The latest issue of the London Review of Books has a Sheila Heti review of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., a debut novel from Adelle Waldman. It was named a best book of the year in 2013 from a variety of good publications and has an interesting subject. The main character is a young man who has moved to Brooklyn to become a writer. It covers his public rise and growing status amongst his friends/rivals while bringing into relief his seemingly cold and unsatisfying romantic life. It sounds very sad, but very good and very new. Read the review! Or maybe even the book.
The latest attempt to write history as it’s happening comes from The London Review of Books. It’s hard to know what to make of it. As observers and thinkers we naturally make connections and see patterns in events. We form these into narratives and this is how we understand. But when do we start manufacturing our narratives and imposing our own order onto chaos? At what point are things too complicated to make sense of and best left undefined until hindsight grants us 20/20?
David Bromwich is an English professor at Yale University, the author of a book about British political philosopher Edmund Burke, and has a long history of political commentary at various highbrow publications. While impressive, absent from this resume is any hands-on front line work in the business of politics. This makes one wonder just how much weight to give some of his claims about Obama’s presidential style. As he says: Continue reading