Wrapup: Our Think Again column is called “Falling for the Far Right’sACORN Agenda” and deals with the manner in which the MSM got rolled byright wing re-working vis-a-vis ACORN. You can find it here.My Nation column this week is called “The House that Irving Built.”
Alter-reviews: Raymond Carver, Thorton Wilder and Big Star.My friends at the Library of America have finally gotten around toRaymond Carver and collected all his stories in, you guessed it,Collected Stories, edited by William L. Stull and Maureen P. Carroll
Based on previous collections such as Will You Please Be Quiet,Please?, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,Cathedral and Where I’m Calling From, Carver established himself as theshort story writer of his moment. That they are all in one place wouldbe reason enough to want this on your shelf–even, if as I do, you havethe paperback somewhere. LOA decided to offer up the pre-Gordon Lishversion of Beginners, the manuscript of What We Talk About When We TalkAbout Love and it’s revelatory in the extensiveness of the collaborationbetween writer and editor–one that was a source of both inspiration andanguish to Carver, whom I met once, and struck me as a really decent,albeit sad, man. LOA has also published a bunch of novels and stories byThornton Wilder: The Cabala * The Bridge of San Luis Rey * The Woman ofAndros * Heaven’s My Destination * The Ides of March * Stories andEssays, which were edited by J. D. McClatchy. Most of us know Wilder forhis plays (which LOA has also published). These are, therefore, awonderful surprise, and a perfect example of why we need a LOA, lestthey be lost to us if publishing depended purely on profit. Thevolume concludes with a selection of early short stories–among them”Precautions Inutiles,” published here for the first time–and aselection of essays that offers Wilder’s insights into the works ofStein and Joyce, as well as a lecture on letter writers that bears onboth The Bridge of San Luis Rey and The Ides of March.
Big Star box reviewed by Sal.
Keep An Eye On The Sky, Rhino’s new and wonderful four-CD tribute to cultheroes Big Star, might just be a little too much, but the music itselfplays so smoothly one may not notice the repetition. The band led byAlex Chilton and Chris Bell with Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel areMemphis legends, the quintessential power pop band whose influence canbe heard all over records by Cheap Trick, R.E.M., The Replacements, ThePosies and so many more. With only 2 records under their belt, 1972’s”#1 Record” and 1974’s “Radio City,” Big Star managed to secure apermanent place in the annals of A-list rock and roll.