October 2008 Archives
The best thing about it is that the responses are not tied to the fall publishing season.
Some new books are listed, of course. But so are titles by Robert Penn Warren, Sinclair Lewis, and Richard Hofstadter -- all of them topical (sometimes too topical, alas) even if the authors aren't turning in appearances on CSPAN.
Not that this alternative is an all-or-nothing deal, necessarily. My in-house technical advisor points out that Bloglines has useful features I don't know how to use, yet. So it might make sense to experiment with GR while also trying to determine whether Bloglines has some virtues to make up for its defects.In any case, comments are welcome on the relative merits of each.
Per the comments section at TNR: "The only way this could be funnier is if Leon Wieseltier had done it."
Well, it wouldn't hurt.
I've said it before and repeat it here now: Each day this campaign makes all of us just a little bit dumber.
Plus I'll give a less formal talk called "Confessions of a Book Reviewer" at a lunchtime meeting on Tuesday. Sort of a mashup of themes from my Balakian acceptance speech, favorite quotations by critics (not just Orwell) reflecting on the process, and stuff that Rita listens to me vent about from time to time.
The full title of my Humanities Center presentation, late Tuesday afternoon, is "Sex, Socialism, and Self-Education: The 'Little Blue Books' and the Making of the Mass-Market Intellectual." This will be my first effort to present some work I've been doing for the past three years. (Also -- if all goes well -- my first attempt to lecture with graphics from my laptop.)
I've done a little of this sort of thing over the years -- serving as a "resource person," as university lingo evidently has it -- by speaking to classes at Beloit College, conducting a seminar for young journalists from Northern Ireland and the U.S. (here on a fellowship from the British Arts Council), and so on. The response from students has always been very encouraging.
I'd be ready to do more of it, were opportunities to come up. To be an old-school "public intellectual" (as opposed to a professor with media access) means spending an awful lot of time working in solitude. This, frankly, is getting old. But thus far the invitations have been few and far between. A few years ago someone explained that my work comes under the heading of "creative nonfiction." So perhaps it's a matter of proper branding?
It might be time to start putting together a set of talks on various topics I've studied and thought about, and going out on the road to lecture and/or meet with classes. My needs are modest. I try to give value for the honorarium. Advice welcome. References available on request.
Most of the people approached for comment responded. If any stragglers end up sending their thoughts in after all, I might do a post to Critical Mass.
The prize is announced on Thursday. For the past several years, I've hoped it would go to the Syrian poet who writes under the pen name Adonis, but obviously I'm learning not to expect too much. The comments by Ted Genoways (which appear as the last part of the column) in many respects are the closest to my own attitude towards the Nobel for literature, at this point. That Borges never got it is a pretty good indicator of what the prize is really worth.
Here is Joe Biden, verbal samurai:
Haiku's not the formBut it turns out that Sarah Palin is more avant garde:
For Senator Joe Biden
Because the last line may come out slightly longer than is absolutely necessary due to the subject's ability to analogize all topics to a seminal moment in the history of this great nation of ours, America, the UNITED states of America.
So jobs, they ... you know,Via Printculture
Health care's really .... it's - Katie,
That bridge? I said no.
UPDATE: Proving that graphical display is the key to understanding process, Ezra Klein has a flow chart.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog