Thursday, November 30, 2006

Five for the road ...

... five novels for your inner drunk. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Just in case ...

... there is a strike, I will be blogging at Editor In Exile. If anyone knows how I can transport my archives to the new site, let me know. Now, I'm going to read.

Who knew?

... or knows? Knowing your onions. Martha and the Vidalias, I bet.

Nobody's buying ...

... Internet addiction.

Four out of ten's not bad ...

... Maxine: Ten good things-- well, four. If I did this I'd sound like Pollyanna, since I can think of all sorts of good things that have happened to me during the past year. Among the best is that I got to know Maxine.

Vikram Johri ...

... on Sarah Waters: Teasing the velvet .

Gallows humor ...

... More Death.

Neti, neti ...

... not that, not that - is a Hindu expression of the Via Negativa. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Ashes to ashes ...

... manure to compost: How to recycle the Juice's "Confession." (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

This is such an enlightening comment ...

... that I have pulled it out of the comments attached to this post and reproduce it here.

Vikram Johri writes:

"With reference to Ed's post, I can tell you about the scenario in India. A lot of national newspapers publishing out of New Delhi have dedicated book sections, because there is a huge market for them, at least in the Capital. The growing popularity of books, in general, is reflected in the opening of new bookstores, thanks in part of the emergence of a new breed of young writers expressing themselves in English. The Times of India, which had scrapped its book page in the 80s has started it again recently. This can only get better with dedicated magazine formats appearing on the horizon."

Beau gets discovered elsewhere ...

... Crazy poetry guy . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Let's dance ...

... Ballet? Never Heard of It.

My own personal complaint about ballet is that companies rarely undertake to do classic scores, preferring instead to adapt something not originally written for dance - the Mendelssohn violin concerto, for instance. I'd love to see a staging of Debussy's Jeux or Roussel's The Spider's Feast or Piston's The Incredible Flutist ... I could go on and on. But ballet companies don't seem interested. Strange, because it seems to me they would attract a lot of music lovers.

The return of Little Nell ...

... The Old Curiosity Shop. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

More Muldoon ...

... The Poet of Giddiness. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Let's put thinking back ...

... in Christmas, especially clear thinking: The Philosophy of Christmas: An Interview with Stephen Law, author of The Xmas Files. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I'll offer a definition of sentimentality: an emotional response to a situation out of proportion to what is called for. Not to be confused with sentiment.

Poetry hits ...

... Poetry Archive unveils lost voices. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

"Dylan Thomas ... is currently the most requested historic voice on the site ..."

I first read something by Freud ...

... when I was about 15. I don't remember what it was, but I do remember that it was something about the so-called Oedipal conflict. I also remember thinking itn was crap (to this day, I can't imagine how an rational person could buy such a notion). Subsequent reading of the doctor's writings never changed my mind. So I'm glad to see everyone is coming around to my point of view: Freud's Will to Power

Well, it took a while ...

... but, thanks to my colleague Peter Mucha we finally got this online: Poem: 'after elegies' .

As we near ...

... the midnight strike deadline, I want to return to this, posted by John Brumfield while I was unwell: In view of Frank's position (supine, I assume).....
First, let it be understood that, though I come from a union family - my mother was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and my father a member of the Fraternal Order of Police - I am not by any stretch of the imagination a kneejerk opponent of all things management. I think unions do have tendency to get out of touch with economic reality and to forget that it's 2006, not 1936.
That said, I was dismayed by one of publisher Brian Tierney's quoted remarks: "We don't need a Jerusalem bureau." This dismayed me for three reasons. First, we have a very fine reporter, Ned Warwick, in Jerusalem right now, doing superb work at no little risk.
Second, we do have a large Jewish population in this area, and a lot of news comes out of the Middle East these days that might be of interest to them.
Third, as a native Philadelphian, I resent the presumption that my city is a parochial backwater that can settle for getting its national and international news from the New York Times or the Washington Post or various wire services. I think the city deserves a world-class newspaper to match its world-class orchestra and world-class art museum. Philadelphia is within an hour's drive of more degree-conferring institutions than any other city in the nation (86 within a 25-mile radius of Center City). The inhabitants of those institutions are unlikely to be content with a strictly provincial newspaper - which, of course, is why so many of them already prefer the New York Times.
Where is the hard evidence that the local, local, local mantra has actually boosted any paper's circulation? And speaking of mantras, one that I've heard here for almost as long as I've been here is that we have to appeal to the young, we have to appeal to the young. I can find no evidence that people under 35 have ever constituted a major part of the newspaper-reading public. Moreover, people over 35 constitute a huge demographic. In fact 25 percent of the U.S. population was born between 1946 and 1964 - those unforgettable Baby Boomers - and they control by far the largest portion of the nation's disposable income. Doesn't it make sense to tailor your product to a large group with a lot of money to spend?
The easiest - and cheapest - way for The Inquirer to signal to its readers that it intends to make itself into a newspaper worthy of a sophisticated city is to restore to the paper its stand-alone book section. Remember, such a section, precisely because it deals with a product available anywhere - books - can be sold anywhere. It can be a separate publication that people in other cities might want to subscribe to. The Inquirer's book pages already feature reviewers from around the nation and globe. This blog attracts comments from all over. A real book section offered to subscribers everywhere ought to be able to attract sufficient advertising to cover its cost of production.
The Inquirer should not be surrendering readers to the Times. It should take up the challenge to compete with the Times. That will attract advertising and that will make money, enough money for it eventually to put out a weekly competitor to the City Paper or the the Philadelphia Weekly - in fact, that's what the Weekend section, which already exists, could easily become.
So let's stop selling the paper short. And let's stop selling the city short. Who needs local owners operating on the assumption that Philadelphia is third-rate?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I confess ...

... that while I have heard a good deal about Michael Oakeshott, I have never read him. I think I should, though. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Calling Richard Dawkins ...

... What’s New in Philosophy of Religion. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Some talk ...

... of Howl. (Hat tip, Christine Klocek-Lim.)

Maxine sends this along ...

... with the following note: "Ah, D. H.! Nobody can come close! " - Red Harvest -- Dashiell Hammett.

Red Harvest has one of my favorite lines ever: "I haven't laughed so hard since the hogs ate my kid brother."

I'm envious ...

... because I can only read what I have to: Report on the “From The Stacks” Reading Challenge. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

I'm glad Amy liked Scoop. After all, that's where the questing vole appears. The one Waugh novel that I do think lives up to his repoutation for being funny is Decline and Fall.

Dueling headlines ...

... Scientist predicts global warming 'planetary wipeout'...

.. Temps in Calgary Hit 100-Year-Low...

This is very interesting ...

... Phenomenology as a Mystical Discipline. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It also brings to mind Thomas Aquinas's notion of the intellectual faculty as being, not passive, but active - grasping, as he puts it, the form of what is known and making it a part of oneself. Hence, knowledge enriches being.

Literary underground ...

... T.S. Eliot's Subway Metaphysics. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This quite a piece. Amazing that it should appear in a newspaper. Sad that such pieces don't appear more often in newspapers (though finding people to write them wouldn't be easy).

This answers a question ...

... that I had asked myself (and my wife) after seeing that excellent film The Queen: Diana .

Like Somerset Maugham, I have little sense of reverence. It is too often extended to the undeserving. I thought Diana's untimely death was unfortunate, but I was far from being bent out of shape over it. I just don't form a bond of identity with figures whi appear on magazine covers or movie or television screens.

I have no regrets ...

... and I make no apologies. But I love a good laugh, and this sure delivers that: Personally, of course, I Regret Everything .

Nelson DeMille is one of those writers ...

... who sells a lot of books and is ignored by the critics. The Inquirer's David Hiltbrand has rectified that: Novelist taps into national mood.

Dave also sends along ...

... this by someone whose name is familiar to those who read this blog: Headlines. No one, Susan, escapes the attention of Dave.

Murphy formulated no law ...

... and Voltaire wouldn't defend to the death my right to say anything: Quote Unquote. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

While I've been recuperating ...

... Maxine has been very busy. Check out these:

Book bloggers rule OK.

A sense of humour.

The Ruby in the Smoke.

Library legacy at This Space.

Of course, you could also just go to Petrona and keep scrolling.

Double the pleasure here ...

... not only is Tom Stoppard ably defended, but A.O. Scott is deftly skewered: What Is It With Stoppard? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Attention verse dramatists

The Poetry Foundation knows you're out there and if you submit one of your verse dramas, it may even give you a its new Verse Drama Award for it.

Arts & Letters Daily points to ..........

........this thoughtful piece about the night Truman Capote tried to turn New York society on its ear but unwittingly hosted a soigne wake for an era whose time had already gone.

Drum roll, please

The newest winner of the Cervantes Prize is..............

New Pulitzer rules......

Online activity continues its relentless encroachment on the world of hard copy.

In view of Frank's position (supine, I assume).....

...........I thought his regular readers might be interested in The Washington Post's media columnist Howie Kurtz's take on the travails of the newspaper in whose employ Frank labors.

I have been struck down ...

... by a bug. No blogging until I feel better.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

For Sonnet Sunday ...

... a curtal sonnet: Venus

Proof of my shallowness ...

... I cam upon this link to Lewis Wolpert's Malignant Sadness .
The opening paragraph simply stunned me. For me, depression has meant being down in dumps, the blues, what have you. Nothing like what Wolpert describes.

Scott Pack responds ...

... to Rachel Cooke: Why read book reviews? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It's like being a B-movie actor ...

... Are You an A-List Bloglebrity? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Not me. I'm a ....

B-List Blogger

... and proud of it!

A glimpse of Minx ...

... Oh, oh, here we go again!

Why wait until tomorrow?

... Here, courtesy of Dave Lull, is a direct link to Art Durkee's "After Elegies," which ran on the book page in today's Inquirer.

Romanticism ...

... and the cult of the child: Home Schoolers Content to Take Children’s Lead. (Hat tip, Roger Miller.)

Summerhill, anyone?

I think the headline is typical of the Times, which probably disapproves of homeschooling in general. More traditional homeschooling seems to have worked fine for Christopher Paolini and Francis Collins.

Update: Link fixed thanks to timely alert from Dave Lull.

There are, as Kenneth Patchen said ...

... no proportions in death. But a bit of perspective always useful, especially if it promotes historical literacy. Glenn Reynolds notes a Grim Milestone.

Maxine and Bryan ...

... double up on Jeffrey: I Know, I'm Sorry.

I am not surprised ...

... that many of the things Maxine wouldn't do, I wouldn't either. In fact, except for No. 1 (which doesn't apply in my case) and No. 6 (where I would substitute Petrona), I am in complete agreement.

Today's must read ...

... Bryan Appleyard's Pop go the scientists .

" There is no logic that dictates that the science of Hawking and Dawkins should entail a loathing of religion, yet somehow, to these imperious imaginations, it did. Another big science writer, Lewis Wolpert, extended this antipathy to include philosophy, a discipline that, he insisted, had nothing to tell us. Such crude certainties are, of course, absurd, since good science is predicated on uncertainty, but it was essential to the marketing of these books." Indeed.

Another great books list ...

... great science books - join the discussion. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke, who also sends along this link to The Good Library Blog, which is about children's books.)

Good advice ...

... to students from Susan Hill: Please Read This . (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

As interesting a question ...

... as why they are not: Why Are People So Nice? (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

I can't imagine many people denying that there is a genetic component to our behaviour, but from what I have read lately on the subject, the connection actually does seem to be complex rather than simple - just as Shakespeare's plays are more complex than the alphabet from which the playwright derived his words. Surely there are instances of over-simplification - and Richard Dawkins often seems a master of such.

My butcher ...

... Sonny D'Angelo, specializes in game, but I'll have to ask him about this: Having shot your cormorant... (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The latest round ...

... in a burgeoning dispute: I'm famous again! (Hat tip, Debra Hamel.)

I don't quite get this. At a time when newspapers - at least in this country - are cutting away relentlessly at book coverage, book bloggers would seem natural allies of book editors and reviewers. So far as I can tell, lit bloggers also read reviews (several have written some for me, in fact). I also must say that Rachel Cooke mustn't have read much of the GOB.

Update: Dave Lull sends along this at the Complete Review: Sutherland, Hill, and now Cooke on online v. off-line reviewing.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

... include a superb piece by John Timpane reviewing a slew of books by and about Allen Ginsberg. Mysteriously, it does not appear online. When it does, I will link to it.

In the meantime, though, there is ...

Dan De Luca's look at a couple of graphic fiction anthologies: Illustrating anew the graphic novel's art.

John Freeman's appraisal of Joan Didion's collected nonfiction: Essential Didion: California roots, American visions.

Ed Voves's take on a new biography of Caesar Augustus (just in time for the Christmas season): Exploring the two sides of Augustus, the 'first man' of ancient Rome.

Gregory Feeley's canny look at Gene Wolfe's Soldier of Sidon: Soldier in ancient Greece loses his past .

Katie Haegele's fond look at Maybe: Young Adult Reader Pain, frustration, revelation - a year in the life of Brian.

Over the past week, these ran as well:

Kevin Grauke was much impressed with Richard Bausch's Thanksgiving Night: Troubles of human hearts, shattering as an apocalypse.

Kathryn De Vito took a close look at Arnaldur Indridason's Silence of the Grave: Icelandic chiller spans decades.

And David Hiltbrand pretty much liked Duane Swierczynski's The Blonde: Guy goes into a bar, in Philly airport...

Update: Thanks to Rus Bowden (see Comment attached), here is John Timpane's Ginsberg piece: Reading, looking at Allen Ginsberg.

Gee, where would this book editor be without the help of ... lit bloggers?

Update II: Also not to be found online is Art Durkee's poem "After Elegies." Guess that will have to wait until I'm in the office tomorrow.

This is the sort of thing ...

... Bryan Appleyard does to perfection: Playing With Ideas. This isn't quite up to that lvel, but it's well worth reading.

"I take refuge in the fact that I can’t change anything by agonizing about it, so I don’t." This is pretty much how I feel.
This too: “My disinclination to analyze myself suggests I wouldn’t pay someone else to do it.”

One can reflect upon oneself and observe oneself quite dispassionately without feeling any need to get to the bottom of oneself. At least I feel no such need. Moreover, I am a eudaemonist: I devote myself to feeling as good as I can, and can discern no virtue in feeling badly.

Postscript: I didn't notice until after I had posted this - and then checked my email - that Dave Lull had sent me the link. Thanks, Dave. Great mids at work again!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another list of picks ...

... Christmas Books 2. (Hat tip Dave Lull, who also sends along Surprising literary ventures.)

I missed this at the time ...

... but I think I agree: [Finance] : Thomas Pynchon Against The Day Destroyed by Kakutani Review .

Hedgie fesses up ...

... Five Things I Don't Know If Anyone Knows About Me .

Me too, Jeff ...

... I Have to Wonder ...

Ouch!

... John Barrell is singularly unimpressed by Christopher Hitchens's biography of Thomas Paine: The Positions He Takes. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The year's picks ...

... Dave Lull sends along ...

Holiday Books: 100 Notable Books of the Year .

Take a leaf out of their books (Part I).

Take a leaf out of their books (Part II).

(Great minds note: Rus Bowden also sent along the Guardian link.)

I can't say ...

... I think much of Maya Angelou. But I think even less of banning books: Parents Want Poet's Book Banned From School. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

I think they could object on literary grounds.

Something else I hope to see ...

... A Map to Tom Stoppard’s Circuitous ‘Coast of Utopia’ Trilogy . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Dispatches from Maxine ...

... Friday things.

I an filled with envy ... of to see The Tempest: The stuff of dreams - RSC at Newcastle.

Avast, me hearties ...

... Nova Scotia author who set out to write adult book honoured with GG kids prize. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A gem of a poem ...

... by R.S. Thomas:

Children's Song

We live in our own world,
A world that is too small
For you to stoop and enter
Even on hands and knees,
The adult subterfuge.
And though you probe and pry
With analytic eye,
And eavesdrop all our talk
With an amused look,
You cannot find the centre
Where we dance, where we play,
Where life is still asleep
Under the closed flower,
Under the smooth shell
Of eggs in the cupped nest
That mock the faded blue
Of your remoter heaven.

The party's over ...

... Betty Comden has died. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

She takes with her a certain incomparable sophistication.

Pondering in Albany ...

... the importance of being Herman. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Getting Thanksgiving right ...

... Feasting on Thanksgiving History. Readers of The Inquirer's book pages will notice that the author of this article is a frequent Inquirer reviewer. We know quality.

The spread of haecceity ...

... Dave Lull sends along these two John Derbyshire posts:

Word of the Week - you guessed it. Derbyshire was underwhelmed, but a reader attempted to enlighten him, as noted in Make It Stop.

For what it's worth, here's why the idea is not as trivial as it may seem: The essence of a thing is generally defined as that which makes it what it what it is. But what makes this particular thing what it is in particular is precisely what it does not have in common with anything else. Hence, the mystery of individuation.

Update: Dave alerts me to Derbyshire's "last word" on the subject, which happens to link to what we linked to here.

Yes it does ...

... This Says Quite a Lot.

A twofer ...

... Burchfield and Justice: `Art Keeps Long Hours'.

Interesting ...

... Random PODs.

Writings of the rich and famous ...

... Winners and losers.

Maxine's right: "The real losers in all this are the readers."

The paper of record ...

... gets Thanksgiving wrong.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm late getting to this ...

... but this Nov. 17 Daily Square has a lot of interesting stuff.

A very sad story ...

... from Shameless: Blogs Can Give You A Fright!

An idea whose time ...

... may not really be yet: E-Book Mimics The Real Thing . . . Sort Of.

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

... A modest proposal for reinventing newspapers for the digital age . (hat tip, Dave Lull.)

There is much in what Michael Hirschorn says here.

Report from Lowell ...

... Rus Bowden sends along some links:

... to a neat blog: Saint Anthony Library News. I love that N.C. Wyeth.

... to a test: Which Famous Poet Are You? (I think I was hampered in this case by having given up the sauce many years ago.)

... to a post about the newest online poetry workshop: Oh The Waters.

... to something for grammarians: Grammar Geekfest. Poets should be interested in grammar, yes, but even more they should be interested in etymology. This isn't just my view. It was also Auden's.

and to a poem: Christmas comes.

Thank you, Rus.

This is very interesting ...

... John Newton's poem, LeAnn Rimes' a capella, & the Cherokee: Amazing Grace .

I give a huge number away ...

... Are books sacred objects or just pulp fiction? (Hat tip, Vikram Johri, who also sends this: In a Literary City of Tiny Apartments, a Struggle With the Weight of Words.)

The uses of poetry ...

... Mark Doty ponders: Can Poetry Console a Grieving Public? (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Prose as poetry ...

... or poetry as prose: Prose-Poetry: Practically Perfect, As Is .

Schopenhauer behind bars ...

... Born to Run. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

One more time ...

... Don't stop me if I've told you this before. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Mine come mostly unbidden ...

... these days, as I explained yesterday. But what about you: How Do You Get Books? (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

A lovely place ...

... with a lovely name: Hope Cove.

Should you pass on Milton ...

... there's always the Bard: All the web's a stage . . .

One of the best Hamlet's I ever saw was a production at the college I attended.

Also, some more on Michael Kohlhass: Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

Calling all Pilgrims ...

... you can hear Milton's Paradise Lost on radio: Of Man's first disobedience.

Long tall Sally ...

... and Skinny Minnie should like these: Some Long, Skinny Poems.

And while I'm at it ...

... a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

On this Thanksgiving Day ...

... it seems worth reflecting on these facts, which Saaleha sent me awhile back:


There are 40 million orphans in sub Saharan Africa
12.5 million AIDS orphans in Sub Saharan Africa
149 million children in developing countries still suffer from malnutrition
More than 10 million children under five die each year of preventable diseases
More than half a billion children live on less than a $ 1 a day
More than 100 million children are out of school because of poverty, discrimination or lack of resources of these 60 million are girls.

For the holiday ...

... Over Emily Dickinson's for Thanksgiving: 16 Poems.

A new blog meme ...

... What I Would Never Do. As Jack Benny used to say, "I'm thinking, I'm thinking."

Bryan Appleyard comments ...

... on the story linked to in previous post: The Meaning of Complexity . Bryan knows a good deal more about this than I ever shall. Understands it all better, too.

Support for haecceity?

... Genetic breakthrough that reveals the differences between humans. First, you discover the alphabet, then the language, then the literature, which is still being written. Author, author!

" ... we are more different to our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, than previously assumed from earlier studies." Tell these guys: Mirror, Mirror .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Also check out ...

... QuickMuse. Note the link on the right, "Kerouac and Allen." It links to Steve Allen's interview of Kerouac, which I believe I watched at the time (there really were Maynard G. Krebs types at the time).

Check out ...

... Cloudy Day Art #68 - Poetry Mix.

James Marcus lauds ...

... a pair of winners: Two bits: Behrens, Powers. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The issue ...

... of Junto for December is up.

The missing ...

... Joan Sutherland post (recovered for me by Maxine, to whom I send thanks).

Borders announces ...

... 2006 Original Voices finalists. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Speaking of the GOB ...

... his take on O.J. is very much worth your while: O.J. Simpson and the book that never was -- yet .

You've probably seen it ...

... and I've even linked to it indirectly, but here is the Susan Hill post that elicited a most intolerant email: Just Who Do They Think They Are?

I suppose I ought to worry that I might be one of those "arrogant, lazy, stuck-in-the-mud, cliquey little set of literary editors" - but I don't. And I happen to agree that "The Bloggers – by which mean the true Bloggers, the independent ones, not the side-kicks of the press – are quietly, slowly but very surely, gaining power."

Came to this via the GOB's Wednesday wonders , which is filled with all sorts of interesting items, including one about Lord Jeffrey.

More influential characters ...

... these ones made up: The most influential fictional characters. I agree that this a pretty sad list. (Via Brandywine Books, where Phil asks Who would make your top 10?

This is creating quite a stir, I gather ...

... The pitfalls of receiving free books, or how not to risk your book blogging credibility.

Bud Parr has some related links: Some Like it Hot.

I get upwards of a thousand books a week, all free, all from publishers. I assign some of them for review, and some I choose to review myself. The rest - by far the greatest number - go by the boards. Publicists email me every day urging me to review this book or that. Someitmes they visit my office to hawk their wares. Sometimes they call. That's what my job entails.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving ...

... and I am off with much to do. Blogging will resume tonight.

This has nothing to do with books ...

... but I largely agree: Just to Say....

Well, we haven't been nominated ...

... A Neck-and-Neck Race!

Also at Petrona ...

... Cool biologists. Who knew?

Maxine wants feedback ...

... regarding what she calls Design dithering.

Amy Nelson-Mile links to ...

... An Interview With Donald Westlake, as well as a Terrific Collection of Folktales, Fairy Tales, and Mythology
.

Speaking of James Bond ...

... I never knew he was supposed to look like Hoagy Carmichael (scroll down).

Context is everything ...

... The Lost Meaning of Casino Royale. (Via InstaPundit.)

This morning's OWL Report ...

... from Dave Lull ...

Adam Kirsch on Leonard Woolf: The Constant Husband.

The genius of Kleist: Justice on Horseback.

Literary lonely hearts: Book Lovers Seek Lovers, Buttered or Plain. I'll pass.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And that's ...

... going to be it for tonight. Blogger forced me to much over again more than once. I have a book to read - Barry Unsworth's The Ruby in Her Navel. Until tomorrow.

Today's poem ....

... is On Sweetgum And Faith .

I am fond of pigs ...

... and so The Whole Hog.

And interesting thought ...

... regarding Roald Dahl .

Surely an offer ...

... you can't refuse: CP to World: Send Us Your Novel .

Also from Maxine...

... word on a 2007 Crime Writing Course.

Dispatches from Maxine ...

...

Unpublished? Consider the Frontlist.

Monster bash: Rupert’s crocodile tears

The queen of bel canto: Happy birthday, La Stupenda

Marydell's favorite (and one mine, too): Introducing Wuthering Heights

Update: Most of these links were corrupted. The always-alert Dave Lull informed me of this. I have repaired all but one, which I couldn't find. I couldn't find the Joan Sutherland one, either, but replaced it with a very good substitute.

Sounds good to me ...

... Librarians ’should be sexier’.

Probably everyone should be.

Parerga and paraliponena ...

... at the Bibliothecary while Ed is away.

Marching whales ...

... Moby-Dick parade!

Tracking influence ...

... Abraham Lincoln most influential American: survey.

And here they are: The most influential figures in American history.

We did not make the cut.

At the Kenyon Review ...

... An Interview with Claire Messud, Part I.

and Edward Gorey illustrations.

Gay and O.J. ...

... Talese Has O.J.'s Back.

We have not been blogging ...

... because Blogger was down a good part of the day. Now that it's back, we'll try to get up to speed.

For Thanksgiving......

..........the Poetry Foundation suggests reading aloud some of these poems to your dinner guests (or hosts).

This morning's OWL Report ...

... from Dave Lull ...

Mechanical satori: Zen and the art of Robert Pirsig.

Susan Hill receives a threat: Well, Well, Well!

More on the preceding: The blogosphere takes on the power of the press.

Strange bedfellows: 176 Newspapers to Form a Partnership With Yahoo .

Science as religion: A Free-for-All on Science and Religion.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Another poem ...

... Giant.

Starting at Critical Mass ....

... it's Around the World on Monday .

Nice to be reminded ...

... of "The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded with moss".

Foolishly ...

... I haven't visited Amy Nelson-Mile's site for a couple of days. Naturally, there's plenty of interest there. So just visit Books, Words, and Writing and scroll away.

Know a writer?

... well, here are Ten Things Under $25 That Make Great Writer Gifts.

Shameless pauses ...

... for a poem: drinks at number 17.

Links from a weary Maxine ...

... Staggering around and about.

And yes, I do intend to review Christine Falls.

Elliot is probably right ...

... from Terry Teachout's Almanac. A good painting requires as much attention and ocnentration as a good poem. The new trend toward huge shows - which turn art into vaudeville actually - leads people to go through a museum as if they were in a department store. Don't go to the blockbuster show. Go find a painting you love and spend some time with it. Then maybe find a new one to fall in love with.

Good heavens ...

... Wicked Witch of Publishing Swaps Broomstick for Semi-Automatic. Christmas List Includes Hair-Raising Thrillers by Samuel Huntington, Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer and Mark Steyn — and Ammo.

Yet another ...

... on Paul Muldoon: Word Freak. What is it with Muldoon? He is suddenly the poet of the hour. And I figure that's about how long it will be.

The importance of being Kingsley ...

... 'I want more than my share'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The sweet smell of a book ...

... Smells like literary spirit. (Hat tip, Vikram Johri.)

Maxine alerts me ...

... to "a lovely series of posts" at New Tammany College about James's visit to Japan.

O.J. nipped in bud ...

... O.J. Simpson Book, TV Special Canceled

G. Diddy ...

... Literary rapper gives Chaucer a new voice. What is there to say?

Calling all Pynchon fans ...

... Pynchon Week Commences. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A Paul Muldoon roundup ....

... from Dave Lull:


Far more going on than first meets the eye.

A poke in the eye with a poem .

The reason behind rhyme.

Fanciness and Fatality.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yes, indeed ...

... this is Another provocative piece.

I am actually a registered Libertarian. And I mostly agree with this. I won't say where I disagree because this isn't a political blog.

Philly alert ...

... Literary Event at Drexel Open to Public.

Only Bryan Appleyard ...

... could get me to read this much about Sean Combs: The Diddy Man. Fabulous.

Good advice ...

... Know your Engrish!

I think Fran is right ...

... Art of the Feud. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Online make-believe ...

... on behalf of publicity: The Nexrt New Thing. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Minx decides ...

... to Flirt. Which is fine by me.

Poetry and science again ...

... Miroslav Holubat at the complete review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

An artist's life ...

... attraction or distraction: Just their type. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

But first ...

... that November is The Vocabula Review is up.

May resume blogging later ...

... dinner must be attended to now - and I have a review book to read.

So there ...

... Order of the Phoenix movie. Maxine's breadth of knowledge stuns me at times.

Ready, set ...

... enter a writing contest. (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

A discovery ...

... Susan Hill. (Thanks to Maxine, who setnt me link that I couldn't open. Still haven;t found it, but in the process found this.)

Sounds good to me ...

... Get rid of those falsies! (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

More poetry and science ...

... Experiment to mix arts and science lacks a certain chemistry . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Sounds like they need Roald Hoffman.

I remember ...

... when pulp was pulp. Which is to say I remember Fawcett Books.

Updike times two ...

... On E.B. White: America's beloved

... answering questions about his poem “Ex-Basketball Player.”

(A tip of the hat to Dave Lull for both links.)

A discovery ...

... over at Far From the Madding Crowd: Roald Hoffmann, poet and Nobel Prize-winner (though not for literature). Like Peter, I find Hoffmann's poetry quite engaging. A real find.

Calling Dave Lull ...

... who is far better qualified than most to comment on this: Google's divine mission powered by profit.

Today's Inquirer reviews ...

Carlin Romano finds there's a lot to Thomas Pynchon's latest: Pynchon weighs in: Jokey, dense, 1,085 pages.

Mark Sarvas finds there a lot also to Scarlett Thomas's The End of Mr. Y: A dizzying novel of ideas, ultimately craving clarity.

Gregory Feeley thinks the world of Robert Fagles's new translation of Virgil: Translation makes this a fine time to revisit Virgil.

I rather enjoyed my encounter with Mike Allen's Strange Wisdoms of the Dead: Strange poetry from the dark regions.

Desmond Ryan prefers the science to the crime in Erik Larson's Thunderstruck: Marconi's science beats sensational murder for sheer suspense.

Sounds as if Thirteen Moons may be better to listen to than to read: 'Cold Mountain' author's newest, told with Southern richness.

John Freeman was much impressed with Galway Kinnell's Strong Is Your Hold: A poet of nature, death, family - and love triumphant.

Ken Kalfus may not have won the National Book Award, but he's an interesting guy. Bruce Beans looks at His edgy perspective on 9/11.

Friday, November 17, 2006

At last, a fresh approach ...

... Consistency (and chaos theory) (and haiku) .

Dawkins, Gödel, Anselm ...

... Levi Asher on Why Logic Certainly Exists, and God Probably Does Too . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A much more up-to-date version of the Ontological Proof is Kurt Gödel's Ontological Argument.

Yoknapatawpha vampire ...

... William Faulkner's 'Nosferatu'. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I keep thinking of Bela Lugosi delivering three-page sentences.

High negatives for O.J. ...

... Buyers & Booksellers Unite in Revulsion Against OJ’S Book According to Polls.

I'm on the same page ...

... with Glenn on this one: Phasing out.

Judith Regan on O.J. ...

... Why I Did It.

Nobody does it better ...

... Bryan Appleyard interviews Clive James .

Rupert Murdoch may have said that it was "a patronising assumption to try to impose high culture," but that same attutude can be found in the academy as well. Think of all the arguments against dead white European male authors, etc.

Another book meme ...

... Kid stuff.

Marching down Broadway ...

... with Terry Teachout: A spoonful of vinegar. I love this: "The only thing missing is music. In its place, Mr. Schönberg force-feeds us three hours’ worth of chattery non-melodies that sound as if they’d been written by a woodpecker on a xylophone…." Ouch.

Professors should remember ...

... that people pay to go to college: Eugene Volokh looks at Student Freedom and Academic Honesty.

I certainly reminded my own college of that the very first day I was there and was instructed to attend some goofy initiation assembly. I explained to the dean of students that that wasn't what I was paying for - and was excused. I didn't go to college right out of high school, of course.

Synchronicity ...

... Morning routines. Me, I'm usually up a half an hour earlier and I walk to work. Also, I don't do puzzles. Don't have the mind for it.

You've heard of the set of sets ....

... well, Maxine has A book list of all book lists.

And a Bush appointment to boot ...

... The Man Who Saved the NEA . (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Dana is also a hell of a nice guy.

Remembering a great lyricist ...

... Scott Johnson seems to think Johnny Mercer was born on Nov. 16, but all the sources I check say it was Nov. 18. Whatever, he was great lyricist and Scott's tribute is well worth a look: Accentuate the Positive. More on Mercer here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Genuine news ....

... The Virginia's Quarterly's Fall Issue Sold Out. That's the issue with the previously unpublished Robert Frost poem “War Thoughts at Home.”

Rob Mackenzie ...

... has been translating Salvatore Quasimodo. Here's the latest: Almost a Madrigal. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Earlier, he did Man of My Time.

On a more elevated note ...

... Paula Grenside's The Dreamer. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Profiles in civility ...

... The City Of Brotherly Love .

Prophet of liberty ...

... the great Milton Friedman has died. Glenn Reynolds has a fine roundup.

Blogging has been desultory ...

... because I have had much to do. In addition to my usual duties, including my weekly review, I have been filling in for the paper's fine arts editor while he is on vacation. I also have a piece to finish for another publication (I hope tonight).
We will try to post from time to time, but probably won't get back into the swing of things until tomorrow.

You are now entering ...

... a poltically incorrect zone: Marxism's Successor. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Less is more ...

... Papa rises again. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Micro-maximalist ...

... that's Thomas Pynchon: You Hide, They Seek. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Is there anybody in business these days ...

... who knows how to run one? Question: What is Random House? (Hat tip, Lynne Scanlon.)

And while we're at it ..

... More on Dawkins' God.

"Eagleton and Robinson share a distaste for any shallow attempt to pretend that religion is not a serious matter. And this, I suspect, means they share something else - a loathing of the depraved humanist orthodoxy that passes for deep thought these days."

Right on, Bryan!

On the poetry front ...

... Rus Bowden sends us thse links:

The IBPC's Winning Poems for November 2006.

Art Durkee's After Elegies.

At The Jackdaw's Nest, Poems With Red in Them.

A mix of image and haiga by Christine Klocek-Lim and Janet Lynn Davis: Check out "Simply Haiku"

Transvaluation of values ...

... The Upside of Saddam's (and Stalin's) Tyranny. (Hat tip, Scott Stein.)

One of the comments offers a wonderful example of poor reasoning:

Nick Gillespie asks: "Exactly what book is worth a single person's life?"

Someone calling himself Yuri responds: "What book is worth a single life? The Bible, of course. More millions perished in the name of the Bible than in the name of Mein Kampf."

This exactly misses the point, which has nothing to do with books being used as grounds for killing - Das Kapital may hold the record there - but rather with a homicidal tyranny precipitating great art - and that being offered as an extenuation at least for said tyranny.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Finding your way around ...

... fictionally: Literary Locales.

Drum roll, please ...

... the 2006 National Book Award Winners.

Just in time for "Casino Royale" ...

... Miss Moneypenny unmasked .

A very singularly deep young man ...

... The shy, steely Ronald Firbank.

But let's consider ...

... M. Sorel: What to make of Julien? (Hat tip, Maxine Clarke.)

Picaresque man of letters ...

... Christopher Hitchens on Clive James: Another kebab? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

A time when rime was a crime.... poetically speaking

Robert Pinskey's Poet's Choice column in last Sunday's Washington Post presents Ben Jonson's riming protest against riming, at the time a new-fangled and to the ears of some, worrisome trend in poetry.

The book we've all ...

... been waiting for: O.J.'s latest. (Hat tip, Laurie Mason.)

You couldn't make this stuff up.

Something to look forward to ...

... The man who brought Zen to the West. (Hat tip, Rus Bowden.)

Suzuki is so much better to read on the subject than most others.

You heard about it here first ...

... The Guerrilla Season Book Blog , that is. Now it's all over the country: Blogging now begins young.

A truly first-rate post ...

... with some heavy-duty comments to boot: Dawkins and Robinson 2: Understanding Science .

I like this ...

... USAF (Despite Everything). (Hat tip, Rus Bowden, who informs that the poet, Hollie Hinto, is "an Air Force member who wrote it in the dessert." More here: Poetry offers tranquility to U.S. soldier.

This morning's OWL Report ...

... from Dave Lull:

Philip Roth in three volumes: His Life as A Writer.

Are what - or whom? - What did Descartes really know?

And odd trio - or maybe not: `The High Ones Die, Die'

Richard and God: Dawkins' Main Argument Against Theism

Canadian front ...

Amy Nelson-Mile has - as usual - several interesting posts at her different blogs:

The first is one that concerns us all - the freedom to blog: Continuing the Fight for Freedoms.

Then there's A New Reading Challenge.

My favorite - I could spend all day with this: Little-Known Facts.

In my case, no: Is The Computer Assessing You Correctly?