Good morning, Monday round-up!

Garfield, by Jim Davis, as modified by tumbir

  • This really is brilliant. Remove Garfield from the Garfield comic, and you get a strip of almost Samuel Beckett-like minimalism. The pared-away humor, the pointless action, the blank meaninglessness: It's the Endgame of newspaper comic strips. Thanks to Sarah Weinman for the post.

  • If they can pray silently, they can read silently. Monday, March 3rd, is Read Across America Day, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. Students across the country will stop classroom activities to read silently for 10 minutes.

  • It's not just American newspapers that seem to be getting thinner and dumber, chasing any celebrity trend, any political yelling match. British newspapers, too. John Lanchester reviews Nick Davies' Flat Earth News:

    His book starts at the point at which he got interested in the story of what he calls 'flat earth news': 'A story appears to be true. It is widely accepted as true. It becomes a heresy to suggest that it is not true - even if it is riddled with falsehood, distortion and propaganda.' That's flat earth news, and Davies became interested in the phenomenon, via the story of the millennium bug. How on earth did so many papers get sucked into producing so many millions of words of, it turns out, total nonsense ... ?

  • The 18th century peasant may actually have been one stylin' dude.

  • Jon Swift continues to delight: Castro's resignation proves that our sanctions worked!

  • Gotta love an issue of the Fantastic Four that manages to explain Kang's Third Law of Time and publishes an important revision of it: "This new development is quite a relief. I was worried that I was creating alternate timelines every time I had to choose between having a turkey or a roast beef sandwich. As stated, the timeline will remain the same regardless of my lunch choice, so that's a load off my shoulders."

  • March 2, 2008 9:22 PM |



    Best of the Vault


    Pat Barker, Frankenstein, Cass Sunstein on the internet, Samuel Johnson, Thrillers, Denis Johnson, Alan Furst, Caryl Phillips, Richard Flanagan, George Saunders, Michael Harvey, Larry McMurtry, Harry Potter and more ...


    Big D between the sheets -- Dallas in fiction


    Reviewing the state of reviewing


    9/11 as a novel: Why?


    How can critics say the things they do? And why does anyone pay attention? It's the issue of authority.

    The disappearing book pages:  

    Papers are cutting book coverage for little reason

    Thrillers and Lists:  

    Noir favorites, who makes the cut and why



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