Saturday, April 08, 2006

Saturday Reading

The Sox are on in the background and, in keeping with my prediction, they are winning.

But for all those not interested in America's sport, here is some Saturday reading.

In the TLS there is a review of some of Kipling's letters.

The Guardian has a translated article by Nawadir's favorite literary prankster, Orhan Pamuk.

The NY Times has a review of Saramago's new book, Seeing.

The NY Review of Books has an article by Christopher de Bellaigue, an excellent writer, on Iran and the Bomb.

And finally Robert Kaplan has an article out in the new Atlantic. I've been a fan of Kaplan for a long time, but lately his prose and his ideas seem hurried and lacking a great deal of consideration. In his new article, Colonel Cross of the Gurkhas, (the complete article is only available to subscribers) one line stood out to me as complete crap: "To call them Kiplingesque would be to cheapen them; they were practically out of the Iliad."

In the same paragraph, Kaplan insists on comparing the Gurkhas to the modern Marines that he has met throughout his travels with the military since 2001. Maybe. But I think Kaplan should be wary of trying to link everything together, just because it makes a better transition. Sure they are both warriors, as Kaplan would put it, but not all are alike, and one wouldn't want to cheapen them.

Kaplan at times, when he is patient, is an excellent writer. But when he is working on pushing out books, and only gaining an understanding of history through books published before 1940, he is at best an average writer.


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