Thursday, November 4, 2010


Halloween has been and gone and dead leaves are plentiful on the streets while those still on the trees are flaring at their best.

I’ve been up to much less than I should, but I may as well do the roll call of some things of mine that have shown up online, elsewhere than blogocentrism.

First of all, here’s an essay on David Shields’ book Reality Hunger, an effort to think past the rather passé nature of today’s “literary fiction,” but the problem for me was how backward-looking it was.  Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been ready since I was a teen for a “return to modernism,” and that’s what Shields is sort of calling for without ever putting it in those terms, which is what bugs me.  He wants to make it all about reality TV, hip hop sampling and memoir-fever, but when the dust clears his main gripe is that fiction as it's practiced is too boring and not venturesome enough.  It’s just that he seems to see that asking lit fic to be more high art and poetic is an even bigger dead end, these dayz, and no doubt he’s right there.  Anyway, enjoy.

And here’s a bit of a follow-up, a review of Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City which I enjoyed more than his two previous novels I’ve read, even read this one twice, but that’s probably because this one seems somewhat aimed at my demographic.

Then there are a few theater reviews I’m pleased with because they speak about some interesting theatrical experiences in New Haven: one is on a production of Jean Anouilh’s Eurydice in the Yale School of Drama, the other is on a revisiting of Edward Albee’s by now venerable A Delicate Balance at the Yale Rep.  And I’m still hitting the Yale Cabaret each weekend; here are write ups on some of the stand-outs: Far Away; Vaska Vaska, Glöm; The Wedding Reception (Chekhov).

The most interesting book I’ve read of late is Alain Badiou’s The Century, which I hope to get around to writing about soon.  And maybe I’ll get around to saying something about The Social Network before I forget I saw it.  Right now I’m into Zizek’s First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, which is also pretty sharp, for the most part.  And I’m just starting to get into Rick Moody’s The Four Fingers of Death, for a review I’m supposed to do by Nov. 14th.

Meanwhile, we have fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf.

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