Taking Sides: the TLS v. the LRB

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which is the greatest book-review-tastic magazine?

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:46 (twenty years ago) link

When the LRB is good, it's very good. But I find the TLS's range much better.

Jonathan Z. (Joanthan Z.), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:07 (twenty years ago) link

This *again*, Vicar? Didn't you ask it on ILE?

I am not saying you should not ask it again, though.

the bellefox, Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:12 (twenty years ago) link

Okalright TLS but, well i didn't take it too far but somehow decided NYRB is in fact best....i also rate bookforum this much

Scott & Anya (thoia), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:14 (twenty years ago) link

The LRB out of your question, the Vicar.

I very much enjoyed reading the book reviews in the CULTURE section of the Guardian though - but think they could have been far more bilious wrt BERGDORF BLONDES. I admit I didn't read any reviews which took up a whole page ftb I was very very hungover and the print was jumping about in front of my eyes (not in a good way).

Sarah (starry), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 13:16 (twenty years ago) link

The LRB has slipped right down my list now that they've cut their free year's subscription down to four free issues only.

I like the LRB
Because if you're me
The LRB's free

Because some bloke I live with is always subscribed to it. It is the real reason I don't live alone.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 14:44 (twenty years ago) link


kenchen, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 13:06 (twenty years ago) link

"Because some bloke I live with is always subscribed to it. It is the real reason I don't live alone."

ha ha! that is perfect. My bloke bought me a Granta subscription several years ago, and that always keeps him in my good graces.
TLS or LRB - in America, it's hard to find either. I haven't tried, but are they available on line? I read the NYT book review and shall be receiving the NYRB soon.
I find it amazing that all you/us posters have time to read reviews as well as books. Sometimes I get completely befuddled by reading a review of a book by an author of a book that I wanted to read. Does that make sense?

aimurchie, Wednesday, 19 May 2004 13:54 (twenty years ago) link

I did work experience at the TLS. They were kinda mean.

Gregory Henry (Gregory Henry), Wednesday, 19 May 2004 17:24 (twenty years ago) link

For prim, pedantic dowdiness, the TLS can't be beat; I especially like the way they (used to?) cite the full publication information for illustration captions--including the page count. Sweet.

Is the LRB's bookshop still in business?

Stephen X (Stephen X), Friday, 21 May 2004 16:57 (twenty years ago) link

They do still advertise their bookshop, so I assume it is still open. And aimurchie, if you are a subscriber to the LRB you can access their online archives. Or if you're friends with a subscriber you can get them to access them for you.

Most people I know get their LRB in the post, so availability isn't really an issue.

Gregory, dish!

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Friday, 21 May 2004 19:18 (twenty years ago) link

I hate to show my ignorance, but what are LRB & TLS?

Carol, Friday, 21 May 2004 20:51 (twenty years ago) link

Which do you think would be more quixotic these days--opening a new bookshop or a CD store?

Can you name any other independent bookstores that've opened in the past 3-4 years? God bless 'em, but I'm not sure how they do it.

Stephen X (Stephen X), Saturday, 22 May 2004 01:31 (twenty years ago) link

I think the LRB (London Review of Books) gets some kind of Arts grant to keep it going, so maybe its bookshop does too.

The TLS is the Times Literary Supplement, Carol.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Saturday, 22 May 2004 22:05 (twenty years ago) link

three weeks pass...

There's free stuff to read on both of 'em, and it's often really good.
I'm just glad they're both there, but major props to whichever one had James Wood review Elizabeth Costello; I haven't even read it yet, but that article has been one of the highlights of my year.
Um, yeah. Must get out of the library more often...

Margo, Thursday, 17 June 2004 04:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The LRB's recent review of John Fowles' Journals was a great scathing review. It must be so satisfying to get your teeth into a really rotten book every so often.

accentmonkey (accentmonkey), Friday, 18 June 2004 12:05 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Hey! Has anyone filled in their LRB QUESTIONNAIRE yet?

I have!

I want to know what you said, eg about underrated and overrated writers!

the bellefox, Thursday, 2 March 2006 13:12 (eighteen years ago) link

what survey is this, dude?

DV (dirtyvicar), Friday, 3 March 2006 11:01 (eighteen years ago) link

What survey do you think? The one that I mentioned, in my post! It came in an envelope of its own, last week.

Maybe it is not available in the Republic of Letters, I mean, Ireland.

the finefox, Monday, 6 March 2006 14:24 (eighteen years ago) link

I filled this in on behalf of the missus (who is the subscriber) the other day.

Underrated: Norman Rush.
Overrated: Ian McEwan.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Monday, 6 March 2006 15:03 (eighteen years ago) link

I never got this survey in the mail, but I'm a US subscrib er.

kenchen, Monday, 6 March 2006 19:25 (eighteen years ago) link

twelve years pass...

Given how critical I've been of Colm Toibin, it is fair to say: his recent LRB review of Thom Gunn is one of the better critical pieces I can ever remember reading from him. He knows the poetry, compares collections, makes it personal without being too self-indulgent.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 23 October 2018 09:28 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Very good:


xyzzzz__, Monday, 22 June 2020 16:15 (three years ago) link

It is.

Future England Captain (Tom D.), Monday, 22 June 2020 17:21 (three years ago) link

Another wonderful Katherine Rundell

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 25 June 2020 02:09 (three years ago) link

"And it highlighted the fact that over the 10-year period, the London Review of Books did not publish a single review of a non-white poetry book, or the writing of a single non-white poetry critic. A total of 105 poetry articles by 39 poetry critics were published by the LRB over this period.

“All 39 were white. Those 105 articles reviewed 127 different books and all were by white poets,” says the report. “No other magazine in the UK has published more articles without a single non-white critic. It is the only magazine in our data set to have never published a review of a non-white poet.”

The Ledbury analysis points out that since 2009, eight non-white poets have won the UK’s major poetry awards, the TS Eliot and the Forward prize, including Derek Walcott, Claudia Rankine and Ocean Vuong. “The LRB has reviewed none of these,” it says."


xyzzzz__, Thursday, 25 June 2020 22:54 (three years ago) link

As July begins, I have reached the first LRB of May.

Still reading articles about the pandemic from the beginnings or first half of its duration thus far. It felt more dramatic then.

the pinefox, Thursday, 2 July 2020 09:01 (three years ago) link

The poetry that gets printed by the lrb is generally from a very small number of poets (Anne Carson, John Ashbery (rip) August klienzahler, Rae armantrout) some I love (eg the first two) some I quite dislike (the second two). But like the rest of what they publish its for the mostpart from within a very narrowly defined cultural milieu. Hard to even imagine them going as off-piste to include more experimental contemporaries of armantrout (Susan howe say). In part the narrowness of the lrb is part of what can make it good. The article they published about Theresa may is one of my favourite and it's insights only make sense from within the same parochial 'i went to Oxford' perspective that unites their core staff. Patricia Lockwood is a real oddity and her regular articles delight in contrasting with a house style that can feel oppressively uniform in its tics. It says something of what is so simultaneously monstrous and refreshing about the lrb that its obvious that reflecting greater 'diversity' wouldn't even occur to them.

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 July 2020 10:49 (three years ago) link

I think I'll never catch up.

But then I think: I won't bother reading Jacqueline Rose. And I don't need to bother with this preposterously long, utterly typical Colm Toibin article about letters that Robert Lowell wrote about having an affair.

the pinefox, Thursday, 2 July 2020 14:14 (three years ago) link

Lol I remember that one. I couldn't help thinking that I would love to read an article of similar length about someone in another profession's utter shit-headedness towards an ex. A profession like hairdressing or database management. I don't know why writers' private lives are supposed to be particularly interesting. I know the justification is that Lowell wrote a book of poems about it, and that it was supposed to be a particularly scandalous conflation of the private and the public etc but frankly the length of the article and the detail therein just felt like wallowing in exactly the worst parts of the whole affair.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 2 July 2020 15:02 (three years ago) link

Lowell is boring but toibins writing on him is appalling drivel

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 July 2020 15:44 (three years ago) link

Haven't read the particular article you're referencing

plax (ico), Thursday, 2 July 2020 15:44 (three years ago) link

And I don't need to bother with this preposterously long, utterly typical Colm Toibin article about letters that Robert Lowell wrote about having an affair.

lol that is a pretty fair summation

I don't know why writers' private lives are supposed to be particularly interesting.

Everyone loves gossip + parasocial relations with celebs.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 2 July 2020 15:47 (three years ago) link

I read that Tobin piece and concur, but for the bits on Hardwick, whose writing I've been getting to know more in the last year or so.

The piece by Rose on Camus is really fine and you all should read it. The way it integrates covid with a novel that has had a bizarre re-discovery.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 2 July 2020 15:51 (three years ago) link

Tracer Hand's post above is my favourite on ILX for some time.

the pinefox, Friday, 3 July 2020 08:41 (three years ago) link

LRB used to (might still do) advertise internships only in its own classifieds. I guess it saves money, but doesn't do much for diversity.

fetter, Friday, 3 July 2020 09:31 (three years ago) link

Thank you pinefox! :)

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Friday, 3 July 2020 09:38 (three years ago) link

I don't know why writers' private lives are supposed to be particularly interesting.

They are to other writers it would appear. Especially Phil Space.

Future England Captain (Tom D.), Friday, 3 July 2020 10:41 (three years ago) link

i think LRB's been quite meaty recently but but my reason for reading tends towards "odd perhaps useful fact i was till now unaware of" rather than "deeper understanding of specific topic or person close to my heart" -- and on the whole i prefer the fact to be historical rather than personal these days

i vaguely had an urge to write a letter abt runciman's whitewashy takedown of rahm emmanuel (but i was too busy writing abt adam ant) (who still doesn't feature often enough in this so-called magazine)

(i sent them an actual pitch a couple of months back but got no reply) (i am very very bad at pitches)

mark s, Friday, 3 July 2020 10:54 (three years ago) link

i like jacqueline rose but also tend to leave her big long pieces to "read later" as i assume they will be intellectually demanding -- and then entirely forget to read them

mark s, Friday, 3 July 2020 10:55 (three years ago) link

adam ant) (who still doesn't feature often enough in this so-called magazine)


the pinefox, Friday, 3 July 2020 11:04 (three years ago) link

it reads like the pitch i sent was abt adam ant but it wasn't (one of several problems with it)

mark s, Friday, 3 July 2020 11:06 (three years ago) link

"The poetry that gets printed by the lrb is generally from a very small number of poets (Anne Carson, John Ashbery (rip) August klienzahler, Rae armantrout) some I love (eg the first two) some I quite dislike (the second two)."

Btw I have noticed more people whose poetry I've heard of on twitter being published in the lrb in the last year or so.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 3 July 2020 11:21 (three years ago) link

"i will never log off"

mark s, Friday, 3 July 2020 12:03 (three years ago) link

I came across this piece from Al Alavarez's (someone I hear about now and then but never in an interesting enough way to actually read up on) ex-wife today, reviewing Al's account of their marriage:


It has that tediousness of the literary brand of gossip, but its a one of a kind too.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 5 July 2020 22:02 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

enjoying the big piece on robert louis stephenson and henry james in bournemouth -- which i think does the spadework to establish how a long gaze at entwined biographies can in fact be illuminating

(if only bcz it notes -- claims? -- that henry jekyll of jekyll and hyde fame is in fact a. based on his close friend james ftb same initials and b. kind of a critique of james' attitudes to the world and to writing?)

(also bcz fucksake it's fascinating that these two writers were so close)

mark s, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 11:26 (three years ago) link

i thought the hardwick reaches of the lowell-affair essay were also interesting, tho very VERY buried in much too much material abt lowell, who always elicits a massive #whocare from me -- not that i give much of a fuck abt poetry at all but with him it's like "what if beat poetry but dully posh?"

mark s, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 11:28 (three years ago) link

Might fuck about with the Christopher Rick's archive:


(Read the piece on Empson's Using Biography last week, which I did enjoy. I finished Gulliver's Travels recently so his piece on Swift is just in time)

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 11:39 (three years ago) link

A lot of swearing going on here.

I very much agree with Mark S's post except his spelling of RLS's name.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 11:43 (three years ago) link

Is RLS in the TLS or the LRB?

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 11:50 (three years ago) link

I finish, at last, LRB 18.5.2023. This included rereading the whole of Adam Mars-Jones on James Purdy, which is often so good that I can imagine I'd like to read it again one day, when I've forgotten it for a second time. I can't think of any reviewer so fastidious with phrasing. Even down to the last paragraph's throwaway notion of 'some obscure outfit operating in the wilds of Godalming'.

the pinefox, Saturday, 19 August 2023 07:44 (nine months ago) link

I missed this in print. Aged 80, TE still writing judiciously.


the pinefox, Saturday, 19 August 2023 07:55 (nine months ago) link

Oh, now I want to read that article on Purdy. Love his work.

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Saturday, 19 August 2023 11:55 (nine months ago) link

Lol that review was hilarious.

Amos’s character shifts sharply, no longer a pure lover destined for one man but a seducer across a broad front. He captivates a millionaire with no previous responsiveness to his own sex, but who is soon saying, ‘I just love you, that’s all there is to it, and I could drink your come in goblets,’ a style of compliment that is unlikely to catch on.

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Saturday, 19 August 2023 12:14 (nine months ago) link

Very gd piece on Richter, and how this critic thinks and writes of him. There is quite a bit on Capitalist Realism and the 'third way'.


It's one of these pieces where you know a bit about it beforehand, and you learn just a bit more afterwards.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 29 August 2023 22:34 (nine months ago) link

LRB 10.8.2023. An issue containing much bad, irritating or boring material.

I started reading Malcolm Bull on Gerhard Richter, couldn't bear it, was glad to realise I didn't really have to go on.

James Meek in Ukraine at least worthy and informative, though not enjoyable. Reliable Tom Stevenson agreeably critical of a UK diplomat.

Worst thing in the issue must be Seamus Perry's superfluous, pointless lengthy display of indulgence towards Evelyn Waugh, who comes across (though Perry doesn't seem troubled) as arrogant, obnoxious, superficial and delusional. Space wasted that could have been given to others who don't get representation.

The one unusual positive: Randall Kennedy on affirmative action, writing with lawyerly care and rigour about the issue and advancing his own view. None of the usual slack, self-indulgent LRB rhetoric, just clear statements adding up to persuasive arguments. I could wish that much more writing, in places like the LRB, was like this.

the pinefox, Sunday, 3 September 2023 16:29 (nine months ago) link

Paul Keegan's piece in the latest LRB reviewing the Penguin compilation of French short stories is really thorough, diligent: about the stories and their authors, what is missing, what shouldn't be in, the sequencing among other editorial choices (criticising an LRB contributor now and then!), it's many varieties of short story, both from the earliest days of French literature to the present, both from France and it's colonies.

Really showing the world here.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 4 September 2023 20:45 (nine months ago) link

I read a recent TLS, including Oliver Herford on Browning's THE RING & THE BOOK in a new scholarly edition from Longman, via Routledge.

The review was very well turned and communicated what Browning's poem is about. So now I know something I didn't.

the pinefox, Monday, 11 September 2023 16:00 (nine months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Good low-key clowning of Peter Singer by Lorna Finlayson, and the best criticism of his basic enterprise that I've come across.

behold the thump (ledge), Monday, 2 October 2023 07:38 (eight months ago) link

I found myself in a rather Pinefoxian mood disapproving of all the swearing.

Piedie Gimbel, Monday, 2 October 2023 07:53 (eight months ago) link

some people *are* arseholes though!

behold the thump (ledge), Monday, 2 October 2023 08:23 (eight months ago) link

Have just come across this 2001essay via twitter:

Halfway through, it's astonishing..


xyzzzz__, Monday, 2 October 2023 19:05 (eight months ago) link

do I need to read about some fucking orwell y/n

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 6 October 2023 14:35 (eight months ago) link

i know colin burrow is is a bit deprecated round here but tbh i enjoyed his dyspeptic scepticism on this overworked topic

also i liked learning that mr decency planned tortures for his enemies in the bath of a morning: i count myself to sleep sheep-style by imagining the terrible ends of mine (includes no ilxors)

mark s, Friday, 6 October 2023 14:43 (eight months ago) link

Have just come across this 2001essay via twitter:

Halfway through, it's astonishing..


a friend of mine posted this in a poets Discord about two years ago— it is really intense!!

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Sunday, 8 October 2023 22:04 (eight months ago) link

Yeah, read this over the weekend. Wow. A couple of lines from Masud floored me ('have you ever thought about killing yourself? You wouldn't know who to kill' being the most devastating). Made me think of similar things that were said about Lacan. What a monstrous prick.

I would prefer not to. (Chinaski), Monday, 9 October 2023 19:15 (eight months ago) link

Amazed he re-built his life after that.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 9 October 2023 19:39 (eight months ago) link

Piece on Schulz really good on Jewish writing and thought in decaying European empire, as well as the strange afterlife of his visual art.

Wiltold Gombrowicz’s and Bruno Schulz's mutual appreciation across the years.

Gombrowicz said they 'were effectively conspirators'. pic.twitter.com/MVM2JLaTQO

— Brian Davey (@b_davey) October 18, 2023

xyzzzz__, Friday, 20 October 2023 20:41 (seven months ago) link

Adam Shatz of @LRB blocked me because I asked why they would not invite a Palestinian to write about their conditions. https://t.co/vabUkolY0l pic.twitter.com/f93DfqxJ28

— Abdalhadi Alijla عبد الهادي العجلة (@alijla2021) October 21, 2023

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 21 October 2023 20:48 (seven months ago) link

one month passes...

Patricia Lockwood meets the Pope

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 November 2023 14:07 (six months ago) link

wake me up when she meets the pinefox :)

mark s, Wednesday, 22 November 2023 14:09 (six months ago) link

I found it typically sparky at the sentence level but strangely hollow or formless. I suppose it is just a diary piece. In the same issue the piece about Switzerland's erstwhile goiter problem was much more interesting.

organ doner (ledge), Wednesday, 29 November 2023 08:59 (six months ago) link

Lockwood at her lolrandom! worst. I am now desperate for a social situation into which I can drop my Swiss goitre knowledge; it will probably happen in about 8 yrs' time, when I've forgotten most of the detail.

fetter, Monday, 4 December 2023 13:57 (six months ago) link

yeah lockwood is best when you can tell she is trying to write something accurately that you can assess - like her updike piece. lolrandom! is a good description for when her zany descriptions are not ways of making strange something you already have some familiarity with. When she says somehting like 'I felt like a small child trying to imagine Mariah Carey lyrics in Spanish' (or whatever) this is totally pointless unless there's something it manages to weirdly nail. If you're relying on it for an account of something you don't know about already its less than helpful.

plax (ico), Monday, 4 December 2023 16:11 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

Just sorta looked through at the Xmas issue.

See Alan Bennett's life is apparently so boring that he hasn't written the diary. Pretty obvious read into this and it's kinda sad even though I never engaged with it

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:40 (five months ago) link

Otherwise Meek on Prestige TV is fine enough. It probably needed someone with a sharper grasp of US TV history to write it. Read fine but felt there were gaps I can't put my finger on rn.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:42 (five months ago) link

i believe it's a genuine normal diary, i.e. entries made daily at the time, so it probably is *written* -- just that he feels it doesn't catalogue anything worth publishing publicly

(agree re the sad read of the situation: he is 89 and not particularly strong or well)

the katherine mansfield essay is great (in that it relays what a bonkers weirdo* she seemed**, and that biographers have been unable to agree on which of the many tales she told abt herself are true and which false -- tbh i know her entirely from being one of the authors re-published by virago press in the 70s and 80s, i've never read a word)

*yes i know this is super unkind and dismissive of possible (indeed likely?) causative trauma, but she was not exactly a fount of kindness herself (e.g. towards her faithful companion ida)
**virginia woolf hated and envied her, in which feud i am already very much on mansfield's side, full story be damned

mark s, Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:52 (five months ago) link

(to be clear i have also read very little virginia woolf, im a total imposter when it comes to the literary canon)

mark s, Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:54 (five months ago) link

I skipped the Meek prestige TV article once he mentioned Miami Vice to illustrate pre-prestige commercial goodies vs baddies television when it's common knowledge that show is one of the forerunners of the prestige format and very much not about good triumphing over evil all the time. I don't even have any emotional investment in it but come on do your damn research.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:58 (five months ago) link

(adding: also to be clear i enjoy reading that The Greats™️ -- alexander pope, emily dickinson -- are often spiteful and petty articles, as i have a spiteful streak myself)

mark s, Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:00 (five months ago) link

Yeah, the Mansfield article is full of great details -

Ida ... tried to charge society girls for ‘scientific hair brushing’, which didn’t take off

My additional detail - John Middleton Murry's son was the SF author Richard Cowper

Ward Fowler, Thursday, 11 January 2024 12:14 (five months ago) link

Otherwise Meek on Prestige TV is fine enough. It probably needed someone with a sharper grasp of US TV history to write it. Read fine but felt there were gaps I can't put my finger on rn.

― xyzzzz__, Thursday, 11 January 2024 11:42 bookmarkflaglink

I felt this was pretty thin, a weak theory, and yes v gappy tbh. didn't cohere. might express that a bit more thoroughly, tho not sure i cbf'd tbh.

i like quotidian gossip so i usually enjoy diaries, Alan Bennett's included. does feel like we've seen the last of them.

and, not at all unrelated to the above, yes by god alexander pope had a spiteful side, but then that milieu was something else for cat and spite, libels, slanders and squibs etc all conducted more or less publicly. tremendous energy for it.

Fizzles, Sunday, 14 January 2024 11:54 (five months ago) link

The Mansfield piece was really good, should read a few short stories. I liked how she hated/had no time for the Bloomsbury set, apart from Woolf and even then it's sorta complicated.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 January 2024 10:34 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Rebecca Solnit on San Francisco in the new one is pretty dreadful. Not that I disagree with it but it is such a generic "tech ruined SF" piece it could have been written by ChatGPT.

oiocha, Wednesday, 31 January 2024 23:36 (four months ago) link

I am just going to come out and say that I think Solnit is an abysmal writer, always has been.

butt dumb tight my boners got boners (the table is the table), Thursday, 1 February 2024 00:46 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

This is such a great essay, on Sumerian lit:


xyzzzz__, Saturday, 17 February 2024 12:48 (three months ago) link

yeah loved that

truly humbled underdog (k3vin k.), Saturday, 17 February 2024 16:33 (three months ago) link

Really good side-by-side pieces on aspects (Technology and education) of the medieval/renaissance in the latest LRB. Automatons and Jesuits.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 24 February 2024 13:48 (three months ago) link

Jon Day on Ronnie O'Sullivan was fine, OK, though there is an aftertaste of an irritating, explanatory tone. As I know as much (if not more than the author, for a rare change) on snooker the odd omission really grates on me (Ronnie was considered a failure for a long time, like he was going to squander his talent, until he began to realise it and keep at it through advances in mental health provision and all round fitness which wasn't a thing in a lot of sport for a long time, which has kept him going in snooker a lot longer than otherwise.)

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 March 2024 13:12 (three months ago) link

Pankaj Mishra's piece is doing the rounds but it's also been taken apart in this thread. Linking to stuff on Primo Levi here.

I can't believe someone can be let print such nonsense in what's supposed to be a respected magazine. Levi of course never said that the Commentary thing "estinguished his will to live" in any serious way, I know all the interviews he did during the 80s. The Commentary article…

— Annibale (@Annibal97783312) March 3, 2024

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 3 March 2024 11:42 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Terry Eagleton: "The only good reason for being a socialist, apart from annoying people you don't like, is that you don't like to work".

It strikes me this would be more accurate if you replaced "being a socialist" with "posting to ILX".

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 10:14 (one month ago) link

it me

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 10:24 (one month ago) link

eagleton always better when you replace key parts of his sentences IME

mark s, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 10:24 (one month ago) link

i was going to post a note abt his recent hegel-related review in the LRB, which is full of sly nonsense lol, but i've been busy with work (which i don't like)

mark s, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 10:25 (one month ago) link

Trying to go one better: play with being a tankie, which angers absolutely everybody around you, and causes more work than its worth.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 10:29 (one month ago) link

haven't read a copy so i might be wrong, but something about the fence gives me a bad vibe

devvvine, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 11:54 (one month ago) link

the vibe is maybe oxbridge student mag for the hip london lit crowd

devvvine, Tuesday, 30 April 2024 11:56 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Essays really short at times. Gornick on the Village Voice - - besides the anecdote at the beginning - - felt really slim, full of things unsaid, maybe?

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 5 June 2024 11:35 (one week ago) link

feeling very seen in this essay on dark matter:
“WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), which might weigh anything between ten thousand and a million times more than an electron“

mark s, Wednesday, 5 June 2024 11:57 (one week ago) link

wait till you hear about p-branes

ledge, Wednesday, 5 June 2024 12:56 (one week ago) link

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