Reviews & Web Hype

Let’s See What Some Stuff’s About

The Scott Timberg io9 piece I mentioned the other day is live now. “Welcome to the Soft Apocalypse.”

At TNRBook, Sophia Lear is unimpressed by Sheila Kohler’s Becoming Jane Eyre. Also, reprinted classics by George Orwell and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Two things I pinched from Bookslut– “The Poetics of Amateur Products Reviews” and Margaret Drabble introduces you to William Wordsworth. And why the heck not?

Okay, NYTea time- Tom Carson really likes Just Kids, Patti Smith’s memoir of Robert Mapplethorpe. I’ve heard amazing things about it as well–out in “the streets”. Wells Tower is pretty ambivalent about the new T.C. Boyle. Antonya Nelson calls Robert Stone’s Fun With Problems “a book for grown-ups,” which is a concept I both do and do not understand; both am and am not vaguely attracted to. Has anyone out there ever read any Stone? Also, obituaries. Charles McGrath on Salinger and Michael Powell on Zinn. A blog I’d never heard of (before Paper Cuts linked to it) called “Classics Rock: Books Shelved in Songs” has playlists of songs that reference the works of each man (Zinn, Salinger). But the Farah Fawcett Memorial Overshadowed Death of the Week (literature edition) has absolutely got to go to poor Louis Auchincloss, who wrote over 60 books over 50 years, mostly while also still practicing law, and who, at 92, had a year on Salinger and four on Zinn.

Finally, a question. For three days now I’ve left Emerson’s Divinity School Address in an open tab on my browser. Will today be the day I print it out and actually read it? (That’s really two questions.)

January 30th, 2010 / 11:54 am

Hey remember that time something happened about laughing at a poetry reading in New York? Me either. But Craig Santos Perez does. And he sees a connection between Laughter-gate ’09 and the death of flarf–except flarf isn’t actually dead, or something. The best thing about the Perez blog post and/or its comments section–wherein a bunch of smart, otherwise interesting people conspire to take all their (and your) time and energy and drown it in a bathtub of pointlessness–actually occurs in the very first sentence, where Perez links to Dan Hoy’s epic study of flarf from Jacket 29. But again, I stress that flarf isn’t the issue here–nothing is the issue here. There is no issue here. So don’t click the link and don’t read the post. Read Dan’s old essay. Or, if you’re desperately spoiling for a fight, have it about Emerson. That horrendous article that Ken linked to earlier has been drawing fire all day. Our own thread-regular Mather Schneider is tearing it up over there, and I’m on-record as well. No word from the piece’s authors. Yet.