Sunday, January 21, 2018

RIP   Aharon Appelfeld (1932-2018)

       Aharon Appelfeld (1932-2018) 

       Israeli author Aharon Appelfeld has passed away; see, for example, Joseph Berger's obituary in The New York Times. 
       He was certainly one of the greatest Holocaust -- in its broadest sense -- authors; two of his titles are under review at the complete review:
       A Last Conversation with Aharon Appelfeld, David Samuels' Q & A with the author, at Tablet. 

-As William Grimes writes in The New York Times, Fred Bass, Who Made the Strand Bookstore a Mecca, Dies at 89. 
       The Strand, as shaped by Fred Bass, is the bookstore  

How to Shop at the Strand (or any good bookstore) with Michael Orthofer & Tyler Cowen .....)  

Milt Rosenberg, RIP

As academic and social critic Joseph Epstein correctly puts it in The Weekly Standard, "Five nights a week, Sunday through Thursday, from 1973 to 2012, Milton Rosenberg elevated AM radio and the cultural tone generally in Chicago. Milt Rosenberg died on January 9 at the age of 92. His two-hour talk show was nothing if not anomalous. A University of Chicago professor, his academic specialty was social psychology, though it seems strange to use the word 'specialty' in connection with Milt Rosenberg, who may have been the world’s greatest paid dilettante."

"Dilettante need not be a pejorative word. In its archaic sense, it meant someone with an amateur interest in many things, and amateur, in its root sense, means a lover. Milt Rosenberg qualified on both grounds. As Terence said 'Nothing human is alien to me,' Milt might have said that nothing intellectual was without interest to him. He seemed to know a fair amount about everything. During any given week he might have on his show Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milton Friedman, a film actor, an astrophysicist, and a Chicago machine politician — and he would keep the conversation humming along nicely with all of them."

Yup, if I only had a buck for every appearance of my own during the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. slot for a show called "Extension 720"! He was an at times cranky anomaly. The New York City native mixed in French aphorisms and alluded to dead German philosophers. It was a show made for FM, or now a podcast, but was a fixture on a powerhouse AM station that for decades was associated with lively morning drive hosts and broadcasts of the Cubs. And you'd shlep downtown for a 9 p.m. radio show because, well, it was Milt. And those listening were a smart and engaged slice of the Heartland.
The programming tides change and he seemed a bit like Mariano Rivera, the great Yankees relief pitcher allowed to still wear No. 42 after baseball had retired Jackie Robinson's number. When his show was gone after a nearly half-century run, a richly idiosyncratic slice of radio vanished. Rest in peace, Milt.

“H.P. Lovecraft, Author, Is Dead”