November 20, 2006KR BlogUncategorized

Short Takes

In case you missed it: KR Blog talks to Time science writer Michael Lemonick (part one and part two)

Gore Vidal, getting irascible in his old age here and here.

Penguins: not the paragon of family values some might have wished.

Christmas books already? It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

Here’s another Pynchon review. I am sick of hearing about this book already and it’s not even out yet.

In the mid-1960s, Playboy carried naked women strategically obscured by foliage or furniture. It took the counter-cultural “Underground” magazines of the late 1960s to use the naked body as a shock tactic.

Iran: not fans of William Faulkner, apparently.

Clive James knows perfectly well that a man with a talent to amuse will always have some difficulty persuading the public that he can, so to speak, quote Wittgenstein.

Poetry is not a healing lotion, an emotional massage, a kind of linguistic aromatherapy. Neither is it a blueprint, nor an instruction manual, nor a billboard.

Of course, I knew who Tennessee Williams was. He was a bad man because the nuns in Catholic Sunday School had told us we’d go to hell if we saw that movie he wrote, Baby Doll – the one with the great ad campaign, with Carroll Baker in the crib sucking her thumb, that made Cardinal Spellman have a nation-wide hissy fit.

Saki has been called “the most malicious writer of them all“, and while it’s true that an air of cruelty runs through much of his work, the recipients of Saki’s malice always deserve their fates ??? be they overbearing, child-hating aunts, self-important politicos or tedious club-land bores.

John Updike takes on Katrina.