Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What writing is good (or bad) for

Harvard once considered hiring Nabokov to teach literature; Roman Jakobson, then a professor of linguistics there, is supposed to have asked whether the university was also prepared to hire an elephant to teach zoology.

That is from an article by Louis Menand in the June 8/15th New Yorker. I just got around to going through three months' of New Yorkers to cut out the cartoons. I didn't find any cartoons, but I liked this quote.

I had a moment of terror realizing that I had kept the magazines since June, because I fear that if I went off the deep end, I'd become one of those people who hoards reading material until they can't walk around the house and are eventually found dead under a fallen-over stack of magazines. This fear has been aggravated lately by reading a bunch of papers on the related disorder of animal hoarding and also by a review of the latest E.L. Doctorow novel, which is about a couple of famous hoarding brothers in New York who died in the 1940s in just this way.

But more to the point: THREE months of New Yorkers with no cartoons I wanted to cut out? Is it them, or me? Are they no good anymore? Or am I old, and have read so many cartoons in my life that I am harder to please? I don't know, but there's still a list of web cartoons in the sidebar over there that I enjoy every morning, you know?

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