Tuesday morning miscellany

  • Laila Lalami excoriates American newspaper coverage of the hell unfolding in the Middle East. (Photo: Ben Curtis/AP.)
  • India blocks all Blogspot and Typepad-hosted blogs.
  • From Edward Said’s On Late Style: “In Western literature, the form of the novel is coincidental with the emergence of the bourgeoisie in the late seventeenth century.”
  • Giridhar Khasnis contemplates G.H. Hardy, whose A Mathematician’s Apology Graham Greene “hailed alongside Henry James’s notebooks as ‘the best account of what it was like to be a creative artist.'”
  • David Stanton on John Gardner: “Like [his most famous character], Gardner was driven to define himself as an enemy of ‘the kingdom’ — in this case, the ivory tower of successful modern writers favored by college lit professors…. Yet Gardner was, in many ways, indistinguishable from the brainy creatures he claimed to detest.”
  • Matt Cheney recaps a recent China Miéville speech and ponders the inevitable tension for the reader of speculative fiction between the desire for “that-which-is-so-amazing-it’s-incomprehensible” and for “that-which-can-be-quantified.”
  • Doris Lessing revisits D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. (George Murray, meanwhile, cringes at Lessing’s musings on Lawrence’s sex life. “I totally was not prepared to go there with this article…. There should be an emoticon for that noise a cartoon rabbit makes when he shakes his head repeatedly in disbelief. The tripletakicon or something. Oyoyoyoyoy!”)
  • Public schoolkids generally performed “as well or better in reading and mathematics than their private counterparts” in a recent study.
  • A 1934 article in Popular Science describes the first spiral notebook. (“Coil springs form flexible bindings for a new type of memorandum books.”)

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