Thursday, January 25, 2007

High Minded Gossip Galore

Some items (as ever) of interest

Written Lives by Javier Marias
A collection of biographical sketches of various (non-Spanish) writers, each shot through with Marias' infectious bemusement (talent seemingly correlative to ridiculousness) and affection - Lawrence Sterne and Malcolm Lowry (despite trying to murder his wife on two separate occasions) emerge as the most genuinely likable of the lot. A brief tome - even read, as seems almost inevitable, in a casual manner, the majority of the book is likely to pass within a single sitting (or, in my case, over the commutes which bookend my weekday) - you can't eat just one. Memorable observations: Nabokov "hated nearly all writers"; Mishima's death "has almost succeeded in obliterating the many other stupid things he did in his life"; all the glorious affectations which seem to have comprised Henry James' existence; and various et ceteras.

A Prairie Home Companion (D: Robert Altman, 2006)
Not quite An Autumn Afternoon (not many movies are), with which it shares obvious thematic and extracinematic similarities. Nonetheless, fairly good.

Dave Chappelle's Block Party (D: Michel Gondry, 2006)
Not quite Wattstax (not many movies are), with which it shares obvious thematic and extracinematic similarities. Probably better, actually.

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