Tired, of questionable health at the age of 61, the vice-president of Air New England made his last mistake and put the plane into the thick woods of a Boy Scout camp near Willow Street and Route 6. Right on page one of the page book, Sabbag gets to the point:. It lost its wings as it crashed. They were sheared off, taking the fuel tanks with them, as the rest of it slammed through the forest.
David Foster Wallace bibliography
In an explosion of tearing sheet metal, it ripped a path through the timber, cutting through thick stands of oak and pine for a distance of three hundred feet. Whatever memories time erases, it will never erase the memory of it. It took Sabbag thirty years before he could tell the story, pushed into confronting the event by the discovery of an old day planner he found in a box of personal financial records, the pages soaked in fuel, leaves and pieces of twigs from the woods still in between the cover slashed by some violent force.
Underneath the lurid details of an aviation catastrophe lies one of the better stories about life on Cape Cod, a perceptive and accurate look at the regular people who live here year round, the nurses and the firemen and EMTs who found him, back broken in the woods, and carried him out to a long recovery. Tonight he will read from it at the Barnes and Nobles at E. What this post is, I suppose, is pure praise and congratulation for my friend — the author and his fine writing — and a strong, heartfelt recommendation that you give him your money and buy his first novel and read it, trusting me that you will be happy you did.
I described my need to enhance his magazine with original, online-only content and that I was willing to budget and fund a position to be the online editor, reporting jointly to both Chris and myself. Chris knew just the guy and made the introduction to Charles. Charles was part of the original gang that launched Forbes onto the web. We were given a bleak second floor office a few blocks uptown from the Forbes headquarters near Union Square and set about building an open newsroom.
But Charles insisted on his own office. He really insisted on his own office to the point that we gave in and gave him a little veal pen of an office with a door which he furnished with an oriental rug, an antique floor lamp, and a spavined old leather chair. None of us were aware of the future at the time, but that newsroom launched some amazing careers. Om Malik and GigaOm. And now Charles and his first novel. Charles is a man born out of time. A hybrid diction punctuated with a charming stammer, a knowing leer, and a great laugh. Charles is one of them. But he did and he not only made Forbes.
Now, at the age of 49 he is a novelist. If there was ever hope that a writer can deliver a masterpiece later in life, Charles is an inspiration. He had. Only this time he knew he had something worth publishing. Charles kept plugging away until he found his voice. I read the Word Doc on my iPad, beginning with some apprehension because one never knows about friends and first drafts.
Two days later, as I finished, I told her Charles had written an amazing novel, one more than deserving of publication, one that could — dare I jinx it? I wrote up some notes and made some suggestions, but the book was unfinished. Even unfinished it was a very good, if not great book. Indiscretion is the story of an ideal couple and the loss of their marriage by the intrusion of another woman. But Fitzgerald was always the writer standing on the sidewalk, nose pressed to the glass, looking into the bright restaurant filled with the people he envied, just a guy from St. Minnesota who was bedazzled by the world of the wealthy.
Postmodern literature bibliographies
Charles grew up in the restaurant, and that experience imbues the novel with a precision and truth that saves it from becoming a Judith Krantz cliche and elevates it to one of the more outstanding depictions of Manhattan-Hamptons life I have ever read. Santos at Kirkus. The book can be found on Amazon here. Good tablet. I highly recommend it. I recommend it. Taken in the same vein of other historical authors who manage to make history sing e. Which reminds me to do something with the two cases of 90 minute Maxell cassettes sitting in my attic.
The rise of 4Chan, Reddit, etc. The example of the Tumblr blog devoted to outing adolescent racists who used Twitter and Facebook to express their ignorance after the recent election is depressing. Asimov, Heinlein, Dick, Herbert …. The current New Yorker carried a brief but oh-very-sad reminiscence by Bradbury , possibly his last published piece.
In it he talks about launching paper hot air balloons into the evening skies with his grandfather and watching their flickering light and beauty fade into the darkness with tears streaming down his five-year old cheeks. It was so beautiful, with the light and shadows dancing inside. The phrase is at least slightly pompous, signaling that the speaker or writer has said something and is now about to say something else, something — gosh — contradictory.
Sometimes that said is unnecessary or nonsensical, as in this passage from a recent New York Times restaurant review by Stephanie Lyness: The fish soup was good, too, particularly in combination with the croutons, topped with rouille and grated cheese, that accompany it. That said, our bowl was delivered without the promised croutons and toppings, but once we requested them, our waitress returned with a newly warmed, fully garnished bowl of soup with alacrity. If anything, the deletion improves the sentence by avoiding two contradictions: but our croutons and toppings were missing, but we asked for and got them.
In a sentence whose that said is not unnecessary or nonsensical, another word or phrase can more clearly signal the relationship of one statement to another. Consider these excerpts from a recent Times column by Paul Krugman: Kudos to Mark Weisbrot for saying the unsayable, and making a case for Greek exit from the euro. I agree with a lot of what he says, but am still not ready to counsel that step, for a couple of reasons. Is there anything wrong with saying or writing that said?
Full text of "Infinite Jest"
But making explicit the relationship between two statements is a good way to make clear what one thinks. And when a phrase becomes overused and tiresome, avoiding it makes sense. See also simply put. From the New York Times : Bob Flanigan, a founding member of the Four Freshmen, the well-scrubbed tight-harmony group begun more than 60 years ago, when all of its members really were undergraduates, died on Sunday at his home in Las Vegas.
He was The big treat: a performance for Japanese television in seven parts: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7. YouTube has already yanked the clip in response to a copyright claim from Paramount Pictures. What happens, briefly: We see Mr. McAllister Matthew Broderick sitting in an office. We then see that Mr. That customer is of course Tracy Flick Reese Witherspoon. She needs a car for college. Where did she get in? Good school, Mr. We then see them in the lot. Does Tracy want something practical or something sporty? No, Tracy says. She runs inside. The house is on a rundown street with a row of grain silos at its end.
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Tracy returns with a yearbook. Tracy asks him to sign it. Alas, the quality of the YouTube clip is or was so poor that what he then writes in the yearbook is unreadable. Election is my favorite high-school film. If anyone can add to this account or make a correction, please do. The Daily What has more on why the ending changed.
The awkward silence itself becomes a form of conversation. Yesterday, I was a mess, scattered and wired. Congradulations, Ben! As a high-school student, Kim Brooks loved English class. Now she has second thoughts : Only now, a decade and a half later, after seven years of teaching college composition, have I started to consider the possibility that talking about classics might be a profound waste of time for the average high school student, the student who is college-bound but not particularly gifted in letters or inspired by the literary arts.
In other words, lit and grammar. What did you do in English class? Reposted after the Blogger outage of May A Flickr set of fifty-one photographs shows letters and manuscripts, shoes, sunglasses, tools, and a L. No photographs of books, of which there are several hundred. The Smoking Gun has the list. Did you know that Kaczynski owned a copy of The Elements of Style? At least one reader has made much of that fact, characterizing Kaczynski and E. White as reactionary makers of primitivist manifestos.
By Michael Leddy at PM comments: 2. Blogger — the service, that is — is back, sort of. At the Library of Congress, the National Jukebox is open for business.
Called to Account: The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (PEN Singles)
Day is subitize SOO-bi-tyz : verb tr. Earliest documented use: You subitize.
Subitizing also depends on the arrangement of the objects. Try this subitizing test. I suspect though that Thoreau was relying upon muscle memory, not subitizing. Oh well. Stanley Fish. New York. In the summer of , I taught a remedial writing course for incoming college freshmen. The idea was to get students up to speed in six weeks with the use of a workbook in sentence construction. I was a grad student teaching for the first time; the course design was not of my making.
Page by page, we trudged through the workbook, and the students filled in blanks to create sentences of ever-increasing complexity. The students became virtuosi of sentence form, with words, phrases, and clauses falling into place. A typical piece of work went something like this: write a sentence with an introductory dependent clause, a compound subject, a non-restrictive clause, a transitive verb in the active voice, an indirect object, a direct object, and a prepositional phrase. Then came the final work of the course — writing an essay.
Without blanks to fill in, the students fell back upon past habits of writing, and the results were disastrous. I remember reading the essays and wondering why my elders thought that constructing single sentences in a void was good preparation for writing. No, not James. But also just not a good sentence, with a strained and awkwardly sounded simile spires , spears , a puzzling shift in perspective as he looks at the spires, he sees the door?
At times, I suspect that the aspiring maker of passionate points and champion of ideas is an upscale middle-aged person. Yet HarperCollins is pitching this book as useful for college writing courses.
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I have the e-mail to prove it. Its most valuable pages are those where the emphasis on imitation drops out and Fish focuses on reading, performing the close analyses of sentences that one finds in his work on seventeenth-century prose. The difference is that Tufte presents more than a thousand sentences, patiently, methodically, and not for purposes of direct imitation but to show the reader many, many kinds of things that sentences can do.
Does no one check these things? A puzzling sentence: Lane Dean imagines running out into the field in an enormous circle, flapping his arms like Roddy McDowall. Such serendipity: the movie Elaine and I watched last night explains it. His name? That of a bird. Click for a larger view. That alone says watch it. The film mocks beach movies, education high-school Botany has been renamed Plant Skills for Life , family life, home decor a living-room conversation pit so deep that it echoes , sexual mores, teenaged in-groups, and everything else.
As Axelrod says in a promotional trailer, whatever it might be, Lord Love a Duck is against it. Even Blackwing pencils. He does everything with them but write. By Michael Leddy at AM comments: 4. Founded in as a record-buying co-op, Record Service stood at E. Record Service was a very good record store — I always found something unexpected and worthwhile when browsing there.
Thanks, Record Service. You can guess where this post is going: Record Service folded, in Green now houses a sushi restaurant on its first floor, townhouses above. It was in Record Service that I first had the feeling that perhaps I was getting a little too old to be frequenting record stores.
I never let it stop me. I wish I could still walk in and feel slightly out of place. By Michael Leddy at AM comments: In an interview with Mojo , Van Dyke Parks offers some more details about his forthcoming 7"-vinyl singles. Every day the hand is farther from the head! And I beat the shit [out] of the piano! Is it that those peering out through the original jalousie blinds were jealous of the people outside?
Or is it more likely that the jealousy festered in the hearts of those outside, who could see the blinds but not the faces and lives of the people they hid? Derived from the sort of parking found by Doris Day in any Doris Day movie. But I like it. What are your preferred forms of work-avoidance? Especially if the task at hand was dry or repetitive, or dense, or if it involved reading something that had no direct relevance to your own life and priorities, or was work that you were doing only because you had to — like for a grade, or part of a freelance assignment for pay from some lout who was off skiing.
The upshot is that nearly everyone I knew had distracting little rituals like this, of which rituals the whole point, deep down, was that they were distracting. No one to applaud, to admire. No one to see you. Do you understand? Here is the truth — actual heroism receives no ovation, entertains no one. No one queues up to see it. No one is interested. True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care — with no one there to see or cheer. This is the world. Just you and the job, at your desk. You and the return, you and the cash-flow data, you and the inventory protocol, you and the depreciation schedules, you and the numbers.
Exam-takers, take your pick: How to do horribly on a final exam How to do well on a final exam Best wishes to all for finals week. Tuesday, May 31, Things I learned on my summer vacation