paper trail

Mar 15, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

New York Times columnist David Carr

A video interview with New York Times columnist David Carr after Saturday's SXSW panel "Media Armageddon: What Happens When the New York Times Dies." Speaking of media Armageddon, Gawker quotes Carr saying they scoop him “all the time.”

Will Walter Kirn be at the 92nd Street Y next Monday, when critic James Wood will discuss Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace? When Wallace died in 2008, Wood wrote a finely parsed remembrance of Wallace's work on Edward Champion's blog tribute page, and tried to refute Kirn's assertion that Wallace was one of the few "aesthetic villains" of Wood's How Fiction Works.

In this puff piece from the Wall Street Journal, Joseph Epstein revisits Italo Svevo's novel Zeno's Conscience, which he calls the "best book about quitting smoking." In our experience, though, reading Zeno's rants only triggered vicious nic-fits.

Are we the only ones tired of reading about the zeitgeist-defining tome Reality Hunger: A Manifesto? David Shields was at his best in his 2001 book Baseball is Just Baseball. In that volume, he collected the sage sayings of baseball's coolest player, Ichiro. While Shields seems to have lost his sense of humor lately, Ichiro hasn't.

Over at the American Book Review, a band of intrepid academics takes potshots at "40 bad books," including The Great Gatsby, All the Pretty Horses, and Let the Great World Spin. Sacrilege? No, Revolutionary Road will outlive Sean Bernard's tepid critique: "Why is it bad? Because it’s tricked so many into thinking it’s good." Marjorie Perloff's takedown of poet Frederick Seidel is a great read, however, and her list of ten picks from Ubuweb offers plenty of alternatives to Seidel’s “tell-all nastiness.”

Two of the six books that won the National Book Critics Circle award—Eula Biss's Notes from No Man's Land and Rae Armantrout's Versed—are not available on Kindle. So, you’ll have to get 'em the old fashioned way.