Monday, August 27, 2007

Dizzies Newsfeeds™ for Monday, August 27—where did August go?!

1. Joseph Weisberg has an op-ed piece in today's NYT, on "The C.I.A.'s Open Secrets," which includes one word that's blacked out (x'd out online):

Because so many things at the C.I.A. are classified, only a small percentage of them are actually secrets. Take agency cover arrangements. I cannot write about them in this article in any detail. If I point out that agency officers are often under cover as XXXXXXXXXX, the C.I.A. will make me take it out before publishing this article. (Before I submitted this article to the C.I.A.’s publications review board, I blacked it out myself to save the reviewers the trouble.)

It's a stylistic curtain raiser for his new novel, An Ordinary Spy, which is on my READ ME stack; I highly recommend his first novel, 10th Grade, to anyone looking for a quick under-the-wire summer read!

2. Over at Weekend Stubble: Could there be a more boring title than 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden? Why yes...

Yet I would say that the adjective "exciting" actually makes that title quite...unusual, if not exciting.

The Boston Globe has a rundown of some novels, under the headline "Novel Titles That Hold Sway." The reviewer avoided Marina Lewycka's A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian because she found "its title so arch...smacking somehow of the earnest playfulness that surrounds The Believer."

What's wrong with "earnest playfulness"? (They don't call me E.P. for nothin'.)(Wha?)

Anyway: My favorite titles this year include these, along with Aoibheann Sweeney's Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking. Basically, it has to be a sentence. (For more titular fun, see the chart in September's earnestly playful Believer...out soon!)

3. On a related note, the headline for Helen DeWitt's outraged post on Coetzee and The Seven Samurai made me laugh: ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿Qué???????????!!!!!!!

4. Finally: Turn your pants into a life jacket! (Learn how at Crude Futures.)

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4 Comments:

Blogger GS said...

Anyone who dislikes the title "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" does not seem to be a good arbiter of this sort of thing (book titles or the relative worth of a magazine's character - take your pick) anyway!

-GH

8:15 AM  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

I have actually read a lot of pretty exciting books about vegetables, most of them written and published in the seventeenth century admittedly.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Sarah Weinman said...

The Weisberg is also in my TBR pile! I wonder which of us will read it first...

8:56 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I put my money on Weinman!

11:27 AM  

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