The 2010 Booker longlist is out,
and it seems that most of the buzz in the UK is about who's not
on the list. The Guardian article "Amis-free Booker prize longlist promises to 'entertain and provoke'
" introducing the list of 13 nominees actually devotes its headline, subhead, and most of the first four paragraphs to the subject of who's missing in action: Amis, McEwan, Rushdie. Elsewhere in the Guardian Books section, research professor Gabriel Josipovici pulls no punches in including these (former?) darlings of the glitterati in his assertion that Feted British authors are limited, arrogant and self-satisfied
, compares them to "prep-school boys showing off," calls them "virtually indistinguishable from one another in scope and ambition," and muses that the fact that they have won so many awards is "a mystery." [more inside]
posted by taz
on Jul 29, 2010 -
General Stanley McChrystal is in hot water
over a Rolling Stone article
(pdf) where he and his staff are quoted criticizing Obama, Biden, and senior administration officials. (Previously
on McChrystal's appointment.)
posted by Forktine
on Jun 22, 2010 -
What I find chiefly offensive about them is not that they are skeptics or atheists; rather, it is that they are not skeptics at all and have purchased their atheism cheaply, with the sort of boorish arrogance that might make a man believe himself a great strategist because his tanks overwhelmed a town of unarmed peasants, or a great lover because he can afford the price of admission to a brothel.
Christian writer Dan Hart wonders if New Atheism
might just be a passing fad
. [more inside]
posted by circular
on May 14, 2010 -
In its latest issue, the American Book Review
has taken stock of literature and come up with its Top 40 Bad Books
[pdf]. Faced with the unusual Top 40 list (which is not strictly a list and includes, among other things, The Great Gatsby
) Alison Flood at the Guardian
responds by asking, "What makes a bad book bad?
" while at the L.A. Times
, Carolyn Kellogg puts forth
that the list's only constant is "that the best books that appear on their worst-book list are subject to the most unreasonable critiques." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco
on Mar 16, 2010 -
I mean, in these days of indoor plumbing, the toilet is a naturally potent metaphor for everyday repression, for all the bile and rage and memories and sins and other impure thoughts and unclean urges that can't always kept down or flushed away. Every once in a while when the psychological plumbing gets clogged, the load of excrement becomes more than one's psychological pipes can handle, and the shit all comes bubbling back up from below and spews out onto the surface.A survey of plumbing in the movies. Wee bit NSFW in both word and image.
posted by kipmanley
on Mar 9, 2010 -
Satire has long been part of discourse, with written records going back to the Ramesside Period of Ancient Egypt
, and two primary classifications of satire originate with the Roman satirists Horace and Juvenal
. Other notable historic figures
have also been authors of significant satire, but not always with much appreciation
. News satire
furthers the awkward stance with public, as the public may read satire as an outrageous truth
, and be angered instead of amused. The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart in specific, ranks well in the fractured world of current news programming
, and the show was noted in the New York Times as "a genuine cultural and political force
, but you don't have take their word for it. Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism studied the content of The Daily Show for an entire year (2007)
, providing interesting (if slightly dated) details on the show. That year included their much-viewed coverage fo the Democratic and Republican National Conventions
. And in poll results published July 24, 2009
, Jon Stewart was voted America's most trusted newscaster
, apparently filling the position previously held by Walter Cronkite
. But is it because Stewart is one of the few journalists willing to ask the hard questions
or has America been won over by "cheap laughs"
posted by filthy light thief
on Nov 6, 2009 -
Greil Marcus writes Real Life Top Ten
for the Believer Magazine, in which he lists "anything that remotely has to do with music, a dress Bette Midler wore at an awards show or a great guitar solo in the middle of a song that otherwise wasn't very interesting." But he's been writing this column online
for just about 10 years. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jun 25, 2009 -
"R, and G, and B
" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami.
posted by colinmarshall
on Mar 15, 2009 -
The realistic style is easy to abuse: from haste, from lack of awareness, from inability to bridge the chasm that lies between what a writer would like to be able to say and what he actually knows how to say. It is easy to fake; brutality is not strength, flipness is not wit, edge-of-the-chair writing can be as boring as flat writing; dalliance with promiscuous blondes can be very dull stuff when described by goaty young men with no other purpose in mind than to describe dalliance with promiscuous blondes. There has been so much of this sort of thing that if a character in a detective story says, "Yeah," the author is automatically a Hammett imitator.
Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950)
posted by Navelgazer
on Sep 24, 2008 -
Dude, You Stole My Article
They say everyone's a critic, but in this case, the critic is everyone. Today in Slate, Jody Rosen uncovers what just might be "in purely statistical terms ... the greatest plagiarism scandal in the annals of American journalism".
Stolen from Zoilus
posted by Paid In Full
on Aug 7, 2008 -
by George Saunders
"Last night, in a biker bar, I overheard two men discussing what distinguished “realist” fiction from more “experimental” work. Although one shouldn’t generalize, I never expect bikers to be literary critics. Well, these were literary critics, and good ones—in fact, they’d bought their “hogs” with royalties from a book they’d co-written, Feminine Desire In Jane Austen
by George Saunders
"Experimental fiction is the art of telling a story in which certain aspects of reality have been exaggerated or distorted in such a way as to put the reader off the story and make him go watch a television show."
posted by plexi
on Aug 5, 2008 -
Martha Nussbaum reviews
three recent books on Shakespeare and philosophy. The essay offers an excellent analysis of love in Antony and Cleopatra
, and an excellent discussion of the interaction between philosophy and literature. [more inside]
posted by painquale
on May 5, 2008 -
Bioculture critiques Cultural Critique Until literature departments take into account that humans are not just cultural or textual phenomena but something more complex, English and related disciplines will continue to be the laughingstock of the academic world that they have been for years because of their obscurantist dogmatism and their coddled and preening pseudo-radicalism. Until they listen to searching criticism of their doctrine, rather than dismissing it as the language of the devil, literature will continue to be betrayed in academe, and academic literary departments will continue to lose students and to isolate themselves from the intellectual advances of our time.
posted by jason's_planet
on Apr 7, 2008 -
Roger Ebert to return to writing movie reviews.
Love him, hate him, disagree with him, worship him, whatever, but Pulitzer Prize winning movie critic Roger Ebert, after several operations that have left him without the power of speech, will return to writing movie reviews shortly after his 10th Annual movie festival, Ebertfest.
Me, personally, I'm happy as heck about this.
posted by willmize
on Apr 2, 2008 -
Going After Gore
"Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
posted by chunking express
on Sep 4, 2007 -
On At The Movies
this past weekend Richard Roeper announced: 1) The past 20 years of At The Movies (formerly Siskel & Ebert & the Movies)
is going to be archived for free download online. That's several thousand reviews -- from Adventures in Babysitting
. Unfortunately, the first ten years of of the show was poorly preserved. Ebert writes, "Starting Thursday, Aug. 2, visitors will be able to search for and watch all of those past debates, including the film clips that went along with them, plus the “ten best” and other special shows we did. The new archive will be at www.atthemoviestv.com
, and will be the web’s largest collection of streaming reviews." 2) Roger Ebert will be a guest for an online chat Thursday at 8:00 Eastern (7:00 Central). You can submit questions in advance here
. The chat will be at this link
. (Until the actual archive shows up online, you can enjoy these links
posted by McLir
on Aug 1, 2007 -