Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Heat, Riots, Literature

The heavy heavy heat is modified today by an overcast sky, which makes my office less of an oven, so I'm here today, having spent much of yesterday downstairs with my NYU papers. NYU is tonight, and I've also got a well-subscribed online class underway, followed by Hindman, so altogether it is not a relaxing, let-your-mind wander summer. I'm making a little money, working pretty hard also for the Coalition and the Social Action Committee at Ethical.

Yesterday I also cut grass and biked (slowly), but the extreme heat, up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or so, doesn't seem to bother me when I'm active, just when I'm sitting at the computer.

There's a really interesting series in the Star-Ledger about the Newark Riots/Rebellion/Insurrection of 1967, just 40 years ago at which point I was finishing up my year in Norfolk as a VISTA volunteer.

I'm reading Orhan Pamuk's Snow, and it is an admirable book, but I'm getting a sense of it's going on too long. Or is it me with my lack of patience for books (see the article in todays New York Times about how Harry Potter fever has not translated into children reading other books). The whole changeover from books as the major form of entertainment is tough going for those of us with marginal careers in literature. On the one hand, if the publishers were making the right connections to small reading publics, we'd probably be doing as well as we were ten or twenty years ago, or forty, but they're not--they're still after the block busters. I'm going to do an issue of my newsletter on this.

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