Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Links From Around

  • In These Times reviews The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde by Neil McKenna. The reviewer postively gushes:
    Making use of hitherto unpublished and unconsulted documents, diaries and letters, this extraordinary book—just published in the United States—also gives a new and revealing portrait of Wilde’s sexuality that supercedes all previous Wilde biographies. Moreover, McKenna’s book gives us, at long last, a definitive account of the political cover-up of the homosexual scandals within England’s ruling and royal elites that motored Wilde’s prosecution and trial.
    I'm glad it's a good book and all, but I like to think there's more to Wilde than his sexuality. He did, after all, write The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest.
  • Here's a review of a book that will either make you sick or scare your pants off (the book not the review). The book is It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good by that most compassionate of conservatives Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum
    is a man who believes society is degenerating because women now work outside the home. The man who then went on to author the welfare legislation that forced single mothers away from their children for longer hours than ever before. A man who believes that African-Americans were doing better in the 19th century than the 20th while representing a state that is 10 percent black. And the man who compares abortion to slavery. But the fact that Santorum is one of the most ideologically conservative members of Congress, who is anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-evolution, anti-working women isn't news. That isn't what is so scary. It's the way that he is so easily capable of making all of this sound semi-rational.
    And that's not even from the book, just from the review. The book sounds much, much worse.
  • I think the reviewer writing in The Nation doesn't think highly Cormac McCarthy's latest book: "The moral intensity remains; the imaginative complexity is gone." What do you think?
  • Orhan Pamuk, author of Snow and most recently Istanbul, faces up to three years in prison for having the nerve to say that 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in Turkey 90 years ago. The first hearing in the trial is scheduled for December 16th of this year. (link via Maud Newton)
  • Ian Holding's top ten books on southern Africa. Sadly and embarrassingly, the only one of these books I have read is J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace and at the moment I am having a hard time remembering what it was about. Maybe I meant to read it but never did. That would explain the memory problem, or part of it anyway.
  • Sandra at Book World has me seriously contemplating reading Clarissa. The paperback is over 1,500 pages. When I was a kid l loved to read long books, the longer the better (at that age 354 pages was a long book!). To read a "big" book when you're 8 or 9 is an accomplishment, something everyone praises you for. When you're an adult people just want to know if you're crazy. I already know I'm crazy, but am I crazy enough to read Clarissa? Maybe if Sandra actually takes the plunge I'll be inspired to do it too.
  • Last night I read "Apocalypse and its Aftermath" by Marina Warner the commentary article in the August 19th and 26th double issue of the TLS (scroll down, it's currently the second article on the page). Unfortunately the entire article isn't online but if you can get your hands on a copy of it from your library it was very good. It is an examination of the biblical Book of Revelation and how it has been represented or mispresented in literature.