Are we in a narrative if we don't know we're in a narrative?

As is often the case with the web, I stumbled across this clip while looking for someone else (or nothing at all, really; just surfing–but surfing implies some sort of deliberation or volition, and there was none here. There should be another word for this: lolling in the waves. Which is of course not a word.). In this clip, Jonathan Franzen talks about the general irrelevance of the novelist to American culture at large. My first thought was not to agree with him. And while in a certain sense, I don’t agree with him, I have to agree that, sure, “no one, outside of a very small circle in New York, could care less about what Philip Roth thinks about the Iraq war.” Continue reading

I’m no prophet, but I don’t think Amazon’s Kindle will do much for electronic books

Best that I can tell, the one thing that dedicated electronic book readers have going for them is convenience. You’re traveling, for example, and you want to take half a dozen books but if you cram them all in your carry-on bag, it’ll weigh as much as college cheerleading squad. And you don’t want to pack them in your checked luggage, because then you won’t be able to get at them during your mind-numbingly dull flight.

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