"Anger and jealousy can no more bear to lose sight of their objects than love."
--George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
"How sickness enlarges the dimensions of a man's self to himself."
"Give me the luxuries of life and I will gladly do without the necessities."
--Frank Lloyd Wright
My latest American Enterprise books column is now online:
Chick lit novels—books that concentrate on the lives and loves of (usually young) women—have been dominating bestseller lists for the last few years. Many of these books are starting to make it to the silver screen: Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada is now in theatres, and Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes was last year’s big entry in the genre. Deeper than romance novels, but lighter than literary fiction, chick lit is now filling what seems to have been a hole in the fiction section.
But is it so new? Most readers think Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary opened up the field. Many critics wryly point to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as the forerunner of the genre. But I believe the answer lies somewhere in between: E.M. Delafield’s Diary of a Provincial Lady, published in 1930, is the original chick lit novel...
The New York Daily News reports on Stephen Baldwin's upcoming book, The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith:
God, for example, wanted him to star with Pauly Shore in "Bio-Dome" — but advised him against playing Jennifer Garner's love interest in "Alias" — he claims in an upcoming memoir.
Jacob Hale Russell reports in The Wall Street Journal on how some orchestras are responding to the era of digital music:
The Milwaukee symphony also is pioneering a new recording technology, in which it positions two microphones in a dummy of a human head to mimic the concertgoer's location in the orchestra hall. Using so-called binaural microphones, these finely tuned recordings are aimed at consumers who download music and tend to listen to recordings on headphones. "When we got it right, it was quite startling," says Robert Levine, a violist with the orchestra who has helped spearhead its online initiatives. "It really does feel like a concert: There is something so immediate and human about it, and you can even hear people moving."But can you hear them sneezing, coughing, and humming, too?
"If she can't have it all, who among us could?"
"The contrast between what is glamorous now and what was glamorous in the days of Cary Grant and Norma Shearer says much about how American society has changed. Glamour used to present an idealized version of adulthood. Now it presents an idealized version of adolescence. In the old days, glamour was all about unattainability, i.e., fantasy projection. These days, it has become unthinkable that a major Hollywood director might echo Cecil B. DeMille, who instructed Edith Head's department at Paramount to make clothes 'that make people gasp when they see them. Don't design anything anybody could possibly buy in a store.'"
--Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times
"Flowers are simply tarts; prostitutes for the bees."
--Uncle Monty in Withnail and I
"In Washington, you are much more recognized as a position than as a personality."