It’s a busy weekend out here today, no time for a thorough review of the Review, though I enjoyed several pieces including Jim Holt’s meditation upon Simon Critchley’s new Book of Dead Philosophers, which implicitly contrasts the real life death scenes of many great thinkers with their ideas. It all sounds very dada, and in a good way. Gershom Gorenberg teases at a full-body slam in reviewing Jimmy Carter’s controversial We Can Have Peace In The Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work, but ends up praising the hopeful book. This is a refreshing surprise; I have been impressed for a long time by Jimmy Carter’s fearlessly idealistic activism on behalf of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Jim Krusoe stokes my interest in Martin Millar’s Milk, Sulphate, and Alby Starvation, a novel that has apparently been developing a cult audience in Britain for decades and is now available here. And, while I wasn’t completely blown away by the film version of Neil Gaiman’s Caroline, which I just saw with my daughter — the 3D effects were awesome, but Tim Burton never really seems to develop real characters — I am intrigued enough by Monica Edinger’s rave review for Gaiman’s new The Graveyard Book that I’ll give this one a try too.
I wish I could spend more time on this weekend’s Book Review, but time is scarce. And time has come today for Washington Post’s Book World, which ran it’s final print issue along with a farewell note.
There’s been much talk of the vanishing Sunday literary supplement here in the United States, but I’ve been wondering what the situation is like in other countries. I’d love to know if other newspapers around the world print Sunday literary supplements or anything like it, and I asked Mark Thwaite of the blog Ready Steady Book about the UK scene. His informative response filled me in on the Guardian (Saturday), the Independent (Friday), the Financial Times, the Times, the Sunday Times and the Telegraph, as well as local papers like the Manchester Evening News, the Birmingham Post, the Yorkville Post and the Scotsman, and (begrudgingly, after I asked) the Daily Mail. Sounds like a regular menagerie of newspaper-based literary coverage over there, though only a couple of these papers run weekly literary supplements. Here in the USA, with the end of Washington Post Book World, only one remains.