Monday, June 06, 2005

Do you have time to read this post?

Oh, if there were but world enough and time! This is the main reason to aspire to an afterlife: to sit under a celestial tree, with no library fines, and the library right at one's elbow (the library preferred to the bookstore, at least in heaven).

--Cynthia Ozick

There comes a point when every reader must confront the knowledge that there's no way they're going to read it all:

"Some people process this and adjust with ease. Some feel a dull ache occasionally but don't get hysterical. Others never recover from the knowledge, the inevitable incompleteness of their reading hanging over them like an irremissible debt." (Times Union via The Literary Saloon)

Interested in American history from an international perspective? A Barry Gwen essay discusses a dozen recent history books and the approach they take to history.

Political exile Ismail Kadare has won the first international Man Booker award, beating out the likes of John Updike, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Muriel Spark, Günther Grass, Philip Roth and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (Guardian) I was happy to realize that while I was totally ignorant of Kadare my library was not. All Kadare's novels are available to me in both English and French.

And words fail me. You'll just have to see for yourself how sublime this Beatrix Potter "lost episode" of Alias Smith and Jones is. I mean, who hasn't, in the privacy of their own minds, recast Peter Duel and Ben Murphy with Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny? Especially since "The McCreedy Bust" parallels so nicely with the story of Mr. McGregor's garden. . .

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