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Showing posts from November 13, 2022

A stomach ache in the heart: American frauds

  We are all, as Americans – I speak as one of the flock – still at the low stage of civilisation of one of the Mississippi towns in Huck Finn. By a fortunate coincidence, I’ve been reading Huck Finn each night for the last month   to Adam before he goes to sleep. We have an agreement – a page or three of Huck, then A. reads to him from the Vam-wolf-zom book. We are now deep into the Duke and Dauphin’s   greatest fraud, the imitation of an English minister and his deaf and dumb brother to bedazzle a rube Mississippi Valley family and worm out their goods. It is one of the great episodes. I’m revisiting it just as frauds of a larger scale but basically with the same mirthworthy unctuousness   – the FTX fraud, the Elon Musk twitter jamboree – are leading a dance though the papers, and, more importantly, through Twitter. Twitter has taken up the burden of the tabloid, because the newspapers – the WAPO, the NYT – have become so country club that they don’t know what to do with such rich

JR and SBF - It is Gaddis's world, we just live here

  In the popular sport of guessing which novel, philosopher, poet etc. will be read a hundred years from now, the answer seems to be mostly – the novelist, philosopher, poet that I like. One likes to think one’s likes will be immortalized by others who are like oneself. However, I can well imagine a novel and novelist I don’t like at all being read one hundred years from now, and one I adore not being read one hundred years from now. Why not? The community of readers in which I find myself is, I hope, going to socially reproduce. I do my best by writing to help this process along. However, as I am a wee little pea and my writing is certainly not going to be read one hundred years from now, or even one year from now, I am not optimistic about my contribution to the general culture of sweetness and light. It is here that I flash the tears emoticon and move on. This is why I can’t say if J.R. will be one of those novels, like Moby Dick, that re-emerge after a hundred years as one of t