Folks, I’m rushing around and there’s no time for a real Reviewing the Review today. A couple of highlights, though, from today’s New York Times Book Review.
— Jim Holt’s thoughtful positive review of Logicomix by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou, a graphic novel about the career of philosopher, activist and analytic mathematician Bertrand Russell. I haven’t read this book yet but I’m very excited to do so. An original treatment of an original thinker; this, in my opinion, is the kind of thing books were invented for.
— Suzann Cokal focusing tightly on the plot points of Audrey Niffenegger’s neo-Gothic ghost story Her Fearful Symmetry, which apparently contains twins with misplaced hearts and tree roots that unearth gravestones. “Put on a plummy British accent to pronounce ‘symmetry’ and ‘cemetery’ and discover a pun in the title,” Cokall helpfully instructs.
— Arthur Krystal evoking Nabokov, Poe, Balzac and Steven Pinker in an essay about why writers are often so helpless at interpersonal conversation.
And, from elsewhere in the Times: Jim Carroll’s last days by Alex Williams. It comes as a surprise to me that the elder Jim Carroll had a thick beard and struggled to get through each day. I last saw him perform in the summer of 1996 on a double poetry bill at Central Park Summerstage with Richard Hell. He looked exactly like the cover of his Catholic Boy, had a warm demeanor and certainly appeared to be the healthier half of the bill.
AFTERWORD: Farewell to the remarkable New York Times Magazine “On Language” columnist William Safire, dead at 79.