I’m with Jeff on this one. I liked Neal Pollack’s Alternadad, but comparing it to Howl is like calling The O.C. the finest drama since I, Claudius. I can only chalk this bizarre comparison to the precarious employment scenario now going down at Time.
Responding to the Reason fanfic imbroglio, Tod Goldberg observes that “all uses of the term ‘raging fucktard’ be noted as originating from me.” One would think that this point would be self-evident, but it seems that the Cathy Youngs of the universe require clarification.
Meghan O’Rourke on John Leonard: “It would be fine to leave it at that, if it weren’t that the word ‘enthusiast’ sounds dilettantish, somehow not quite serious. So let us try this: John Leonard is our primary progressive, catholic literary critic; he is also, with the exception of Susan Sontag, the best American literary critic to come of age in the 1960s, when the destabilizing forces of rock ’n’ roll and popular culture ransacked Axel’s Castle, that modernist symbol of aesthetic detachment, and began throwing parties in the inner keep. Like Sontag and Camille Paglia, Leonard has been one of the few literary essayists who can make sense of the erosion of highbrow culture, ruing elements of its loss while embracing the forces of popular culture. He is a man who loves The Beatles and Arthur Koestler, Joan Baez and William Wordsworth; and whom we can trust, now, when he worries that our intellectual culture is being, if not ‘dumbed down,’ then coarsened. He may be an ‘old fart,’ as he describes himself. But in outlook he is still a young progressive — the word-drunk man who has done for literary criticism what Lester Bangs did for rock journalism.” Sam Tanenhaus, take note. (via Complete Review)
2007 seems to be the year of vampire novels. Or at least I seem to be reading more of them lately (three so far and we’re barely into February). But Bookburger informs us that John Marks’ Fangland is the one to read.