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Posts Tagged ‘The New York Review of Books’

The New York Review of Books Blasts Mad Men

In the February 24th issue of The New York Review of Books, Daniel Mendelsohn takes a critical look at Mad Men. If you haven’t watched all the episodes yet, don’t read it or this, because there are spoilers. If you have, take a few minutes and read Mendelsohn’s piece, and then come back here to see why he’s completely wrong.

Mendelsohn takes issue with almost everything about the show, and finds himself searching for why anyone likes it. But most of the article is spent on attacking the writing, which left us wondering if he watched the same show we did. Mendelsohn’s main problem seems to be that the writing doesn’t delve deeply enough into the issues at hand:

Most of the show’s flaws can, in fact, be attributed to the way it waves certain flags in your face and leaves things at that, without serious thought about dramatic appropriateness or textured characterization.

Anyone who has seen the show knows that sometimes things seem squeezed together, but isn’t that exactly how life happens? Thoroughly discussed emotions and events rarely happen in real life, so why does Mendelsohn expect it to happen in a TV show?

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Dunham Canceled|@biz Looks Back|Fletcher Leaves NBC|Illustrator Levine Dies|Another Shuttered Mag Poll

Huffington Post: Jeff Dunham’s controversial ventriloquist act with his racist puppets won’t be coming back for a second season on Comedy Central. Tear.

WebNewser: Twitter founder Biz Stone looks back at 2009.

TVNewser: Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent Martin Fletcher is leaving NBC News after 32 years.

New York Times: The New York Review of Books illustrator David Levine has died at age 83.

Huffington Post: Vote for the magazine you will miss most. (We think FishbowlNY readers would pick Gourmet.)

Zadie Smith On Barack Obama and Speaking in Tongues

smithsilver.pngThere’s been so much numbers talk in publishing this past week — layoffs, sales, etc. — that it’s nice to be reminded of what books are actually about: Words! Language! Last Friday at the NYPL Zadie Smith gave the annual Robert Silvers lecture — Silvers founded The New York Review of Books forty years ago along with Barbara Epstein and the magazine recently ran a long essay by Smith called “Two Paths for the Novel.” This lecture, titled ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ explored the power of language in defining who we are: “What does it mean when we speak in different ways to different people? Is it a sign of duplicity or the mark of a complex sensibility?”

Smith drew from examples as varied as Eliza Doolittle, to Shakespeare, to Barack Obama (video after the jump) to her own upbringing as the child of a Jamaican mother and an English father in North London followed by an education at Cambridge where she taught herself to speak with a different accent. Those of you waiting for a new Zadie Smith novel, however, may be waiting for a while. Smith later told the audience that her next book, Fail Better, which we think is intended to be some sort of collection of the academic-esque lectures she’s been giving over that last few years, will be out January 2010, any new fiction will come after that. After the jump Smith talks about language, equivocation, and Barack Obama.

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