Monday Medley

What we read while getting nostalgic about driving the New York State Thruway in the Summer of ’69:

  • We basically should just tell you to read the New York Times Magazine each week, but when Political Science gets a feature-length article, it merits additional mention: Check out this article chronicling Political Science Professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita’s impressive modeling to predict Iranian nuclear behavior, among other interesting tidbits.
  • Want to know why to you have to shut-off your iPod during take-off? If you’ve ever flown on a plane before, you should find this series of interviews by the Freakonomics blog with an anonymous commercial pilot quite interesting.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tim on August 17, 2009 at 5:10 PM

    For the record, the egregious mistake is patronizing Faulkner with his inclusion on such a list. Bill Faulkner is so far beyond any of these guys, it’s kind of an insult.

    Reply

  2. Posted by John S on August 17, 2009 at 7:33 PM

    How can Faulkner be the greatest writer ever if he’s not even the best American novelist of the 20th century?

    Reply

    • Posted by Tim on August 17, 2009 at 7:38 PM

      Most people who ask that question would add a parentheses that states who they think the best American novelist of the 20th century is.

      Reply

  3. Any list that describes Hemingway with a sentence containing the phrase “like his less talented peer F. Scott Fitzgerald” too clearly reveals its inadequacy. I’m sure Alex would agree, if he owned an internets.

    Reply

  4. And there’s no Camus. And Tolstoy is too low down compared to stupid Nabokov. And I’m hungry.

    Reply

    • Posted by Josh on August 19, 2009 at 1:45 AM

      “stupid Nabokov”: We know that Jane Chong has not looked at this comment thread of late…

      Reply

      • Posted by Tim on August 20, 2009 at 1:55 AM

        I can’t kill Nabokov; after all, he is the author of some of my favorite sentences (“It was delicious meeting you” being the one off the top of my head). It’s interesting to see Tolstoy below Russian writers such as Chekhov and Turgenev; part of me wonders if it’s a class thing. Tolstoy, unlike most of his countrymen (and esp. his contemporary ones), wasn’t a revolutionary. It appears he’s been penalized for that, at least by this list.

        I’m just glad, Tom, that you didn’t go after Fyodor. He is, in John’s terms, beyond reproach.

        Reply

  5. Posted by janechong on August 20, 2009 at 1:18 AM

    Nabokov is gibberish to readers who resist complicated art. Anyone able to understand a fraction of his work can at least muster up an appreciation for his brilliance. That is all.

    Also, weighing Fitzgerald against Hemingway is commonplace enough, and declaring that Fitzgerald comes up short has somehow become a safe pronouncement to make. That doesn’t make either critical move any less absurd.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Josh on August 20, 2009 at 4:09 PM

    “Nabokov is gibberish to readers who resist complicated art. Anyone able to understand a fraction of his work can at least muster up an appreciation for his brilliance. That is all.”
    -Jane Chong’s way of halting any potential for future friendship between herself and Tom.

    Reply

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