Monthly Archives: December 2010

America, when will you take off your clothes?

Last summer there was a review of Allen Ginsberg’s photography in the New York Review of Books,  featuring Edmund White in all his saucy urbanity casting a cold but not censorious eye on the Beats: I love the story of White’s … Continue reading

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Ghosh story

The Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax by Geoffrey Pullum contains an essay called something like “17 Great Novels for Linguists.” It was there that I found listed The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin. Intrigued, I sought the book out, and LeGuin … Continue reading

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Sympathy for the Devil

Reading John Banville’s The Book of Evidence has got me thinking about Lolita.  Both are set up as the comic memoirs of imprisoned murderers, which sounds like an unpromising genre but works because the narrators are so urbane and witty (while … Continue reading

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I laughed, I cried…

What can you say about a book that will actually make someone want to read it? A couple of days ago I was asked what I thought of a “10 Best Books of 2010” list from the New York Times. … Continue reading

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Capybara is the measure of all things

Here is one of my favorites from this year’s Best American Poetry anthology, “Unit of Measure” by Sandra Beasley: The poem gives us the world in terms of a kind of 100-poind ratlike creature.  This conceit exposes our habit of organizing … Continue reading

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Unreal City

Jonathan Lethem has a habit of choosing titles that are hard to remember even after you’ve read the book.  There’s You Don’t Love Me Yet,  the one about the one-hit-wonder LA band, and Girl in Landscape, the sci-fi novel about … Continue reading

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some music

As usual, my ‘favorites of 2010’ list does not comprise only or even mainly songs released this year, just things that were new to me. Metric’s pop hooks are just merciless.  (That sounds like a 1-sentence homage to Rolling Stone-ese, … Continue reading

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