Saturday, October 23, 2010

What's old, but online at The Paris Review

The NY Times Book Review this week of October 24, 2010 is frankly...dull. You can read the two political pundits' review of a spate of political books, but I'd advise against it. I read them and they were all too typical of the pundits in corporate owned media.

Still, the Times gave us a link to The Paris Review because TPR has opened its archives of author interviews to the public, and in so doing, has performed a public service.

First up is Art Speigelman on Lynd Ward, a 1930s graphic artist who worked in wood blocks and whose book was reviewed in the NY Times a few weeks ago.

Second, I decided to dive right into the Archives at The Paris Review, and typed in "Gore Vidal." The first thing that popped up was a 1974 interview that was classic Vidal autobiography, insight into the writing of fiction with a non-fiction eye, and the equally classic Vidal wit.

I later typed in Kurt Vonnegut and found this 1977 interview with Vonnegut, also a classic. And then I typed in a few oldies but dead before the magazine began, and it was interesting to see how writers described Thomas Hardy or Jack London, for example. This listing of some insights about writing from John Steinbeck appealed to me, but maybe not to someone who has not written a book...:-)

And here was a fun interview with the man who made Grove Press a very eclectic but important literary institution, Barney Rossett. I got a kick out of him saying that George Seldes got him into trouble at age 12 because he read Seldes' amazing biography of Mussolini ("Sawdust Ceasar") when it was released in the 1930s.

Much better this weekend to browse through The Paris Review than the NY Times Book Review. The Times can't be great every weekend, you know?

And now for something completely different: Texas Rangers v. San Francisco Giants in the World Series? That is funny from a political perspective of SF v. Texas, but both teams are overachievers who may well create a fun World Series. The thing I continue to be upset about is why are we playing baseball into November? Brrrr....This is football and (indoor) basketball weather, even starting around now in San Diego!

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