Eugene Schlanger wrote:
> It appears that the number of e-mails has diminished substantially.
We've got to find time to read. As far behind as I am, I'm not as far
behind as Michael Kinsley who put up an amusing article on Slate today.
Curse You, Robert Caro!
By Michael Kinsley
Updated Thursday, November 21, 2002, at 1:35 PM PT
My motives were ignoble--mainly vanity and a desire for free book--so,
it served me right when the books started rolling in and I realized
with horror that I was actually expected to read them: 402 in all.
Agreeing to be a judge of the National Book Awards, nonfiction
division, was especially hypocritical because two things I have long
claimed to oppose in principle are books and awards.
You have to swallow your irritation at the panelist who--like the girl
back in high school who always did the extra credit problem in math
class--not only has "almost finished" that 1,056-page second (and not
final) volume of a Melville biography but has "reread" the first one.
"How do you do it?" the rest of us gasped "On the StairMaster," she
Once every seven or eight years, Robert Caro wheels out another
gargantuan volume in his legendary biography of Lyndon Johnson, now up
to Vol. 6: The Kindergarten Era (Part 1). When I realized 2002 was one
of the fat years, I tried desperately to escape. But it was too
late. "Ever heard of a Faustian bargain, fella?" said the man from the
National Book Foundation with an evil grin. "Welcome to hell--1,152
pages! Mwahaha -- hahahahahaha --"