Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The TLS of July 20, 2007

It won't mean very much, I suppose, unless you subscribe or have easy access to a copy, but this week's TLS of July 20, 2007 is a very fine issue on many different matters. Claude Rawson's cover essay on wit in the 18th century is terrific. Likewise Adrian Tahourdin's review of Pierre Bayard's slightly scandalous argument that it is okay to opine on books we haven't read. (Let me add, however, as a sometime TLS reviewer, that I have never reviewed a book for the TLS or anywhere else that I haven't read cover to cover - on the other hand, I've never been a weekly reviewer, "reading" and cranking out something every few days - I have always had the luxury of taking my own sweet time. This has sometimes led to abuse of the privilege of time - and I admit I am late on a couple of things for TLS now - but I can say I've read everything I've reviewed.) And Justin Belplate's essay on Milan Kundera's The Curtain is also very thoughtful. It's a terrific issue.

Thinking about book reviews ... I once received an invitation, which very regrettably I wasn't able to follow up, to join a very special book club - one in which you discussed books of which you had read only the reviews, not the actual book itself. A stunningly good idea - and honest, too!

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