Assorted links

1. Nabokov in Berlin.

2. Diane Coyle picks some favorite books.

3. William James writes to Henry James.

4. She doesn't look Scandinavian to me (click through photo gallery), but I guess people from New Jersey will believe anything.

5. Very bad sentences.


The "Scandinavian" is suspect "Cynthia Murphy." The woman in the photos is "Anna Chapman." But I guess GMU professors lack reading comprehension.

kebko, you got a problem with that?

The comment on "not looking Scandinavian" is either an obscure reference to which I am not familiar, or a curiously ignorant snark. (Not about New Jersey.)

A red-headed Russian spy who references video games in her online pictures? (See item #4)

Why bother having her go through the fake routines of living in some house? It seems like a large % of American male demographic would gladly just tell her anything she needed to know right up front.

I enjoyed reading the posts linked to in 1-3. I've just purchased the Seabright book, and found references to three of my favorite books, Despair, The Golden Bowl, and On Being Blue, while visiting the blogs linked to. And then I came to 5.

If my novels ever get published, I've no doubt that I'll be claiming a few Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest awards. I was feeling chipper, only to end up melancholy. It's true, that's my usual day, but I endeavor to reach noon before the inevitable shift. Not today, it seems.

A quote from the WaPo article:

When agents covertly searched Foley's bank safety deposit box in 2001...

Assuming that isn't a misprint, it makes you wonder why they chose this particular timing to finally get around to rounding up these folks. Maybe to send a subtle message to Al Quaeda that we're onto their sleeper agents too?

If they believed her when she said that she had "a Scandinavian accent"...

I did once witness the following conversation:
"I didn't know you spoke Danish!"
"[long pause] I speak Scandinavian."
Dane: "She speaks Scandinavian with a strong Norwegian accent."

William and Henry James: the philosopher of Pragmatism remained at
Harvard, the alma mater of both, wrote books which one can read
with a daylight mind (not that he does not understand mystery); Henry
called England home through much of his later life, probed the collision or
encounter between American and European sensibilites, in intricate
sentences (a language which can be called Jamesian). The two clearly
loved each other while having quite different perspectives on human
experience. No distinguished writer revises his mode of writing
in response to what someone else might enjoy.
Incidentally, there are thoughtful critics who have felt that no
writer really writes well living permanently outside his own country.

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