Yep–I’m stealing a page from Carrie’s playbook. It’s a good book!
● David Ulin is wary of rereading once-loved books:
…you never know how a book will stick the second time around, whether it will continue to resonate or leave you oddly unfulfilled. That’s what happened with “Wise Blood,” a book that I revered in my late teens and early 20s; when I reread it this year, at the age of 45, it seemed to me less like a fully realized work of fiction than a young writer’s pastiche, flat in its way, two-dimensional, not about life as it really is but a naif’s projection of the way life could be.
It’s depressing when you lose a book like that, which is exactly what has happened: I’ve lost “Wise Blood” for good. It makes you gun-shy, wary of returning to an author; although O’Connor’s second novel, “The Violent Bear It Away” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $14 paper), was also recently reissued, I can’t bring myself to reread it, since I don’t want it to dissipate for me as well.
● Peter Suderman thinks that blogs are the vehicle that television criticism has been waiting for all these years:
Clearly, [the blogging of The Sopranos‘ last season] showed that the two mediums belong together. Traditional newspaper reviewing has never been all that successful at writing about television. Reviewers are given a few episodes of a show before a season begins and expected to extrapolate, based on just a few, early hours, on the show’s potential for success. But in the age of lengthy, arc-driven serials, one-time coverage of a story’s beginning doesn’t cut it. It’s the equivalent of a movie reviewer writing a review after seeing only the film’s first act. (Admittedly, this is easier than it sounds; rare is the movie that eventually reverses whatever opinion I hold of it at the 45 minute mark. But though you can often tell whether a film will be any good, it won’t leave you with much to actually say about it – which explains some of the weaknesses in television criticism.)
Even more to the point, regular blogging can cover the water-cooler buzz surrounding a show during a season. Part of the fun of being a TV fan these days is the anticipation, the guessing games, the questions and the chatter. No newspaper can really afford to devote enough column inches to the sort of obsession and minutiae that has become de rigueur for television fandom.