“In fact, I think Plath has turned out to be a much better poet than Hughes ever was. Of course he won all the prizes, and his name is on the stones in Poet’s Corner and OK, he’s pretty good, but not that good, whereas she gets better and better.” Granta interviews the critic Al Alvarez, onetime friend of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.
“It turned out that the most successful Christmas records tended to have two common qualities: catchy, upbeat melodies and imagined unlikely scenarios for anthropomorphized yuletide characters.” Move over, Frosty! It’s beginning to look a lot like … an unseasonably warm December. Here is a brief history of Christmas songs and of their often-surprising rise from corny kitsch to global sensation.
The Telegraph links all their reviews of Booker longlist titles from one page. If you want to get a look at these literary hotshots, there's a photo gallery, too.Ed has read Chuck Klosterman, and he's not very happy about it.The First Post, a new British online magazine leads with John Irving's book reviewer-bashing.
At Big Other, Greg Gerke reads William H. Gass's The Tunnel and looks at language, the controversy over the book, and how the vulgar and the beautiful relate.