Notes On Reading Caleb Crain’s “Necessary Errors”

“What is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?” And Caleb Crain would seem to agree. His recent novel, “Necessary Errors,” is full of conversations, and he’s now providing the pictures in an electronic “extra illustrated binding” on his blog. But any resemblance to the Alice books probably stops there. One…

Writing and its Discontents: Lady Gaga to Replace McChrystal

I read with interest Caleb Crain’s recent post, about Freud, which begins with a doubt about blogging. Doubts about blogging can quickly reduce to an absurdity: why write at all? I’m beginning to suspect there are more readers than are being counted in the polls. The question is, what are we reading. Attendance at baseball games…

Books on Tee-Shirts: More on the Reading Crisis

In Ken Auletta’s “Publish or Perish,” about the sale of books in print copy versus electronic format (New Yorker, April 26), Steve Jobs is shown unwrapping the iPad as a reversal of Apple’s stated position two years earlier, when Jobs said, according to Auletta, that “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is,…

Solving the Texas Textbook Massacre, Scandal, and Mystery

Textbooks are like disposable diapers, fodder for landfills, their obsolescence planned and forced new editions programmed with regularity. When I was a kid we couldn’t write in our textbooks. The nuns used them year after year – textbooks must not have been programmed to self-destruct quite so quickly in those days. We had to cover…

Theo Jansen and Advanced “Avatar”

Caleb Crain, we learned yesterday, prefers movies that are true to nature, acoustic. He’s more interested in the Carny than the ride, while David Denby prefers the roller coaster, ignoring the Carny, and if he doesn’t have to leave the theatre for the ride, even better. Johnny Meah’s act wouldn’t make much of a movie…

Crain, Denby, Dylan and the Avatar of Health Care

“Now there’s nothing wrong with technology per se, and there’s nothing wrong with fantasy, either,” Caleb Crain offers at the end of his Avatar movie review (posted both on his blog and at n+1). And there’s nothing wrong with corporations, per se, either, he might have added, for, in any case, are not many of…

caMels, whEN to caPITalize, & concrEte POEMS

Over at Steamboats, Caleb Crain has lately expressed a concern over the use of camel case letters. We are not opposed to the use of camel case in a corporate logo, particularly where Concrete poetry might find a place in commerce. We went to An Anthology of Concrete Poetry (Emmett Williams, ed., 1967, Something Else Press), remembering some camel…