime:
- Beverly Cleary on NPR. (via Rarely Likable)
- Is Dale Peck the worst Tournament of Books judge of his generation?
- Ben Yagoda on Michiko Kakutani: “The qualities most glaringly missing from Kakutani’s work are humor and wit. Maybe in an attempt to compensate, she writes one or two parody reviews a year….Talk about cringe-making. They are so awful, from start to finish, that you cannot avert your eyes, much as you would like to.” Indeed. A thinker without a sense of humor is like a soldier without a bayonet. He may as well hole himself up at the barracks.
- Dan Wickett tackles the issue of review dates vs. publish dates, and the Literary Saloon follows up.
- Yann Martel: “‘Everyone, at one point, has to start integrating the Holocaust into their lives.” This Holocaust: Can you find it at Crate & Barrel? And does it go well with the rococo prints and the setee?
- Abigail Nussbaum takes on the Hugo novelette nominees, the short story nominees and the novella nominees.
- It looks like the odds we calculated were wrong. (Then again, we somehow figured that Mitchell was beneath the Conde Nasty highbores and that, as a result, they wouldn’t be covering him.) It looks like The New Yorker is the first to break ranks, remarking that Black Swan Green “has the subtlety of a watermark.” Although, Daniel Zalewski’s review also mistakenly suggests that Mitchell’s renown hasn’t translated into America. Really? Glowing reviews from nearly every media outlet? Considerable discussion among literary geeks? SRO crowds at bookstores? Maybe the Central Park West crowd might pooh-pooh Mitchell as “middlebrow.” I don’t know. But is this because Cloud Atlas has sold 100,000 copies in the States or because certain writers might be jealous of a young writer has come along with four novels transcending both popular and literary waters? By that measure, let’s discount John Updike, John Barth and Philip Roth from literary credibility. After all, their books sold pretty well during their early careers. They couldn’t possibly be any good, could they?
- B.R. Myers’ photo revealed. (Yes, sadly enough, we were curious.)
- WTF? James Blunt, ice cream and a 16 year old girl? Mike Tyson is a troubled soul. (via Quiddity)