Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with by Michael Dirda

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By Michael Dirda

From Pulitzer Prize-winning publication critic Michael Dirda comes a suite of his so much own and interesting essays at the literary life—the ideal spouse for any lover of books.

Michael Dirda has been hailed as "the best-read individual in America" (The Paris Review) and "the most sensible booklet critic in America" (The manhattan Observer). as well as the Pulitzer Prize he used to be offered for his stories in The Washington Post, he picked up an Edgar from the secret Writers of the USA for his newest booklet, On Conan Doyle.

Dirda's most modern quantity collects fifty of his witty and wide-ranging reflections on literary journalism, publication amassing, and the writers he loves. attaining from the classics to the post-moderns, his allusions dance from Samuel Johnson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and M. F. ok. Fisher to Marilynne Robinson, Hunter S. Thompson, and David Foster Wallace. Dirda's issues are both various: literary pets, the misplaced paintings of cursive writing, booklet inscriptions, the pleasures of technological know-how fiction conventions, writer images, novelists in outdated age, Oberlin collage, a 12 months in Marseille, writer's block, and lots more and plenty extra, to not put out of your mind a couple of rants approximately Washington existence and American tradition. As admirers of his past books will count on, there are annotated lists galore—of excellent e-book titles, nice experience novels, favourite phrases, crucial books approximately books, and loved children's classics, in addition to a revealing peek on the titles Michael retains on his personal nightstand.
Funny and erudite, sometimes poignant or indignant, Browsings is a party of the examining existence, a fan's notes, and the precise reward for any booklover.

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Additional info for Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books

Sample text

Marlowe says the process isn't his to sell, but shares it with the King as a friend. The King markets it wholesale and sells it throughout the camp until the secret leaks out and everyone makes his own. Thus the King's action raises spirits, creates a healthy sense of competition, and spreads around useful information that 38 James Clavell might otherwise have gone to waste. In other words, while he does not intend to be a benefactor, in effect, he is one. Clavell contrasts the frowns and long faces that follow Grey's progression through the camp with the smiles of those under the King's protection.

Paul Choy cannot be both an obedient Chinese son, who grovels before his illiterate father, and a Harvard-educated financial wizard. Seventeenth- and nineteenthcentury Japan and twentieth-century Iran can't choose Western technology and, at the same time, shut out the Western philosophical and scientific attitudes that produced that technology. This is the dilemma multiculturalists face, but Clavell's answer is that individual Easterners and Westerners must choose, that in the clash of cultures, ideas and lifestyles battle it out until one takes precedence over the other—for good or for bad.

Sir Samuel Baker explored the Nile's tributaries in Ethiopia, discovered Lake Albert Nyanza, and later became governor of the Lake Albert region, south of Ethiopia. Baker's antislavery stance might well have influenced Clavell's depiction of Dirk Struan's views on slavery, and Baker's purchase of his beloved wife in an Istanbul slave market is echoed in Struan's purchase of May-may. Speke was the first European to reach the source of the White Nile, Lake Victoria, and he and Burton were the first white men to view Lake Tanganyika.

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