Thoughts

by Patrick on April 23, 2009

The title of this post says it all.  These are my thoughts, or in some instances, the thoughts of others that I have appropriated and reproduced here for your enjoyment (This being the internet and all):

  • Dan Brown’s new book, which I mentioned in a previous post, will be about the end of the Mayan calendar.  I think this will test a theory of mine:  namely, that The DaVinci Code was successful, at least in part, because of its religious content.  Add to that the fact that this book will be about a Central American culture, and not a European one, and I think we’ll see this book sell a bit less than his previous two.  Just a theory (and I’m sure others have had this theory, too.  I’m not actually claiming I’m the originator of said theory).  I’m happy to be proven wrong.
  • The Millions is concerned with the future of book criticism.  So concerned, in fact, that they’re running a three-part series on it.  Parts 1 and 2 are already up.
  • Kate Christensen on the book Wetlands, which is apparently very big in Germany:  I just learned from a friend as I was whining about how much I can’t finish Wetlands that there are hugging cafes in Berlin where lonely people go to be hugged by strangers who are there for the same purpose; have you all heard of this already? I have a feeling that the popularity of this weird, pathetic, babyish fad dovetails somehow with the runaway success of this book over there, people allegedly fainting in readings, how many copies sold? Thanks to Julie for the link.  Oh, and have I mentioned that Kate will be at Vroman’s on June 29? I have now.
  • Ever since I saw Adventureland, I’ve been on a major Replacements kick.  As such, check out this awesome outtake version of Can’t Hardly Wait:  

    And while you are at it, read Gillian’s review of the film:  I was planning on including a paragraph here about how the female characters were all somewhat detestable, but that really wasn’t the case, I think I just want it to be.  Actually, Em is probably the most complex character in the film and even though she does make poor choices and behave irrationally at moments, that is easily attributable to the fact that she is human, not that she is a woman.  This can often be a problem with feminist theorizing: it can backfire and have you (me) end up demonizing women instead of…you know, not doing that which is the whole point.

  • There’s lots of internet chatter about this ebook article in the Wall Street Journal online by Steven Johnson.  The short summary is that he’s pretty impressed with ebooks and thinks they represent the biggest thing to happen to publishing since the printing press.  Normally, this is the kind of article I would unpack and examine and respond to with some analyses of my own, but, well, I’m super busy today.  So Steven Johnson gets a pass.  (I will take issue with this, though:  “Reading books will go from being a fundamentally private activity — a direct exchange between author and reader — to a community event, with every isolated paragraph the launching pad for a conversation with strangers around the world.”  This rhetoric of the internet being about communicating with people in far-flung places has got to stop.  The internet, it seems to me, is fundamentally local.  You talk to the same people online that you talk to in everyday life.  I talk to my wife online dozens of times a day.  I have a friend who moved to Barcelona last year.  When he lived in LA, we talked on Facebook with some regularity.  Now he lives in Barcelona, and we talk with less regularity.  Some of this is because I’m a bad friend, and I suffer from major out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome, but it’s also because I’ve found that Facebook and Twitter and blogging are all excellent supplements to my physical world.  In other words, the internet isn’t a separate place.  I’ve fallen victim to this thinking before, and I’m determined now to stop.  Let’s all stop.)  Read Rich’s post in response to Johnson’s.