During my long absence from the internet, as you might imagine, I amassed a small fortune in linkable blog posts. Here are a few highlights:
• Carrie of Tingle Alley reads Milton, here and here, as only Carrie of Tingle Alley can read Milton.
• James Marcus riffs on discovering his allergy to grass in a diverting post that begins with one acute parenthetical observation–“A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone message from my doctor: I’m allergic to grass. Since I live in Manhattan, this won’t change my life in any substantial way (luckily it wasn’t concrete or carbon monoxide or untrammeled ambition.)”–and ends with another: “Every hour wounds, the last kills–but at least [Cyril Connolly’s] The Condemned Playground is still available in paperback. (By the way, if you seek it out on Amazon, you’ll find the following listed as a Statistically Improbable Phrase: “elegiac couplet.” What is this world coming to?).” The middle is good, too!
• Alex Ross posts a short essay by Carl Nielsen that’s brimming over with aperçus. For example: “Nothing in all art is as painful as unsuccessful originality. It is like the twisted grimaces of vanity. We see the spirit everywhere. Some of us know it, but have no word for it; we exchange looks and shudder, like children at the sight of a skeleton.”
• Here’s where your cup runneth over: not just a post but an entire blog, Where the Stress Falls is the new site of M.S. Smith, whose previous venture CultureSpace was a longtime ALN favorite. I’ve been remiss in not mentioning Smith’s new home sooner–but then, I’ve been simply remiss.
• Michael gives the Blowhard treatment to the next DVD in my Netflix queue, Criterion’s fresh release of Chris Marker’s films La Jetée and Sans Soleil, two mesmerizing films that come around to the cinemas only once a blue moon, even in a fairly cinema-stocked city such as Chicago.
• Kate of Kate’s Book Blog discovers that a favorite book of mine, and one of which I’d fairly fancied myself the only reader of my generation, is actually again in print: Elaine Dundy’s follow-up to The Dud Avocado, The Old Man and Me–and, by the way, unless you wish to have the latter ruined for you, I would studiously avoid reading the plot synopses that appear on the Virago page and the
Amazon page, both of which essentially give the game away, Amazon in an astonishingly efficient single sentence. That said, Kate has some interesting observations on how Dundy’s representation of sexual mores in the 1950s contrasts with a more recent treatment of similar issues in the same decade, Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach. Good stuff.
More where these came from soon. In the meantime, happy haunting.