Something to read while I find my brain

This is awesome — a blogger takes down an oh-so-genteel sneering book review in the Wall Street Journal, the writer of which is simply shocked that someone who was in (gasp!) computer science has been allowed to write his own version of The Odyssey. Note to the staff at the WSJ: only insecure, shallow people make culture into a matter of cliques and status marking. Anyway, read the whole thing. (Via Photon Courier.)

Update: I’m back on the laptop, as the cheap batteries in my desktop’s wireless keyboard just died, and I don’t have any more that size (AAA — not counting the one that rolled under my sofa, and I think when I finally get it out from under there I’ll throw it out). I think I’ll be purchasing a regular plug-in keyboard for the desktop for situations just such as this.

10 thoughts on “Something to read while I find my brain

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      But wasn’t the Wall Street Journal the paper with the notorious video of the editorial staff sitting around and mocking Sarah Palin or conservatives or something like that? Dang it now I can’t find it — but there was a big hullaballoo about IIRC.

  1. david foster

    Don’t remember seeing that…’twould be disappointing if so…

    I sense that snob-ism has greatly increased in this country over the last decade or so…possibly a reaction to threats of status loss, among print journalists, for instance…

  2. Hector Owen

    The book looks like fun. I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the tip.

    The link to Photon Courier does not work because the hash-long number part of the address is doubled. Should be this. The doubled version is what is displayed at the site, but … It’s clearly another one of those Blogger tricks, similar to the one where you have to insert the letter “c” between the hash and the long number when linking an individual comment.

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      It seems to be some kind of problem with the Blogspot template he’s using. I think it’s one of the old templates; they’ve updated the way their site layouts work and I’ve noticed people who still use the old “classic” layout often have problems like this.

  3. jc

    Yeah, the guy might as well have been a part time English teacher for Berlitz. Oh, sorry, my bad, that would be Jmes Joyce. Or try to be a physician and a novelist. Oops, Chekov, or Walker Percy. Why can’t people be satisfied with their prole status?

  4. david foster

    I’ve been having problems with Blogger for a couple of years…in addition to the weird archive format, the search feature doesn’t work (which I would think be a little embarrassing given that their parent company is Google, but evidently not)…not sure whether I should make another attempt to fix the archive thing or just move to another platform.

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      I don’t know if switching to the new layout (if you try to change your template it will ask you to do that) will help things, especially when it comes to searching inside your blog. I must admit I’ve pretty much given up on search engines — I have never been satisfied with any search script any of my blogs have ever run, and using Google, Bing, or any of the other search engines has always been hit-and-miss. Then again, I don’t have much patience when it comes to search phrases etc.

      That being said, SEO optimization seems to be the latest big thing, and WordPress is big into that. You might try converting to — they’re free, and you don’t have to set anything up on your own server. (Though anyone who has set up several WordPress blogs over the years — ahem — could throw a blog up for you on your own server space should you ever decide to purchase any. Ahem.) On the other hand. (the free blog hosting site, that is) has some restrictions Blogspot doesn’t — for instance, you can’t set up any advertising, not even a Paypal link, unless you upgrade to their pay service.

  5. Anne B.

    I dunno, Andrea – that review didn’t sound snobbish to me at all. Yes, the reviewer remarks that the author has never attended a writing workshop, and has a real-world job doing something else. But I saw that more as a “See? You don’t have to live in an academic cocoon to write good fiction” rather than a sneer.

    1. Andrea Harris Post author

      It’s hard to tell the tone of this review. You could say, if you were generous, that the writer meant to praise not condemn the author. But I think that the idea that authors can’t actually have non-artistic day jobs should have died with Franz Kafka, Insurance Agent By Day, Writer Of Surreal Stories By Night. If not with all those other authors whose lives, mostly lived doing mundane day jobs to put food on the table and who scribbled in their spare time, extend back into antiquity. It’s a stale idea that no one should even have to remind people is mostly not true.

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