Tuesday, May 20, 2003

On "being proud of" by Massimo Pigliucci
I've often wondered why people are proud of being American or Indian or gay, given that (a) they weren't responsible for being so, and (b) they weren't responsible for the achievements of the said group. Pigliucci comments on these issues and comes up with a conclusion similar to mine. "Being proud" in these contexts really means that one has a shared nostalgia with and sense of belonging to a particular group.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Digested Reads from the Guardian
The book reviewers at the Guardian summarize books and then summarize the summary. They have used this method to praise Dave Eggers as well as to bury him. They typically use these digested reads as negative reviews, though, and they're in the style of the original author, so they're quite amusing if you're familiar with him or her. I mentioned The Book Against God by critic James Wood some weeks ago and here is the digested take on it. Warning: scathing criticism included. Also ripped apart was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, something my friends have had mixed reactions to. Of course, one could ridicule anything -- even Shakespeare -- with digested reads, so I question their validity.

Monday, May 12, 2003

The new latest blogging experiment, blogmatcher, finds people who link to the same sort of things that you do. Itcould get end up ghettoizing the blogosphere even more, but since it's here you might as well see my blogmatchees. It's not surprising that there are other people who enjoy the redoubtable Rittenhouse review, Marstonalia, Arts and Letters Daily and Junius. It is interesting that the other people who linked to a certain episode of Fresh Air were, unlike me, interested in the interview with Diane Ravitch, who has compiled the crimes of the p.c. language police. Many people have pointed out that Ravitch skewers liberals, but, as nosymbols notes, she also criticizes conservatives and evangelicals.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Professors Who Blog
Rhetorica maintains a list of professors who blog.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Terra Incognito
I mentioned Robbins last Friday and now I discovered his latest novel, Villa Incognito, in which he pokes fun at human civilization. His cast of characters appears to match in colorfulness that of his earlier Skinny Legs and All. I'll post a review of Terra as soon as I finish it.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

How Peggy Noonan sees Politics by Jonathan Chait
A not-so-recent essay from TNR about Noonan's irrelevance.

Polysyndetons with Geoff Nunberg and Peggy Noonan
Polysyndetons --not to mention asyndetons, anaphora, antithetons-- are figures of speech that I didn't learn about in my Indian Jesuit high school, where I did learn about metaphors, similes, synecdoches and metonymies. (Can anyone really tell the difference between the last two?). Geoff Nunberg in this essay (text or audio) on Fresh Air notes that the Right, e.g. Noonan, tends to use polysyndetons more than the Left. If you'd like to investigate more rhetorical devices, Silva Rhetoricae has an excellent set of essays and definitions. Thanks to Butterflies and Wheels for the links.