The American Classics: A Personal Essay, by Denis Donoghue. Yale University Press, 295 pages, $27.
Rapping the knuckles of the American classics is good fun-especially if it’s done with a light, sharp touch. And nobody gets hurt, certainly not the great dead white males themselves, who ascended to their exalted position precisely because, as Denis Read More
The Catsitters , by James Wolcott. HarperCollins, 314 pages, $25.
“The Perfectibility of Man! Ah heaven, what a dreary theme! The perfectibility of the Ford car!” That’s D.H. Lawrence launching his wonderfully acid essay on Benjamin Franklin. Fervent belief in the perfectibility of man–these days we call it “self-help”–is one of our more embarrassing national Read More
How to Read and Why , by Harold Bloom. Scribner, 283 pages, $25.
Ignore the headline. The true title of this review is “How to Read Harold Bloom and Why,” and I will proceed exactly so: first the how, then the why.
Open your Bloom anywhere (there are now two dozen titles to choose Read More
A bowl of thin spaghetti arrived, the strands tossed with garlic, olive oil, chili peppers and sautéed anchovies and topped with shreds of bottarga, a pressed fish roe from Calabria, Sicily.
“I tell my customers: Take a bite, then a sip of cold white wine and breathe out through your teeth,” said Attilio Fragna, Read More
1: Mini-Me Mania. What is it about Mini-Me, what’s the deal, why am I–and, apparently, much of the rest of America–so intrigued by the dwarf clone of Dr. Evil in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me ? Why did Mini-Me make Entertainment Weekly’s “It” list of “the hundred most creative people in Entertainment”? Why Read More