Saturday, September 30, 2006

Blogging must be desultory ...

... probably until tomorrow.

David Orr ...

... looks at Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled: School of Verse . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

More dispatches from Dodge ...

... Friday September 29, part 1 and Friday Sept 29, part 2. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Something to make a point of ...

... National Punctuation Day.

Nice to know ...

... I'm not the only one to have noticed this: The End of the World As They Know It.

I am not a baby boomer myself, and I am certainly not inclined to the apocalyptic. Perhaps that explains why I find this interesting:

I don’t think our mood is only a consequence of 9/11 (and the grim Middle East), or climate-change science, or Christians’ displaced fear of science and social change. It’s also a function of the baby-boomers’ becoming elderly. For half a century, they have dominated the culture, and now, as they enter the glide path to death, I think their generational solipsism unconsciously extrapolates approaching personal doom: When I go, everything goes with me, my end will be the end.

Van Wyck Brooks, in his autobiography, describes his psychotic breakdown in precisely these terms: When he died, the world would die as well. This, of course, is the ego run amok.

D.H. Lawrence's last book, written while he was dying, was called Apocalypse. Here is the conclusion: Start with the sun

Friday, September 29, 2006

Dinner took longer ...

... to prepare than I had reckoned and guests are scheduled to arrive soon. So blogging will have to wait.

Today's poem ...

... comes courtesy of Maxine Clarke: Brave for so long.

Today's poem ...

... comes courtesy of Maxine Clarke: Brave for so long.

It must be poet laureate week ...

... Saskatchewan’s New Poet Laureate.

I'm pretty busy ...

... putting together a cassoulet dinner for Michaelmas - but I always have time for Günter Grass: Hypocrisy update. Is this guy great, or what?

This is so sad ...

... Portrait of a Disadvantaged Child . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Blogging will resume ...

... at least for a bit, this afternoon.

The human, all-too-human side ...

... of Oriana Fallaci: James Marcus's O & I. Wherever she is, I think Oriana would appreciate this.

Good news for the runners-up ...

... Long Barn Books First Novel Competition - The Great News! (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

This explains ...

... why much contemporary art - literary and otherwise - fails: because it aims mostly to editorialize. `The Shadow of Humanity'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Ease up on Jeffrey ...

... Bryan Appleyard implores: The Jeffrey Archer Campaign Must Stop .

OK, poetry pardners ...

... here's a Dispatch from Dodge, Thursday, September 28th .

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Let's do something ...

... really outrageous - and link to a very nice post about Joyce Kilmer. "Trees" has given pleasure to many people and still does, I imagine. And you know, it's going to continue to do that.

I should have mentioned this ...

... earlier, since Rus Bowden alerted me to it the other day. But Blogger was being uncooperative and I was away from the computer for a while. So here at last it is: Poetry Festivals Worldwide: This weekend, the Dodge.

Check this out ...

... Didi Menendez's miPOradio .

I don't quite know ...

... what to make of this: Grass's added ingredient. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I mean, I understand that Grass has apparently turned out a fine piece of writing with many interesting passages about how things and people from his life became charcaters and scenes in his work. I just don't see what that has to do with his deception and posturing. A deceitful poseur may be perfectly capable of writing a book that is entertaining and informative. But his dishonesty and phoniness otherwise remain. I think Vargas Llosa has it about right: "This, he said, has been all about 'people’s image of the author that Grass has desperately tried to be for his whole life: one who expresses his opinions on every issue, and for whom life – as literature – adapts to one’s dreams and ideas. A man for whom the writer is the absolute number one, simultaneously entertaining, teaching, giving orientation and guidance. Dear Günter Grass, we have blissfully carried this fiction around with us long enough. It’s over now'."

If you want an example ...

... of how ideas can be treated in a newspaper in a way that is "more substantive than sound bites and cliches" read Bryan Appleyard's article on Ian Hacking's Rewriting the Soul that Bryan links to in this post: Metabolic Syndrome and the Human Condition.

"Hacking is engaged with science not as a generalised force, but as a specific activity. He shows that philosophical imagination and analysis has much to teach science. His withering analysis of the incompetent uses of statistics in psychology should be required reading for every over-confident science student. Scientists currently need philosophers more than philosophers need scientists. "

At New Tammany College ...

... thoughts of Beckett: The siege in the room.

A peek into ...

... Edith Wharton's World (via Maud Newton.)

This is great ...

... Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis. (Link fixed thanks to Dave Lull.)

The book as art ...

... Exhibition of Medieval Prayer Book.

In case you haven't lately ...

... pay a visit to The Bibliothecary. As usual, a lot of interesting stuff there.

This, I think is a must read ...

... Chronicle of wasted time. Deeply moving and deeply true.

I have to prepare ...

... a large dinner for tomorrow night - and Blogger continues to drag its feet. So I am not likely to resume blogging until this evening.

If newspapers want ...

... to adapt to changing times, they should pay more attention to the kind of people I had the priivilege of spending some time with last night in Manhattan. Not just the people who were on the platform with me - though Lizzie Skurnick, Laurie Muchnick and Maud Newton are as sharp as they come (now that I've heard in detail what Laurie's gone through at Newsday, I don't feel sorry for myself anymore) - but the people in the audience as well at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. These are not just people who read, but people who are passionate about books, words, ideas. Put out a paper that consistently appeals to people like that and it'll sell out every day. And no, these are not people who are only interested in high-falutin' lit'ry issues. They are people who are interested in all that is going on - in City Hall, Yankee Stadium, the Metropolitian Opera, you name it. But they're interested in seeing these things treated with something more substantive than sound bites and cliches.
NBCC president John Freeman (full disclosure: he reviews frequently for The Inquirer) organized the panel and moderated it with characteristic aplomb (somebody get John on TV; he could be a star). The topic was the connection between newspaper and magazine books reviews and book blogs. The conclusion (roughly sketched): They're not the same and shouldn't try to be; there's no reason for any antagonism to exist between them - or between bloggers and critics - because they can both complement and supplement each other.
The word most commonly used by all participating was conversation: Thanks to blogs, literary discourse is no longer a one-way street, with reviewers having their say and the rest of us having to listen. Anybody who wants to can have their say now. So reviewers can expect that what they write is going to be, well, reviewed online. Why? Because people are interested in books and reading.
Here is, perhaps, a case in point: My review this Sunday is of Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale. I loved it. Laurie Muchnick did not like it at all. She wasn't going to review it, but may do so now. I hope so, because as soon as she does, I'll link to her review from my blog, so readers can see an altogether different viewpoint. Who's right, Laurie or me? I'd say neither and both. I'm right for me and Laurie's right for her. As Michael Allen has pointed out, what gives me pleasure doesn't necessarily give anyone else pleasure, certainly not everyone else. But two contrasting viewpoints will make discussion of the book richer for everybody.
I met a number of people last night I had only known, as it were, electronically: James Marcus, Michael Orthofer, Scott McLemee, Jane Ciabatteri, Jessica Crispin (didn't get a chance to chat with her, though; drat!). At dinner I had a really great talk with David Orr, whose On Poetry column in the NYTBR is one the best reasons - among many - to read the NYTBR .
Everyone last night was younger than I - but that's becoming an unavoidable circumstance - which may be why I felt younger riding home on the train that I had riding in. Or maybe it was just the fasctinatin' rhythm of Manhattan.
Update: A more comprehensive account of the event can be found, not surprisingly, at Critical Mass: The review and blog panel recap

T.S. Eliot wasn't the only ...

... great artist born on Sept. 26. So was George Gershwin

John M. Ford (1957-2006)

... Making Light has the details and much else. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hey, Kids! You have your own laureate now.

Brumfield still here. Frank must be sleeping in after a long night in New York. Well, as promised last week The Poetry Foundation has named it's first children's poet laureate. And speaking of poetry, a previously unknown poem by Robert Frost has been discovered. Read about both right here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thanks, Frank. John Brumfield here.

For those of us who don't necessarily want a good physical workout while we read, here's a brief about a downsized paperback edition (just 56% of the original and it's still 768 pages).

In the meantime, though ...

... check out Six Numbers in Search of a Theory. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

And let me say, just in passing, that Blogger has been so uncooperative lately that not having to deal with it for a while will be a distinct pleasure.

I have to get ready ...

... to wend my way to Manhattan in order to participate in a panel on blogging and book reviewing. I won't be back in Philly until the wee hours, so don't expect blogging to resume until sometime tomorrow (unless John Brumfield decides to take up the slack).

Happy birthday ....

... to Kay Ryan. Dana Gioia's Discovering Kay Ryan is defintiely worth reading, too. (Thanks to John Brumfield for reminding me.)

This is probably ...

... for subscribers only, but What Do You Know? in this morning's WSJ is certainly dismaying.
  • In a 60-question multiple-choice quiz ,"college seniors failed the civic literacy exam, with an average score of 53.2 percent, or F, on a traditional grading scale." And at many schools "seniors know less than freshmen about America's history, government, foreign affairs, and economy."
  • Among college seniors, less than half--47.9%--correctly concluded that "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal" was from the Declaration of Independence. More than half did not know that the Bill of Rights prohibits the governmental establishment of an official religion, and "55.4 percent could not recognize Yorktown as the battle that brought the American Revolution to an end" (more than one quarter believing that it was the Civil War battle of Gettysburg that had ended the Revolution).
  • As for the 50 colleges that participated in the program, the best-scoring students were not from the institutions one might expect. Rhodes College, Colorado State University and Calvin College were the top three, with senior students averaging between 9.5 and 11.6 percentage points higher than freshmen.
    At the other end of the scale were 16 schools that showed "negative learning"--that is, seniors scored lower than freshmen. Cornell, UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins were the worst three, their seniors scoring between 3.3 and 7.3 percentage points worse than their freshmen. And on the negative list were some other very prestigious universities: Williams, Georgetown, Yale, Duke and Brown.

Well, in spite of ...

... Edward Champion's reservations in The Inquirer (Talented writer comes up short ), Haruiki Murakami wins the world's richest short story prize . (Hat tip, Vikram Johri.)

In praise of ...

... Henry James. "The Beast in the Jungle" is one of my favorite stroies, period. Anyone unsure as to why James is great should read it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Well, I see ...

... that Blogger is working again. A post I wrote hours ago is finally up. But it's too late for me to do anymore tonight.

Interviews ...

... with the late Sir Malcolm Arnold.

Scott Esposito ...

.. has some interesting comments on this post of mine: Huh.
I could have been clearer than I was, obviously. I have no problem applauding artistic experimentation. Better to experiment if you have to and fail than not experiment at all, if an experiment is called for. But failure should be acknowledged as such. In other words, the work of art does not succeed - as a work of art - just because it is an experiment. The crucial question is whether the experiment succeeded or not.
I still stick by my judgment of Ulysses. The sort of trial and error Scott refers to is it seems to me part and parcel of writing. What I meant was that I think Joyce had a clear and distinct aim from the outset. He may have run into obstacles again and again but he knew what his terminus ad quem was at every step of the way. (When I went to Dublin a couple of years ago for a special report The Inquirer wanted to do on the centenary of Bloomsday - and had to look again and more closely at Ulysses - I concluded that much of Joyce's great book has to do with Thomas Aquinas's theory of knowledge. Joyce read a page of Aquinas in Latin every day and in a key passage directly refers to the Angelic Doctor's Treatise on the Soul. But I could write a long essay on that - would have to, in fact, to make it all clear.)
As for Scott's differences with John Freeman, I can't speak for John, but I'll bring the matter up with him tomorrow night. We ought to all be able to arrive at some area of agreement on this.

It's kerfuffle time ...

... a gentleman by the name of David Sketchley has sent - to The Inquirer and to MediaLens - a complaint about a recent piece by my colleague Carlin Romano (Premature obit sends book's sales soaring). Mr. Sketchley thinks that Reuters and the New York Times both reported that Chavez did not refer to Noam Chomsky as having died and that Carlin was remiss in reporting that Chavez had said such.

Here is the text of an email I have sent Mr. Sketchley:

Dear Mr. Sketchley:
Carlin Romano was hardly the only person to believe that Hugo Chavez expressed regret over not having met Noam Chomsky before Chomsky's death. Perhaps Carlin had read this in the New York Times, Sept. 22:

A Scholar Is Alive, Actually, and Hungry for Debate

By MARC SANTORA

At a news conference after his spirited address to the United Nations on Wednesday, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela expressed one regret: not having met that icon of the American left, the linguist Noam Chomsky, before his death.

Or maybe this: Chávez endorsement results in a best-seller (please note: a combination of Reuters and the NY Times) .

It is also worth noting that the two articles I have just cited are dated Sept. 22, whereas the article that mentions Galbraith (Venezuela's Chavez Continues Anti - Bush Harangue) is dated Sept. 21. Perhaps the later version is correct and the earlier one was not.
I have been unable to find any transcript of Chavez's remarks at the news conference, so I can't say which version is correct. But Carlin was well within the bounds of reason to comment upon what had been so widely reported.
Sincerely,
Frank Wilson

Update: Mr. Sketchley has indeed sent me a cordial, informative email in response to mine.

And maybe it is worth recalling ...

... that argument and disagreement are not the same: Argument Clinic. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

But wait ...

... we can't forget that it is T.S. Eliot 's birthday (hat tip to John Brumfield for reminding me). Here are some sites to visit:

What the Thunder Said

The T.S. Eliot Page

TS Eliot

Four Quartets

The quartets are four my money the greatest poetic achievement of 20th century. It is useful to remember and ponder that

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

Blogging must be light until later ...

... I have a large workload today.

Something for the sports pages ...

... International Philosophy. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It's about time ...

... Making poetry safe for engineers. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A lesson in etiquette ...

... from W.H. Auden via Terry Teachout's Almanac.
Last Friday was the anniversary of the birth of Philip Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, who is said to have advised his son never to insult a man unitentionally (a sentiment echoed in what Auden says). Here are some of Lord Chesterfield's gems.

Jeffrey Archer nods ...

... hard to believe, but: Bill Oddie Mystery Solved .

Monday, September 25, 2006

Better yet, though ...

... let's end it with a fireworks display of links from Maxine: Book links, etc (notice, Susan the reference to OWL service).

Maxine also provides proof, at Loopholes of Retreat, from no less than Charles Darwin, that shorter is better.

We began the day ...

... with something scary, so let's end it with something even scarier: The Stepford Jonathans.

Calling all Scots ...

... Rus Bowden informs me that the Scotsman has a special myth section: Myths & Mysteries.

What would Dr. Johnson say?

In praise of ...

... well, copy editors. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)
I was a copy editor for many years, so I know their value. But they are more than quality control specialists. They also write the headlines and captions. Now, just about anybody may sit at their breakfast table and see a headline and think to themselves, "I could do better than that." And they may well be right - in that instance. But could they write a really good headline - that fits, of course, in the alloted space - and do it now, fast, and when they're done, do another, and another? I doubt it.

A site I missed

... Pendragons. (Hat tip, Roberta Nolte.)

I knew this would happen ...

... as soon as I read what Lev Grossman had to say at Critical Mass: On Amateur Book Reviewing. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The question that comes to mind is what constitutes a professional book reviewer. Is that somebody who has an advanced degree in literature or something? "There's a pervasive notion that anybody who can read can write a book review." There is? It doesn't have to do with whether you can read, but with whether you can write. On the other hand, to be honest, I can't agree that "an exemplar ... can easily be found in the New York Review of Books." I've read some good reviews in the New York Review of Books, but I've also read plenty that were interminable, diffuse, and tendentious. That judging a "book in context of other books that may be related" gets a lot of reviewers in trouble; that's where they often come off as being primarily interested in showing off how much they know. The other thing that gets reviewers in trouble is being preoccupied with demonstrating how cleverly they can phrase their judgments. Good reviews aren't about the reviewers.

Protesting too much ...

... at the Language Log: Passive aggression. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I tend to agree with Robertson Davies about Strunk & White: "This is a wonderful book, if you want to write like a White or a Strunk. But do you? I should hate to read a novel written in Strunkese. As for Mr. White, his style is a perfect instrument for what he has to say, but for my taste that sounds too often like a few wise, weary words written by a man who is on the point of retiring to bed with a heavy cold."
Orwell is something else again - and I suspect his point has been missed in this post, though it is hard to say since only a negative judgment is registered, and no precise objections for such judgment ever elaborated. The point, I think, of Orwell's admonition to "never use the passive where you can use the active" is that the passive voice too easily lends itself to obfuscation by those who wish to obfuscate.
It's also worth remembering that the last of Orwell's rules was "Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous."

Our friend Katie Haegele ...

... is posting at Powell's Books: Science Fiction Food for Feminist Babies.

True to my word ...

... and justified in my faith (in Nadya's skills), I have attached - with the expert help of Nadya Tan - a Verse Libromancy button at the top right of the blog.

A contest you may just want to enter ...

... Announcing the Renegade Writer Makeover!

Hear, hear ...

... Prince Charles and the Eggs 3 .

I pretty much agree with this ...

... Darwin on the Right - which may surprise some people. But in the Catholic schools I attended it was understood that evolution - which we shall, for the sake of argument, define as the development of life over eons from a single source - was in no way incompatible with a belief in God. I am not entirely convinced that natural selection is the only factor involved in evolution - but there are perfectly qualified scientists who have similar reservations - and I reluct at both evolutionary determinism and evolutionary reductionism. But I find the poll results in the opening paragraph astounding. I thoroughly agree that "the watchmaker God of intelligent-design creationism is delimited to being a garage tinkerer piecing together life out of available parts."

Be scared ...

... be very scared ... if you are so inclined: Breathing kills. I knew that something was going to get me sooner or later, I just wasn't sure what.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006)

... the British composer Sir Malcom Arnold has died. Here is the Telegraph obituary and here is the Times of London's. Those of us who grew up in the '50s remember him for the score he wrote for David Lean's film The Bridge on the River Kwai (for which Arnold won an Academy Award). But his nine symphonies, in my view, are among the great symphonic series of all time.

I just listened to the last movements of his first two symphonies. Simply wonderful. Here is Official Website.

I don't feel like blogging anymore just now.

More poems ...

... Helm Alexy's Shift Worker .

... Paula Grenside's Cape Kiwanda.

... Carol Saba's To Pat: Poem from Å (to learn about the images, see Note to Peter).

Thanks to Rus Bowden for the links.

And while we were idling about ...

... Maxine went and created a new blog: Loopholes of Retreat. (Again, Dave Lull alerted me to this.)

I suppose it's only fair ...

... to link to Scott Esposito's objection to John Freeman's review of Mark Z. Danielewski´s Only Revolutions: John Freeman´s Experiments.

I discussed this with John via email and I also think it fair to point out that John reviewed just about every one of the books listed. I do not myself see anything particularly experimental about The Corrections, though it certainly was touted at the the time as the NEXTBIGTHING.

I must also confess that the notion of artistic experiment has always bothered me a bit. In the world of science, where experiments are crucial, most experiments fail. In the world of art, experiments are praised as ends in themselves. I also think many works called experimental are not such at all. I don't think Ulysses is experimental. I don't think any trial and error was involved in it at all. Joyce knew from the start what he was going to do and how he was going to do it. And do it he did.

Something to look forward to ...

... Michael Frayn's The Human Touch: In the gardens of the mind . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The link in the preceding post ...

... is too important not to draw special attention to: Emperor of Ice-Cream Cakes is "an online birthday party for Wallace Stevens that will occur throughout the entire month of October." Wonderful!

Facts and figures ...

... about the Best American Poets series: More BAP Madness. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Apropos of nothing in particular ...

... I am listening to Bizet's suites from L'Arlesienne conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham. I was a freshman in college when our Latin teacher announced to the class that Sir Thomas had died. What a sad day. Was there ever a better conductor - really? Better at communicating music as a humane art?

Well, this sure looks nice ...

... Summer Holidays. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

I linked to Day 8. There are other days to the right.

You too can install ...

... a "Verse Libromancy" button . Before I attempt this, I will consult with my brilliant young colleague Nadya Tan.

This is interesting ...

... at Surroundings: Cut'n'Paste.

Today's poem ...

... is by Roberta Nolte: Pause.

I just found this ...

... and maybe they're still looking: Do You Have A Chapbook of Poetry for sale?

Win a book ...

... specifically, Barry Eisler's "The Last Assassin."

David Montgomery also has more on 10 Greatest Detective Novels and a link to a Video for Michael Connelly's "Echo Park."

Yasmina Khadra ...

... gets his due at Detectives Beyond Borders: The Politics of Killing a Victim by Decapitating Him and Shoving His Head in a Bidet.
Readers of this blog will know that I am a great admirer of Khadra.

The latest issue ...

... of Junto is up.

Looks to me ...

... as if the new issue of Per Contra is up.

Royal reading matter ...

... Princess Margaret's library. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Something refreshing ...

... Mark Twain quotes of the day. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

The value of blogs ...

... is well demonstrated, I think, in this post at Thought Experiments and the comments appended thereunto: Edward O. Wilson. I hardly say this because of my own exceedingly modest contribution. I say it because, if you read all of it, you will see that a subject has actually be dilated upon in a perfectly civil manner. I happen to think that Andrew's observation that "an awareness that attempts to reduce itself to subordination to reason and nothing but, must end up in absolute nihilism, ie total scepticism about thought itself" is absolutely correct. Which of course underscores Bryan's own point about "using rationality to undermine reason." My own point is that a strictly deterministic evolutionary theory provides no grounds whatsoever for any ethical postulates. Hence, the importance of what Andrew terms " the self-evident or intrinsic values that speak loudly and directly to our sense of life." I do not believe in strict determinism because I sense myself to be free. I also believe that humans have a responsibility toward the environment that other species apparently do not. But then I'm a Christian and the mythos to which I subscribe posits that God created man and woman to be gardeners.

Breakfast at Windsor's

... Bryan Appleyard continues his investigation: The Prince and the Eggs 2 .

I'm with him on this ...

... I, too, think little of bureaucracies. Richard Charkin on Copyright news from Brussels and Washington.

The Good Library Guide comments on this: Richard Charkin, Public Libraries and Google.

I think this says more about publishers ...

... than it does about blogging: Blogger books . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)
Publishers seem to have a sheep mentality. An Army of Davids does well and they conclude that there's a demand for books by bloggers. No, there was interest in a book about blogging by the InstaPundit.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... at least those of them made it online:

John Timpane raves over David Hinton's translation of Wang Wei: Sublime translation of Wang Wei poems. (Unfortunately a very informative box showing the subtleties imvolved in translating Chinese will have to wait, I guess.)

Tim Worstall takes a look at Adam Smith: The man behind the economist .

Update: Thanks to Inquirer online staffer Ellen Dunkel, John Freeman's review of Mark Z. Danielewski Only Revolutions is now up: Literally turning the novel upside down.

Elizabeth Fox is enchanted by Walter Moers's Rumo: Drawings enhance delightful fantasy.

Sandy Bauers delights in a match of words and music: Magic lies in pairing an actor and musician to tell child's tales.

We do have John Freeman's review of Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother: Book Review Retiree can't cope with mortality in shallow novel .

And Carlin Romano has some good news for Mencken fans: Mencken house's fate, like author, is complex.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Better late ...

... I guess (though I'm not sure) : Woman much missed. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Well, this is different ...

... guess you'd call it bed blogging: I Used to Be Lonely, Now I'm Not. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Today's poem ...

... is by Peter Garner: 67º 52’ N (A Song of Å) .

Class act ...

... John Ashbery defends Donald Hall (via Poetry Daily.)

Saaleha takes on ...

... everybody's favorite book meme.

Life calls ...

... so blogging will resume later.

This is cool ...

.. ya dig? From Amy Nelson-Mile a link to Jazz Slang.

Minx wins a prize ...

... Me prize has arrived.

A life of submissions ...

... Michael Allen's How the other half lives.

Carlin Romano ponders ...

... Hugo Chavez's boost to Noam Chomsky: Premature obit sends book's sales soaring.

In case you think Chomsky's stature as a linguist is unassailable, take a look at A disgraceful career. And since mention is made therein of the much-maligned passive voice, there is also this to consider: In Defense of the Passive Voice (hat tip, Dave Lull).

Perhaps the greatest blog post ...

... you will read today: Fournier, Vespasian, Claudius, and Elvis. (Certainly proof of how valuable a classical education can be.)

Well, I'm not surprised ...

... that Maxine is Among the new influencers. After all, she's influenced me.

And speaking of politics ...

... and politicians, Vikram Johri's Pakistan's rape laws: A blot on "enlightened moderation" is certainly dismaying.

I'll be your mirror ...

... Bryan Appleyard is on a roll, not only with The Velvet Underground and the Neocons and The Prince's Boiled Eggs and Not Funny, but most all, perhaps, with Jeffrey Archer's Ghost.

One of the things I especially like about Bryan is that, unlike so many of my fellow journalists, he expects of politics and politicians only what they are capable of providing, which is to say, very little indeed.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Well, I'm still ...

... fighting a cold. So that it's it for tonight.

Wrap your ton gue ...

... around Green Grape Cakes and more. This is fun (which leads me for some reason to recall that today a colleague who is a jazz buff said I had a voice like a jazz singer - which I took as a high compliment indeed).

Not only does Maxine ...

... have a post about How physics killed Spiderman's girlfriend, but she has given Petrona a flashy new makeover.

Gauging rage ...

... Rage-Writing as Memoir. Is it a Book, a Blog or just BS?

Well-deserved compliments ...

... to Mr. Kipling: Covert Criticism.

This is certainly true ...

... from Terry Teachout's Almanac.

Help wanted ...

... We're looking . . . (Hat tip, Maxine again.)

Great moments ...

... in the life of a writer: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Library. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

More on Stoppard's ....

... Rock 'n' Roll: Fellow-Travelling, Czechoslovakia and the soundtrack to our lives. (Hat tip again to Dave Lull.)

Circus Maximus ...

... William Carlos Williams On Charles Olson: Musings for the Season. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

More on Zadie Smith ...

... from Lisa Coutant: Zadie Smith's Questions - Discussion.

Behind the scenes ....

... elsewhere - in this case, the Arden Theatre Company's A Prayer for Owen Meany: The Heumann Blog.

Oh, darn!

... we missed Hobbit Day. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)
Oh well, let's mark it on the calendar for next year - and try not to forget!

Species customizing ...

... Diversity's hidden iceberg. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

This is extremely interesting and informative, but I am left with one question, and it has to do with "how important it is to keep the fabric of life intact." Every other species just goes about its business, heedless of the needs and concerns of other species - or things in general, for that matter. But many among the human species seem to think that humans are somehow obligated to accomodate ourselves to the needs and concerns of every other species. Now that may well be so. But I don't see how nature compels it. Keeping the fabric of life intact would seem to be the job of, well, life itself. (In saying this, I am presuming, for the sake of argument, a strictly naturalistic viewpoint.)

I hope this works ...

... Information architect Dave Lull (see It all depends ...) has sent me an interview with Elif Shafak.

Günter Grass's memoir ...

... Peeling the Onion isn't due out in English until next fall. Daniel Johnson, however, has already read the German original: Many layers but no heart.

I wonder if Grass's anti-Westernism is not grounded in resentment of military defeat as experienced personally in that internment camp.

It all depends ...

... on how you phrase it: Growing market for euphemisms.

Update: Scott Stein has an interesting piece that complements Andy's: Crippled Words (or, Words with Disabilities) .

Methinks Bryan is right ...

... this may well be The Worst Idea Ever (though it has given birth to one of the funniest blog posts ever).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's been a long day ...

... and I'm sneezing a coughing and feeling blah all around. Blogging will resume tomorrow.

Sven Nykvist (1922-2006)

... the great cinematograher, has died. Here is the Times of London obituary. His work for Ingmar Bergman is immortal, of course, but does anyone remmeber the stunning opening scene of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich?

A revision ...

... from Peter Garner: Ode to a Pip.

Running short of ideas?

... there's help available: Steal My Ideas, Please.

Get ready for ...

... Banned Books Week. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Cannibalizing Hannibal ...

... Edward Champion calls Thomas Harris The Laziest Titler in the Publishing Industry - and descants on how Hannibal has become, as it were, a brand name.

Here's some good news ...

... Shafak acquitted.

"Your red scarf matches your eyes ..."

... More Bad Writing.

Blogging will be light ...

... to non-existent until later in the day. I have much to do at the office today.

Crime fiction alert ...

... my colleague Peter Rozovsky has started a blog that should interest you: Detectives Beyond Borders.

'Twas always thus ...

... literary politics: The green baize door. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Good news from Bryan Appleyard ...

... and for all of Jeffrey Archer's legions of fans: My Guilt Lifts.... He's Back! Huzzah!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I've been bothered ...

... by a scratchy throat all day and have decided to call it a day. Back tomorrow.

Don't be fooled ...

... at Petrona: Spotting fake science. Rule No. 7 strikes me as a variation on "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate," commonly known as Occam's Razor. Literally it means that "plurality should not be posited unneccsarily"; in practice it means that when faced with two or more possible solutions to a problem, choose the simplest - more particularly, do not address a problem simply by positing a new entity to explain it.

Still more words ...

... The Naming of Parts . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Lost and found ...

... at the Virginia Quarterly Review: A Symposium on a Lost Poem by Robert Frost. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A valedictory ...

... from Jerome Weeks that readers of the Dallas Morning News won't get to see: His Farewell column. (Thanks to Dave Lull for alerting me that the link didn't work.)

I found this odd: "... there's the pleasure of irking some people, notably bloggers. Mustn't forget that."

Alan Dershowitz writes ...

... An Open Letter to the Guardian. He seems to have a valid gripe: "... I've never had the experience of a reviewer claiming that I take a position in one of my books that is the exact opposite of what I have actually asserted." And why wouldn't the Guardian print his letter?

Blogger has been so slow ...

.. I have decided to give it a rest until later on.

Gone for soldiers every one ...

... not: Where Have All the Intellectuals Gone? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Ms. Smith comes to Bryn Mawr ...

... Lisa Coutant on Zadie Smith Reading and Topics for Discussion . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

More words, words, words ...

... David Crystal's top 10 books on the English language. (Hat tip, Vikram Johri.)
I'm rather fond of Ernest Weekly's Etymological Dictionary. (Weekly, poor sod, was the first husband of the woman who is better known now as Frieda Lawrence.)

An interview with ...

... Richard A. Lanham, author of The Economics of Attention. (Hat tip, Dave Lull, who also draws my attention to these earlier posts: The economics of attention ... and Last week, I believe............. )

Wendy Cope ...

... on A.E. Housman at Poet on Poet of the Week. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Words, words, words ...

... at Books, Words, and Writing: So You Think You Know Word Origins? I got seven out of 10 in the one I took.

In today's Inquirer ...

... there are a couple of book reviews: mine of Dumas's The Three Musketeers: New translation of 'Musketeers' one for all times and Allen Barra's of Johnny U: Biography suits style of football's great Johnny Unitas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We've got some fine responses ...

... to this post: A sort of ... But we could use some more. Spread the word. I know there are plenty of poets out there.

Update: When enough comments are posted, I plan to write about this for the Inquirer's book page. A couple of the poems will appear there and the rest will be gathered together for a special Web page.

Hey, Patrick Kurp ...

... made Terry Teachout's Almanac.

Comparisons are odorous ...

... as Dogberry would have it. Carlin Romano askes Is the Crematorium Half-Full or Half-Empty? (Via Critical Mass.)

Minx has an offer ...

... see Press Release.

More on the Pope and the Prophet ...

... from John Allen: A Challenge, Not a Crusade . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Avast, ye hearties ...

... Debra Hamel goes all piratey on us: Arrr, the Kin' o' Regis Philbin. As for Regis, keelhaul the lubber.

Predicting the Booker ...

... a poll at Reading Matters asks: Which book do you think will win this year's Man Booker Prize? (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

New Tolkien on its way ...

... Christopher Tolkien to Complete 'Children of Hurin'. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Frey 'em ...

... Funny I mentioned that at the Grumpy Old Bookman, who also has a nice post on Michael Crichton: State of Fear as well as a wealth of Accumulated data.

Check out ...

... Saaleha's Afrocentric Muslimah.

Looking for something to read?

... well, here's some Guides for the perplexed. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Watch out, Bulwer-Lytton ...

... Is this the world's worst writer? (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Of course, there's always J. Gordon Coogler.

The course of true love ...

... was never smooth: The Goat Bride.

Jeffrey Archer alert ...

... Is He All Right?

Superhero book reviewer ...

... strikes back against My Mortal Enemy - who turns out to be Edward Champion. Who knew? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Coping with loss ...

... at the New York Review of Books: The Ma and Pa of the Intelligentsia. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A blog of its own ...

... The Man Booker Prize Blog. (Hat tip, Vikram Johri.)

I think it only fair ...

... to link to the Islamic Writers Alliance, whose official position statement reads: "The members of Islamic Writers Alliance do not support any acts of violence against innocent men, women and children, and non-combatants by any persons/and or organizations." That's pretty straightforward and courageous, it seems to me. (Hat tip, Saaleha.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

God bless Dave Lull ...

... without whose reminder I would have missed this: Dr. Johnson's birthday.

And with that I am signing for the night. I'm tired and Debbie needs to use the computer. Until tomorrow...

More wisdom ...

... from Rennie D.: ... to be alive is a grand thing (there's a motto) and Forging a real-world faith.

Sincere words of wisdom ...

... from a genuine believer: Muslim disappointment. (Via Dr. Blogstein.)

Our friend Debra Hamel ...

... is going to be doing something she does well: Book-Blog Blogger Blogs Books for Void . (Via Petrona, where you will also want to check out: Delightful dozen. How does Maxine do it?)

Yes, it does ...

... Does This Make You Angry? (Via InstaPundit.)

Here is the video.

Mainstream Anonymous ...

... Paul Farley's Lines of resistance.

Salman Rushdie ...

... on the Pope.

What they're reading in Guantanamo ...

... Maxine discovers that and more: Book bizarre.

I will take up the challenge of altered book titles later today, when things settle down a bit.

The fame artist ...

... Arthur C. Danto on PBS's Andy Warhol documentary: Stargazer. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is excellent ...

... Bryan Appleyard's post on The Pope and Islam.
Bryan wonders why the Pope used the offending quotation from Manuel II. A good point - though the quote does provide context for Professor Khoury's gloss, which the Pontiff quotes later and which echoes Bryan's own point later in his post:
"For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement [not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God's nature] is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality."

By the way, the article of Bryan's that he links to - Christian Britain - is a must-read.

Catholic Taoist that I am, my own religious sensibility is well-expressed - never better, in fact - in Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey":

A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.

Another long list ...

... this for The 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize . Note that one of the books listed, Inside, is by Kenneth J. Harvey, whose The Town That Forgot How To Breathe I reviewed and thought was a very impressive piece of story telling.

Gather ye laurels ...

... Poetry Foundation to Name First Children’s Poet Laureate . (Hat tip, John Brumfield.)

TT ...

... on G & S and more.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I am envious ...

... of Underbelly: Not Earnest, The Other One. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

By the way, I agree with the point about Shaw being too tendentious.

I also agree with this ...

... at the Language Log: On Prescriptivism. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I even agree - mostly - with the point about "pro-life," though I would add that the same can be said of "pro-choice." Both are terms of propaganda. I do not, however, think that opposing gun control has anything to do with it - since that involves a confusion of instrument with agent, and I think the reference to "wars that are not unequivocally self-defensive in nature" is geopolitically naive. I think a very good case can be made for pre-emptive war. But then, I'm not a pacifist (though I respect pacifism as a counsel of perfection).

I certainly agree with this ...

... Children Should Memorize Poetry. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden, who also sends along a link to Hedgie's A Baker's Dozen of Canadian Sonnets and a fine poem (matched to a fine photo) by Paula Grenside: Here and There.

Well, since we mentioned this ...

... the other day, it seems only fair to post the results of the Swedish elections.

Good God ...

... Minx has something called Typo-dyspraxlexia and I think I have it too. And all this time I thought I was just a lousy typist!

For those with the requisite fortitude ...

,,, we present, courtesy of Dave Lull (a.k.a., OWL), Keith DeRose's Characterizing a Fogbank: What Is Postmodernism, and Why Do I Take Such a Dim View of it?

Here's a gem:

"In the first place, singularities-events correspond to heterogeneous series which are organized into a system which is neither stable nor unstable, but rather ‘metastable’, endowed with a potential energy wherein the differences between series are distributed… In the second place, singularities possess a process of auto-unification, always mobile and displaced to the extent that a paradoxical element traverses the series and makes them resonate, enveloping the corresponding singular points in a single aleatory point and all the emissions, all dice throws, in a single cast. "

This monstrosity is not Keith's. He writes quite lucidly.

If you haven't yet ...

... you should visit Librarian’s place.

Not again ...

... no sooner is Ohran Pamuk off the hook than another Turkish novelist is accused of "insulting Turkishness." Debi Alper's It ain't THAT bad ... Sheesh. What's wrong with these people?

This is unfortunate ...

... at Critical Mass: Goodbye Charles and Jerome. From what my own sources tell me, it's worse than what this suggests. I hear that, from now on, the Morning News is going to rely principally on wire copy for book coverage. Hope I've been misinformed.

I have no dog in this fight ...

... but it should be a good one. At Crime Fiction Dossier: 10 Greatest Detective Novels -- let the debate begin!

I'm currently reading for review Andrew Klavan's Damnation Street. It's as good as any detective novel I've read.

That meme again ...

... Amy Nelson-Mile takes on Another Book List and brings to our attention Books With Interesting Lists.

Oh well ...

... you knew that adaptations often disappoint. Nick Hornby's High Fidelity is coming to Broadway. But apparently it will be in Lo-Fi.

Lots of interesting stuff ...

... at The Bibliothecary.

The future of newspapers (cont'd.) ...

... continues to look worrisome as Reading the statute would have been too much trouble suggests. Get me rewrite! isn't encouraging, either.

Further grief ...

... over Oriana Fallaci's passing from Victor Davis Hanson: Oriana Fallaci, RIP, the Pope, and a Sad Age.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... Inquirer book critic Carlin Romano is much taken with John le Carré's The Mission Song: Le Carré's truth squad is in Congo this time. In reference to this, in case you missed it, this earlier post is pertinent: Reality vs. fiction ...
I confess that I am not a fan of le Carré. I find his underlying assumption that, because operatives on both sides of an issue have personal and moral shortcomings, neither side is any better than the other to be not just morally obtuse, but intellectually dishonest as well. We are imperfect beings in an imperfect world. Some are more noticeably imperfect than others - in fact, imperfect to a degree that is both loathesome and dangerous. It does not bother me at all that the people who tried to kill Hitler were not themselves saints (they were, however, heroes).
Carlin also nicely profiles Alix Ohlin: Author finds place for real literary life.
Inquirer film critic Steven Rea is impressed with Ian Buruma's A Death in Amsterdam: A bloody emblem of Islamic alienation.
Roger Miller finds that Richard Grant's Another Green World overcomes its shortcomings: Ponderous but engaging tale of a wild anti-Hitler scheme.
Glenn Altschuler finds Timothy Gilfoyle's A Pickpocket's Tale to be a delectable feast: Pickpocket had a long, colorful and gritty life.
Petrona's own Maxine Clarke takes a look at the latest Kurt Wallender novel to make into print here: Nabbing the villain is the weakest part of a strong book.
Inquirer columnist Karen Heller, meanwhile, is enchanted by Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children: A splendid novel set in bookish circle of N.Y.C.
Katie Haegele has high praise for Michael Bedard's William Blake: The Gates of Paradise: Young Adult Reader An affectionate look at William Blake, artist, poet, renegade.
During the past week:
Dorothy Lehman Hoerr enjoyed Jennifer Egan's The Keep: 'The Keep' weaves two story lines in intriguing Gothic novel.
Karen Heller was ultimately underwhelmed by Marisha Pessl's debut: 'Calamity Physics' is proof that more is often less.
And David Hiltbrand, freed from watching TV, found Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot quite engaging: Girls' writer knows how to be popular .

Saturday, September 16, 2006

This is really great ...

... if you like Helen Mirren - and who doesn't like Helen Mirren? Queen Helen. Speaking professionally, I think it's a model of what an interview should be.

It's Saturday ...

... and I have much to do. Blogging may resume later.

The sublime and the ridiculous ...

... not necessarily in that order. At Petrona: Angry powerpoints to Gettysburg.

Need a morale boost at work?

... try Motivational posters from '24'.

Why, I almost forgot ...

... it's time for Dave on Demand Baltimore stays 'Wired'.

David also spares you having to see a film about Beering, burping bozo ballplayers. Talk about service above and beyond the call of duty!

Red-carpet treatment ...

... Luxury Camus. I believe Camus would have much appreciated his fellow Algerian Yasmina Khadra: Reader, I'm a he (this includes one of the best author come-backs I've ever read). Als this: "... there is no honesty or integrity among the pseudo-intellectuals I had to take on. There's much more honesty and integrity among soldiers, trust me."

This doesn't have to do with books ...

... but it does have to do human suffering: Malaria update. There's a lot there, but don't miss the Malcolm Gladwell link (which does touch on one book).

The Vicar of Christ ...

... vs. the religion of peace. Nice roundup at InstaPundit. I espcially like this comment of Glenn's:

Frankly, I'm pretty tired of "Muslim rage." If they're that insecure about their religion, maybe the problem isn't with the critics. I'm also pretty unimpressed with Western commentators who serve as enablers to such juvenile and destructive behavior.
"Baptist rage" certainly wouldn't get this kind of slack from the Times.


Amen, brother.

Friday, September 15, 2006

I'm signing off for now ...

... but not before I link to Reading, writing but not arithmetic and Shiver me timbers at Petrona.

POD-dy Mouth reviews ...

... The Greatest Show on Earth.

Also at Bud Bloom Poetry ...

... Lunch Poems: Robert Hass and Poetry Reading: Ted Kooser.

A treasure trove of Kerouac ...

... at Bud Bloom Poetry: Jack Kerouac, the 20th Century's Greatest Poet: One Hour of Video.

Reality vs. fiction ...

... John Le Carré's My date with the warlords. (Hat tip, Paul Davis.)

Kevin Holtsberry ...

... looks at Squat.

A private Susan Sontag ...

... 'To stand still is to fall away from the truth'. (Hat tip, Vikram Johri.)

Proof that Emerson was right ...

... about a foolish consistency: Peter Singer. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Another short list ...

... this one for the Long Barn First Novel Competition. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke, who also sends along this link to more lists and prizes.)

In memoriam ...

... Oriana Fallaci.

Michael Ledeen remembers Oriana.

Minx does ....

... a spot check. She also has a sample she would like you to look at.

The words of John Banville ...

... At New Tammany College: Shroud. (Hat tip, Maxine.) I haven't read Shroud, though James's reaction sounds similar to wife's reaction to The Sea, which I loved.

Elegant digs indeed ...

... at Reading Matters, A picture I just had to share. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Mama mia ...

... Scandinavia: an Ongoing Problem. Proof that Abba was over-rated, if any be needed, is that Walker Lundy, The Inquirer's former editor (of unhappy memory), was a fan.

Sweden has other problems besides publicly funded indie bands. There's an election there Sunday and, according to the WWall Street Journal, "Whoever wins the elections will inherit big problems. Sweden still has one of the highest income tax rates and most expensive welfare systems in the OECD. Unemployment is officially 4.5%, but it rises to 17% if the hidden jobless (people on sick leave, retraining or in early retirement) are included, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. High labor costs and iron-clad firing rules prevent companies from hiring. Youth unemployment is 25.9%, according to Eurostat."

This article also reports that Sweden boasts "22,000 early 'retirees' under the age of 30." No wonder they need to subsidize rock bands.

Vintage script ...

... Writing May Be Oldest in Western Hemisphere. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A sci-fi alert ...

.. (of sorts) from Amy Nelson-Mile: The Eye of Argon. Amy also posts about A Celebration Of Women Writers, which caught my attention because it mentions Burkina Faso, a favorite of mine.

Bill Peschel has posted ...

... an Interview with Terry Pratchett.

More on Basil Bunting ...

... from Patrick Kurp: Bunting's Voice. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Those who honor truth and honesty ...

... will mourn the passing of Oriana Fallaci (1929-2006). Dave Lull sends along this Reuters dispatch. Here is the Washington Post obit. And here is the Times of London's (accompanied by a nice picture).
Finally, here is Tunku Varadarajan's Prophet of Decline.

Good news for Grass ...

... he's got some New Friends.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

That's it for tonight ...

... I have finally managed to get all of the books opened and shelved at my office. My two desks are neat again. You can't imagine how much this has lifted my spirits. I have a hard time understanding it myself. At any rate, I want to spend the remainder of the night reading - and without the pressure of chaos bothering me. Until tomorrow.

Et ego in Arcadia ...

... the Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks.

Something worth pondering ...

... Ancient Tersive Materials Again. If you don't know what tersive means (I didn't), you can look it up under T at The Phrontistery.

A conversation ...

... with Roger Kimball. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Attention poets ...

... New Mexico Teacher Wants Poems. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.) BTW, you have to scroll down a bit.

Another poetry site ...

... courtesy of Dave Lull: Mike Snider's Formal Blog at the Sonnetarium.

Minx sends along ...

... a link to Middle C. Thanks, Minx. (I'm nearly an octave above Middle C myself.)

Maybe it's time ...

... to pay attention to Gertrude Stein on Punctuation. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Yes, I think this does ...

... just about cover it: The new media in one lesson.

One world at a time, I say ...

... but Many Worlds In One (Again) .

Drum roll, please ...

... Critical Mass has the Booker Shortlist. More here.

And here's the official notice.

This is something I can get into ...

... Dean Martin Appreciation Day. Just keep scrolling. (Yes, I am a Dean Martin fan. Always have been.)

Dave Lull graciously sends me ...

... a reminder that I'm going to be in New York City in a couple of weeks: Mark Your Calendars . At least I get to me three very interesting women. I don't know what they get.

Some unexpected literary cross-pollination ...

... Jack Spicer’s Best Seller, Trout Fishing in America. (Via Out of the Everywhere at The Mumpsimus.)

Timrod and Bob ...

... Who’s This Guy Dylan Who’s Borrowing Lines From Henry Timrod? (Hat tip again to Dave Lull.)

I wonder how many people remember what the lead-in to this post alludes to.

Make of this ...

... what you will: Austrian writer Handke slams Grass for SS past. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What better way to start the day ...

... than with Jeffrey Archer, Neanderthals, Gibraltar ?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be flexible ...

... Lesbian rules. In the meantime, Not tonight, Indiana.