Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Amen to Watchman: Reviewing The Reviews

‘A poor translation will kill even the most beautifully written, imaginative book.’ One of the most difficult things to realize when one is young is that all the awful odds and ends taking place round one are, in fact, the process of living...

“I like to read about people who have done nothing spectacular, who aren’t beautiful or lucky, who try to behave well in the limited field of activity they command, but who can see, in the little autumnal moments of vision, that the so called ‘big’ experiences of life are going to miss them; and I like to read about such things presented not with self  pity or despair or romanticism, but with realistic firmness & even humour, that is in fact what the critics wd call the moral tone of the book.”

Steve M, Christof C, Tyson F, James C etc agree with Henry Adams that "Every man should have a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends." I will need The entire Vrbov Cemetery to myself ...

Why Go Set a Watchman is a much better novel than To Kill a Mockingbird New Statesman

go set 90
Jane Ciabattari finds that early assessments of the “new” Harper Lee novel fall into five categories.
Literary Hub

harper_lee_2010 bloomberg
The enormously anticipated book is, after all, one that Harper Lee had refused for decades to publish (at least to the extent that she even remembered its existence as a distinct work). Claire Suddath traveled to Monroeville, Alabama to investigate, and to meet Lee’s attorney and de facto manager, Tonja Carter.
Bloomberg Business

Tonja B. Carter: “Accidents of history sometimes place otherwise unknown people in historic spotlights. Such was my fate when last August curiosity got the best of me and I found a long-lost manuscript written by one of America’s most beloved authors.” Wall Street Journal 

Philosopher and psychologist Riccardo Manzotti suggests that “our brain is like a lock maker that makes a lock whenever a key is deemed interesting enough. But when a key – for example, a new poem, or a new species of animal – is first met, there is no lock yet ready for such a key. … The next time we meet or perceive the object/key it will open the lock prepared for it in the brain.” Tim Parks unpacks the simile New York Review of Books

“It’s never a good idea to respond to bad reviews, and one tends to hold in high regard those authors — it always seems to be the already canonized ones, doesn’t it? — who meet bad reviews with such poise that you’re tempted to conclude that they didn’t even read them (but you know better).” Chronicle of Higher Education