Friday, May 30, 2008

Table-Talk of Parkus Grammaticus for May 30, 2008

I. I forgot what I was going to write here.

II. Linksmeister-general Thomas has a Dzyd challenge:
Thinking about Michael Campbell's Lord Dismiss Us...I want to say that it's one of the great boarding school novels, but what are the others? The list that's beginning in my head is growing already! Dizzhead challenge? Tempting to say this is a distinctly British mode, though not necessarily. Pilcrow, Adam Mars-Jones' new book (not yet out in the US, regrettably), seems like it would be very much in this tradition.
Hmmm—Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Taylor Antrim's The Headmaster Ritual...what are some others?

III. Music news: I've reconstructed most of Side B of the Psychic Envelopes' Cryspace...though I don't know if this is the correct order...anyway, it features not one but two songs based on Joseph Heller titles! (How to write a song called "Catch 22"?)...Dzyd Bbbecky on Palymyra's Mis-en-scene, worth a listen!...and a look:

For years I've thought Squeeze's "Tempted" was easily their best song and maybe one of the great pop songs ever! (Here's Fat Ed top-fiving it.) But on a recent listen, it seemed too busy. The production is great, but why are there three singers taking over the main vocal? Why the switch from Carrack to Difford? And then what is that guy with the really low voice doing, barging in on the Difford line? (It's Difford, right? Not Tilbrook?) Even two lead singers seems unnecessary! What's the story that's being told there? (Are these two different stories? Three? Probably not, so why make it sound like "Do They Know It's Christmas?"?!)...I like Richard Thompson's stripped-down version on 1,000 Years of Popular Music—but the backup vocal goes on a bit of a tangent that I think mars it. Conclusion: Nothing is perfect!..Dizzies Team Member Matt has raved about Music & Lyrics, and so I added it to my Netflix queue, and—since Funky Forest has a "Very Long Wait"!—it recently gravitated to the top of the heap...I heart Matt Singer but I just don't know about this movie....It makes Once look like Citizen Kane! No, well—it's not just felt.....prolonged....BUT the main song (by FoW tunesmith for hire Adam Schlesinger) is LODGED IN MY HEAD, which I guess means it did something right? Or not....Zoilus (the blog of Journey to the End of Taste genius Carl Wilson) directs me to The Shoe, the singing side/solo project of actress Jena Malone...very nice, shades of Mo Tucker!

IV. It's Friday. May is coming to a close—TIME! Where does it go?! June will be upon us...and that week—Thursday, June 5—I'll be reading from Personal Days in Chicago—the so-called Windy City!—home of H. Keeler and H. Darger!—at The Book Cellar....4736-38 North Lincoln Avenue....(I am waiting for the software to arrive so I can update; in the meantime I'm posting new reviews—well, only the good ones!—at the Personal Days blog.)


Blogger mattbucher said...

prep school = Enfield Tennis Academy (Infinite Jest)

11:10 AM  
Blogger Sarah Weinman said...

Christine Schutt's new book, I forget the title, is set in a boarding school. Nina de Gramont's THE GOSSIP OF THE STARLINGS is also primarily set at a prep school.

And okay, a totally different feel, but Gordon Korman's Bruno & Boots novels were set at the fictional McDonald Hall in Ontario! And they are AWESOME books, at least the first few which he wrote when he was an actual teen.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

R. F. Delderfield's "To Serve Them All My Days" is a good boarding-school novel; but perhaps we need a separate sub-category for boarding-school novels where the protagonist is a teacher rather than a student? I think you thought Harry Potter too obvious to mention... "The World According to Garp"?!? (Or am I totally misremembering it?) "Jane Eyre"? "Nicholas Nickleby" and "David Copperfield"?!?

11:23 AM  
Blogger Matt Singer said...

You didn't like Music & Lyrics??? I'm devastated. Pop -- there goes my heart.

12:38 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats