Thursday, November 29, 2012

Notes to Best head buyer for the Invisible Library: Robert Bolano

* I've had to at least consider Walt Whitman for the title of Least Desirable Literature Professor. It would be sort of like studying combat--or, worse, willpower--with the Batman. What is he going to say, "Just do like I do"?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Notes to Round and round with Hardy and James

* A note to the volume points out that Stevenson mistakenly dated the letter 1891, for which James gently corrected him, writing to "My dear distant Louis" that he envied "my time-deluded islander" for being "so luxuriously 'out'."

** I'm looking at you, Stieg Larsson.

*** All these seem right to me except Conrad. Am I forgetting scenes of humor in Conrad? Lord knows, I've not read nearly all his books, but what comes to mind is a grim determination verging on dourness. Am I missing something?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Notes to The story, the forest, the chain of transmission

* How pleasing that the man who--though in this paragraph simply credited with naming the wildwood--was one of the scientists who placed the forest's clearance much earlier than generally thought shares a name with Arthur Rackham, one of the greatest illustrators of the creatures of forest, fairie, and fantasy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Notes to Chess

*Despite the fact that Dunnett lets the move-by-move narration go after four or five moves--which, as I had been sketching out the moves as they happened, super-nerd-style, disappointed me immensely--I have not a whit of doubt that she had, in her files somewhere, the log of the entire game. Meticulous doesn't even begin to describe Dunnett's approach to detail. God, I wish there were any other writer quite like her.