Monthly Archives: September 2007

Notes from a Sunday: How the middlebrow argue

First: Him: “So, the New Yorker has Hermione Lee’s interview with Philip Roth.  She’s the biographer of . . . ” Her: “Um, I know who Hermione Lee is, jerk . . .” Later: Her: “I think you’ve misquoted Wordsworth … Continue reading

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Baby Bonds

Apparently a major presidential candidate is backing the “baby bond” concept (via Matthew Yglesias), wherein children are given $5000 (or some amount) at birth, which would accumulate interest until they were 18. The idea here is to build a culture … Continue reading

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About offensiveness

When I’m writing for PopMatters or Bookslut, I usually use my Gmail account to communicate with editors, publishers, and possible interview subjects.  This week, though, I was writing my former dissertation director to set up an interview about his new … Continue reading

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The cash value of an academic promotion

Via Acephalous, I see that the lunatic wing* of conservatism  still loves to thrash academics & their “six figure incomes.” It’s a good thing the Chronicle offers actual data, more or less freely available.  For the vast majority of academics, … Continue reading

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CT forum on new media

Next Wednesday (10/3/07), the Connecticut Forum opens its season with a panel on “The Tech Revolution: Geeks & Visionaries Plug Us In.”  Ok, it’s not the best title, but look at the lineup: Craig Newmark Jimmy Wales danah boyd, and … Continue reading

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MS Word’s literary judgment

As I say, I’m back in the mix at PopMatters, and this morning on the Re:Print blog I discuss Janice Harayda’s use of Word’s “readability” statistics to evaluate a Booker Prize finalist, Mister Pip.  (Harayda is the former books editor … Continue reading

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An “undergraduate bill of rights”

Al Filreis reminisces about a seminar on literature & the 1950s that collectively decided to value dissensus.  One of the students was moved by the experience to write an “undergraduate bill of rights,” which he reprints in part: You have … Continue reading

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Review: An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England

Apparently my long drought at PopMatters was the result of technical glitches at both ends.  So, there’ll probably be several reviews there in relatively quick succession.  The first is Brock Clarke’s An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England: … Continue reading

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Great moments in parenting

Like many 4-yr-olds, the Little Man has rapidly developed a fascination with all things excremental.  As you can see above, if you ask him to list who lives at our house, “poop” beats out “dad.”  Which is great. This week, … Continue reading

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On “wordy” 19thC novels

Just want to observe here, so that I can stop ranting about this in class, that “wordiness” doesn’t just mean “has long sentences,” or even, necessarily, “goes around one’s ass to get one’s elbow.” Or, at least it doesn’t when … Continue reading

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