Who has been eating my porridge? While I was having a fairly busy weekend, CM exploded with posts. And brilliant ones at that. I feel like Jeff Van Gundy clinging to Alonzo Mourning’s leg. All I have are some feeble links:
- I am torn about the art of Rajkamal Kahlon. The Orientalist histories of India come in for some amazing re-imaginings but … the sanctity of the text! [my UC soul screams]
- Another amazing text is Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary. Can you imagine the cojones of this man? The review in the Telegraph of Henry Hitchings’ book notes that Johnson wrote “all the definitions (42,773 of them), he also ransacked whole libraries to find 110,000 quotations with which to illustrate them”. Wiki, dude.
- Max Rodenbeck tackles Lebanon in the NY Review of Books. He writes about the tension between Pan-Arab [Syria] and nationalist sentiments in Lebanon ["That fear is now largely gone"].
- Two books grabbed my attention last week. First up was Alicia Erian’s Towelhead. In a Salon interview, she had some very interesting things to say about being a writer and selling a book as the “other” in demand after 9/11. I am unsure as to her politics and the interview left more questions. The second was this book by the “post-post-post-colonialist” Rattawut Lapcharoensap. The review in the Guardian has perhaps the zaniest line of any review: “There is a risk that a writer like Lapcharoensap will be well-reviewed on the nod, tapping in as he does to reviewer-friendly political correctness, but will fail to find an audience among book buyers wary of octosyllabic names.” Also, dear farangi, why is the Thai slang for foreigners, farang?
- Lastly, can anyone remember Flashman? If not, you missed out. Fake history never read so good. The nice recap in the Independent brought some memories.