Sunday, October 10, 2010

Grossman to The Constitution

On authors in my recommended reading.
It is no accident that the prologue to David Grossman’s new novel, “To the End of the Land”, takes place in a fever ward. As the stories unfold, the reader discovers that fever is not just a symptom of physical illness. It becomes a description of the existential state of Israel. --The Economist
The Peruvian writer Maria Vargas Llosa today [Thursday, October 7, 2010] won the 2010 Nobel prize for literature, crowning a career in which he helped spark the global boom in South American literature, launched a failed presidential bid and maintained a 30-year feud with the man he now joins as a Nobel laureate, Gabriel García Márquez. --Richard Lea
While about two-thirds of the Kafka estate eventually found its way to Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the remainder — believed to comprise drawings, travel diaries, letters and drafts — stayed in Brod’s possession until his death in Israel in 1968, when it passed to his secretary and presumed lover, Esther Hoffe. After Hoffe’s death in late 2007, at age 101, the National Library of Israel challenged the legality of her will, which bequeaths the materials to her two septuagenarian daughters, Eva Hoffe and Ruth Wiesler. The library is claiming a right to the papers under the terms of Brod’s will. The case has dragged on for more than two years. --Elif Batuman
from 1929 until his death 27 years later, he [Robert Walser] lived in an asylum and produced no more literature, or so it was believed for many years. “I’m not here to write. I’m here to be mad,” he proclaimed.
     In fact, he wrote quite a bit, but in microscript, a type of shorthand. He also wrote in such small scribble that it was not recognized as literature for decades, and no one translated the microscripts into German until the 1980s. Now, they have been translated into English. --David Ziemer
After reviewing cogent legal arguments presented by Hamilton and Jefferson, President Washington came down squarely on Hamilton’s side, approving the first central bank.
     John Marshall, the famed chief justice, traced the rise of the two-party system to that blistering episode, and American politics soon took on a nastily partisan tone. --Ron Chernow (via James Bowman at Arma Virumque)

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