PopMatters has published my review of the journalist John Reader’s history of the potato, titled (surprisingly enough) Potato. If you’re going to read just one history of the potato, this probably shouldn’t be it.
Archive for May, 2009
Tags: Books, history of potatoes, John Reader, my reviews, PopMatters, reviews, The Potato
Tags: beard weight, beards, Gilbert Alter-Gilbert, poetry, poets ranked by beard weight
Via The Second Pass: at A Journey Round My Skull, Gilbert Alter-Gilbert offers “commentary” on The Language of the Beard, which he alleges to be a forgotten tome penned by “one Upton Uxbridge Underwood (1881 – 1937)…a deipnosophist, clubman, and literary miscellanist with a special interest in tonsorial subjects.” I suspect this book does not actually exist—but this post is wonderful all the same. It’s had me smiling wide all evening.
Excerpted from the post:
There is a direct correlation between personal appearance and artistic proficiency and integrity, or what, in the case of the bewhiskered brethren of the literary fraternity, he elsewhere calls “poetic gravity” or beard weight. It might be said, in short, that Underwood’s motto is the beard makes the bard.
The post includes evaluations of a number of poets by the weight of their beards, as well as classifications of their beards by type (“Italian False Goatee,” “Queen’s Brigade,” “Garibaldi Elongated,” “Claus-esque”). On Underwood’s scale, Walt Whitman scores a relatively paltry 22—well behind William Cullen Bryant (43), whose “Van Winkle” style beard is impressively full, but whose poetry doesn’t quite measure up to Whitman’s in my book. Perhaps Underwood’s scale needs a little tweaking. But then again, what do I know? My own beard most likely wouldn’t even outweigh that of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Tags: Amélie Nothomb, Books, fiction, my reviews, Tokyo Fiancée
Rain Taxi has published my review of Amélie Nothomb’s Tokyo Fiancée as a part of its Spring 2009 Online Edition.
Tags: Amina Cain, Books, I Go To Some Hollow, my reviews
PopMatters is now running my review of Amina Cain’s I Go To Some Hollow, a collection of unconventional and fleetingly lyrical short stories.