I seem unable to resist this man's lambent prose. Here's more, from a review of a Shakespeare biography in the New Yorker of September 13 2004:
Whatever our official pieties, deep down we all believe in lives. The sternest formalists are the loudest gossips, and if you ask a cultural-studies maven who believes in nothing but collective forces and class determinisms how she came to believe this doctrine, she will begin to tell you, eagerly, the story of her life...
(of author Stephen Greenblatt) A fully postmodernized critic, he knows the barriers of rhetoric and artifice that make us write the poems and then have the feelings as often as we have the feelings first... Poets may often write things they do not feel, but they rarely feel things that they do not, sooner or later, write.
...is almost always a delight and full of surprises. In a recent New Yorker piece, a review of a wine book, there's this:
"...some absorbing storytelling, in a form now familiar from ten years of little-thing big-thing books: take a micro-history of something or other (cod, salt, the color mauve) and turn it into a macro-history of something else that provides, in parable, a mega-history of some larger third thing...
...His virtues were limited: he was a very ordinary writer with few pretensions to the grace notes of French, or even English, wine-writing. What he brought to the table was what Americans always bring: encyclopedic ambitions and a universal numbering system."
Yes, Electronic Resource Management. There's a DLF Initiative Report just out that makes me roll my eyes at what we are not doing and paying attention to, and not going to do in anything like the foreseeable future... and it might have been so different. I'm feeling tempted to just give up, to not even try to stay abreast, though I know I will. The usual questions: just WHOSE responsibility is it to track this sort of thing? how COULD I get people to listen, or is it just pointless to try? Perhaps those are Labor Day Weekend thoughts, or perhaps I'm finally being realistic.