My hot weekend

Pedernales Originally uploaded by Katharine B. Things I saw at the Pedernales River: a water snake of undetermined species a tarantula, briefly captured by T. and his brothers more cardinals than I’ve ever seen in one location the skeletons of large fish trapped in potholes along the river small bleak towns near the park (Johnson…

Monday-morning link

An interesting post by Laura Miller at the National Books Critics Circle blog explaining why she chose not to participate in the recent NY Times survey on the best American novel of the last twenty-five years (and why she thinks a shortlist is generally preferable to naming a single “best” work). In the comments, people…

Genre content does not equal plagiarism

I thought I was done with the Opal Mehta issue, but this Times opinion piece by Whitney Otto, plus Malcolm Gladwell’s earlier but similarly-themed blog post, have got me a little annoyed. (Gladwell’s 2004 New Yorker article on plagiarism, on the other hand, is a wonderful nuanced read.) Both Otto and Gladwell say, essentially, that…

novel fodder

Yesterday afternoon, still post-migraine-hazy, I finished reading Robinson Crusoe — I liked and admired it much more on this read, though I still think it falls apart as soon as Friday appears (and not just because of the embarrassing broken English). Now I’m onto Boswell again, reading straight through rather than in fits for a…