Monday, December 28, 2009

Odds & ends

Back on the internet, which shows no signs of having missed my presence, rather like a cat in that respect. A few notable things that popped up during the hiatus:

  • Epcot turned out to sell Linie aquavit, whose nature (and pronunciation) merit a click-through.

  • Over at the NYRB, Timothy Snyder shines a penlight at an obscure Ukrainian clergyman who "welcomed the Nazis and saved Jews," and Rory Stewart has a much more measured response to Obama's Afghanistan policy than Garry Wills's inane bleating.

  • Adam Begley has a charming NYT article on Stendhal and Parma, though Begley's laud for the execrable Richard Howard translation is unfortunate. (Avoid also the old Penguin, though the new one by Sturrock is all right; I prefer Mauldon's version for the Oxford World's Classics.) No one familiar with Stendhal will be surprised by Begley's opening:
    From a practical point of view, “The Charterhouse of Parma” makes a lousy guidebook. An ardent fan of all things Italian, and a brilliant, impressionistic travel writer, Stendhal could have bequeathed to the ages an unforgettable prose portrait of Parma, the small, sleepy, provincial northern Italian city where most of the action of his great novel takes place. But instead he made it up; his Parma is imaginary.
    Why trouble over petits faits?

No comments:

Post a Comment