paper trail

Mar 22, 2010 @ 6:00:00 am

A still from Grand Theft Auto.

Apparently, penning manifestos is terribly fatiguing. David Shields recently dismissed novelist Myla Goldberg’s forthcoming novel, The False Friend, based solely on a short catalog description. "No offense to her; I haven’t read her work." When pressed by interviewer Edward Champion, Shields explained, “I’ve read enough of her other book. I’ve flipped pages. . . . I was like, ‘What does this have to do with the advancement of culture? You know, nothing.’" Is this an example of what Reality Hunger's catalog copy means when it boasts that "Shields takes an audacious stance on issues that are being fought over now and will be fought over far into the future"? Audacious, indeed. Lazy, too. 

"Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today," says Tony Judt, in an excerpt from his new book Ill Fares the Land. The London Review of Books' Kristina Bozic interviews Judt to find out why.

Prolific author Tom Bissell's chosen vices were once fairly tame—chewing tobacco, smoking pot, drinking Diet Coke, and the occasional dose of lyric poetry. These gateway drugs quickly turned sinister—he was soon snorting cocaine and playing the gleefully amoral video game Grand Theft Auto.

As tax time approaches, it might help—or hurt—to remember that Kafka made the equivalent of forty thousand dollars working as an insurance company bureaucrat, and that Faulkner's yearly earnings in the early 1920s would add up to roughly eighteen thousand dollars today.

Laura Miller tells Galleycat: "Book reviews have gotten to be a sleepy, dull genre of journalism." (Yawn.)