Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Table-Talk of Parkus Grammaticus for November 12, 2008

I. Everything and nothing: In Slate, Dzyd Jessica identifies a headline habit at the NYT:
Consider: "Bigger Is Better, Except When It's Not"—a 2007 article looking at body size in sports. "Smaller Can Be Better (Except When It's Not)"—a tech piece from 2004. "A Marriage Penalty, Except When It Isn't"—on couples and the tax code, 2003. This is the Times headline as koan, inviting readers to suspend in-the-box thinking and seek enlightenment below the fold. The style presents thesis and antithesis; it embraces binary thinking yet disavows it; it builds dichotomies and collapses them. There are good uses of this technique, except when there aren't, as a sampling from the last three months attests.

II. New Triple Canopy.

III. The return of Pinakothek—vintage Sante:
"Florence" has reached our couple two decades after its release through the medium of oldies radio--a medium of chattering middle-aged men, audibly overweight, short-sleeved even in the dead of winter, who are capable of putting on the spookiest sides without seeming to notice the weirdness as they jabber on about trivia before and after.
(Thanks to Levi for the nudge)

IV. Speaking of Sante: I'll be on an LWC panel with him and some others on 11/22 (Sat.) at 11:45 a.m. The topic? "From Blogs to Books and Back." Back—to what, blogs??? Then do I get to go back again, to books?

V. Speaking of Levi: More Bolaño material at I've Been Reading Lately. And here he imagines Maud Newton's flight, via Anthony Powell.

VI. last time: Me + Heidi + Alec Baldwin + Will Eno + more = tonight.

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