by Tyler Cowen
on January 31, 2013 at 12:46 pm
1. Tim Harford podcast on Thomas Schelling, audio here.
2. New issue of Econ Journal Watch.
3. On the history of curry.
4. Finnegans Wake a hit in China, sort of.
5. Motown and civil society.
6. How much money does the Zimbabwean government have left? And the wisdom of Michael Kinsley.
‘ How much money does the Zimbabwean government have left? ‘
As much as it wants to print – which is exactly the same advantage the U.S. is supposed to possess compared to those poor countries staring eurogeddon in the face.
Not anymore… The days of trillion dollar bills are gone. Zimbabwe uses the South African rand now.
+1, they brought economic security by using a ‘hard’ currency, but that also means they have to live within a budget.
Except the U.S. actually has that advantage. And how much inflation?
I gave an aspirin to a man who had died of a heart attack, and he didn’t come back to life. So I guess those claims that aspirin reduces heart disease are a myth.
Zimbabwe run out of money to buy the paper to print it on a few years ago. Not an inspiring example.
Would you really call 8,000 books sold, in a country of almost a billion, a “craze” (granted, many are poor and/or in villages, etc.)
I think most of the Finnegan’s Wake consumption is conspicuous – and will forever sit on the bookshelf for all guests to see in the shadow of a Western painting and hosts under the influence of expensive French wine.
Or what I call a typical Thursday evening.
re #4. Finnegan’s Wake in Chinese? Yeah, I might have more luck with that.
LOL. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/4xeuav5 (redirect from the excellent blog by GM Spraggett: http://kevinspraggett.blogspot.gr ) D.H. Lawrence on James Joyce (1928) “My God, what a clumsy olla putrida James Joyce is! Nothing but old fags and cabbage stumps of quotations from the Bible and the rest stewed in the juice of deliberate, journalistic dirty-mindedness.”
Heh. Good stuff. I think I enjoyed Amis on Cervantes best.
Nevertheless, out of the million or so intelligible words that can be ascribed to Joyce, the combinations of a few tens of thousands of them are better than the combinations of words that all but the most ambitious prose writers even aspire to.
The problem is finding the good combinations amongst the dross and the over-clever and the over-inebriated combinations. Of course Joyce’s world view was silly; he was a spoiled quasi-academic seriously agnostic smarty-pants in a brief but well-remembered era that worshiped agnostic high-V people who over-focused on quasi-academic achievement;
but the world views of Gomez and Basil (Addams and Fawlty) were just as silly and as artists qua artists I don’t hold that against them …
I had trouble parsing this, but I think you’re saying that Joyce was every bit as much an artist as two fake people.
I recognize Joyce’s genius- I mostly think the backbiting in the links was funny- I mean, I like Faulkner and Twain.
I read recently of a contrast between Nabokov and Joyce as writers that I thought was apt. Nabokov puts you in his best chair and serves you his best wine as a reader- the soul of courtesy. Joyce doesn’t even answer the front door- you have to see your own way in and around.
Yeah. I like these two back to back quotes:
15. William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway
“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”
14. Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner
“Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”
What do people who are proud of disliking Joyce’s experimentalism think of Dubliners, or Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man? Awkwardly for this group, Joyce perfected each form he tackled, from Chekhovian, realist short stories to the far reaches of meaning in Finnegans Wake. Serious readers should admire at least some portions of his output.
“Awkwardly” for people who don’t like Joyce, you think he is good?
Do you think that ‘The Dead’ or some of the other entries in Dubliners are not good short stories? I was just trying to point out that Joyce wrote in a variety of styles. So disliking the style of Finnegans Wake is not sufficient to say he was a bad writer. I’ll admit that wading through the entirety of FW is probably a waste of time.
see my comment above. I read a lot of stuff that most people find ‘hard’, but, in my opinion, Finnegan’s Wake is in a league of its own as far as impenetrability. I reckon I’ll make another run at it at some point (in English), but I have never been so completely routed by a book.
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