Saturday, December 29, 2007

From the Bookshelf

[The psychiatrist] went on to say . . . that Lord Macaulay's first words had not come until he was four; a lady had spilt hot tea on him at a party, and he had said, drawing back a little from her solicitous caress: Thank you, Madam, the agony is somewhat abated.
Randall Jarrell, Pictures from an Institution

I picked this up having read somewhere that the novel is, in its treatment of university life, similar to the works of Robertson Davies. Being a rabid enthusiast of the late Canadian master's writing, I bought a copy; I've read almost everything Davies ever wrote and am anxiously casting about for substitutes. Unfortunately, Jarrell's writing style is nothing like Davies's whatsoever; the one is obviously an American poet, and the other is obviously a Canadian journalist with pronounced Anglophile tendencies. It's still good, though; uproariously funny in a very dry sort of way. You should buy it.

And, culled from the apophthegms of the Online Fathers: Corinthians Chain Letter.

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