Monday, March 31, 2008

From the National Book Critics Circle blog, Critical Mass, the top five books all book critics should read:

1. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria (1817)

2. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1947) and Culture and Value (1980)

3. Ezra Pound, Literary Essays (1954) and ABC of Reading (1934)

4. Walter Benjamin, Illuminations (1968) and Reflections (1986), better yet the four volumes of Selected Writings (1996-2003)

5. Susan Howe, My Emily Dickinson (1995)

I'm surprised Edmund Wilson didn't make the cut. Personally, some of my early inspirations were Howard Bloom, Vladimir Nabokov, and most of all, J.R.R. Tolkien's essay on Beowulf, "The Monsters and the Critics."


Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm excited to say I earned a brief mention on today's Dinosaur Comics for the pillows I made for my sister. I'm going to go ahead and call the game early: Best Achievement of 2008.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The New Yorker's Alex Ross reviews the Met's ill-fated production of "Tristan und Isolde" and famous operatic debacles past.

"The most priceless aspect of the 'Aida' imbroglio was the double take delivered by Ildikó Komlósi, the mezzo singing Amneris, as she turned around to find a replacement tenor embodying Radames, his rumpled gray blouse suggesting a change of scene from ancient Egypt to the bargain floor at H & M."

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"I never got to sleep alone till I got married.”

From the latest New Yorker, a gathering of elderly Jewish comedians.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Everyone knows I like Harold Bloom, but I like him about $4,175 too little to buy this.
The best sentence I've read this week, from Hilton Als' review of a new production of "The Seagulls" in The New Yorker: " . . . she deserves better than the show’s costume designer, Suzy Benzinger, has given her. (Her dresses are like something Bob Mackie might have whipped up for a “Seagull” parody starring Carol Burnett.)"

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

On Malamud

Two great essays this week on the underrated Bernard Malamud, here and here.


Thanks to Grant (as usual) for this great link: Pepys' Diary, presented as a daily weblog, as Pepys would no doubt have intended. Visit daily!

From Monday, March 13:
"Up betimes, this being the first morning of my promise upon a forfeite not to lie in bed a quarter of an hour after my first waking . . . This day my wife begun to wear light-coloured locks, quite white almost, which, though it makes her look very pretty, yet not being natural, vexes me, that I will not have her wear them."


Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Times Literary Supplement today turned up two excellent reads, Julian Barnes on Flaubert's letters and Paul Theroux's hilarious send-up of Georges Simenon.

As I try to get into the habit of updating this blog more regularly - and as I look forward to bringing my observations of China to an end soon - I will be sharing more great links sent to me from friends and readers and the many social bookmarking sites and subscriptions to which I sacrifice my time.


I've just started working with an RSS feed at The Foghorn, and it reminded me to remind you all that this blog also has a feed.
Subscribe at today!


I wanted to turn your attention to my friend (and distant relation) Katy Spindler's new blog and accompanying Etsy shop. If you don't already know, Etsy is a great place to find handmade jewelry, housewares, and other items while supporting artists directly.


There's a whole new week's worth of fun up at The Foghorn, including dubious memoirs, affordable shelving, ontological uncertainty, and dead whales.

For weekly updates, subscribe to our RSS feed,

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dino Pillows

I just finished this embroidered pillow for my sister Gillian, an homage to the excellent Dinosaur Comics.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Be sure to read my husband's first blog post at Studio Kumar. And check back often!


Check out this week's haul over at my other project, The Foghorn. We are classing things up a bit and leading off this week with two new works in verse, the poetry of Miss Gillian Block and Ms. Katy Spindler. Also two new essays and a short fiction piece.

We've also added a new box at the bottom of each Foghorn piece, with handy links to Digg, StumbleUpon,, reddit, and any other company with a made-up name we can find. If you like what you read, pass it on!

We are also eagerly seeking new submissions. Email editor at thefoghornmagazine dot com today.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Well, this is great

Found here, with thanks to Grant!

Also, stay tuned for some reworking of this blog and a lot of new content soon.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Announcing The Foghorn

I am very happy to announce the launch of my new web project, The Foghorn. Check back every Wednesday for updates.

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