From all over: The New York Times's 100 Notable Books of the Year. No real surprises here, though Maureen Dowd's book probably doesn't belong on the list. I guess working for the Times has its advantages.
I really would have liked to have seen Chris Ware's most recent book on the list, which is certainly my choice for book of the year. It certainly doesn't fit nicely into the fiction/nonfiction false dichotomy, though.
An interview with New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman. The hidden secret to breaking through the slushpile is at last revealed within this interview; you just have to find it.
Anthony Lane on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
It is directed by Mike Newell, who does a more coherent job than his predecessors; they tended to linger over the early setups and then scramble toward a confusing climax, whereas Newell measures out the magic with some aplomb. Still, he cannot do much about the slightly tired sadism that is creeping into the cracks of the Potter franchise.This guy can take anything down a peg. You've got to respect that.
An interesting L.A. Times profile of the man behind the first four Harry Potter screenplays.
On the road with Jean Baudrillard. Fantastic literary snapshot from Talk of the Town.
After he read, Baudrillard expanded on his theme. “We say that Disneyland is not, of course, the sanctuary of the imagination, but Disneyland as hyperreal world masks the fact that all America is hyperreal, all America is Disneyland,” he said. “And the same for art. The art scene is but a scene, or obscene”—he paused for chuckles from the audience—“mask for the reality that all the world is trans-aestheticized. We have no more to do with art as such, as an exceptional form. Now the banal reality has become aestheticized, all reality is trans-aestheticized, and that is the very problem. Art was a form, and then it became more and more no more a form but a value, an aesthetic value, and so we come from art to aesthetics—it’s something very, very different. And as art becomes aesthetics it joins with reality, it joins with the banality of reality. Because all reality becomes aesthetical, too, then it’s a total confusion between art and reality, and the result of this confusion is hyperreality. But, in this sense, there is no more radical difference between art and realism. And this is the very end of art. As form.”Exactly.