Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bay Area Literary Musings

Of course the big news of the day is the Apple iPad. I loved all the jokes about how it sounds like a sanitary napkin.  The interface to read books does seem appealing, but I am still not sure if I can be lured away from my printed paper. For me, an individual book represents the expression of an author’s thoughts and personality and I never find the same connection while reading on a computer.

I am more tempted by the netbook possibility of the iPad.  It seems like the perfect size to tout around on an interview or to the Bancroft library when I need to take notes.  I have become completely addicted to my iPhone, so I can imagine falling hard for the iPad.

A heads up: Every wonder why there is animosity between the Jews from central Europe and eastern Europe? Ever wonder why some Jews have Christmas trees and celebrate Christmas? Ever think that Jews in California don’t seem all that Jewish?  If so, come to a discussion Thursday Jan. 28 at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center on California Street near Arguello.  Fred Rosenbaum, author of The Cosmopolitans, a book about the growth of the Bay Area Jewish community, and I will be in a discussion moderated by Francesco Spagnolo, the Director of Research at the Judah L. Magnes Museum . We’ll talk about the particular characteristics of Jews in the Bay Area, their contributions, and what they have accomplished, (or not) The panel starts t 7 pm.

The New York Times has picked up 1,000 new subscribers since it launched its Bay Area edition in late October.

Since I am writing regularly for this section, I am delighted to learn of the positive response to our work.

Earlier this year I pointed to the release of a book by Stanford professor Terry Castle, who also writes for the London Review of Book. Castle”s book, The Professor and Other Writings, has just been released. Salon interviewed with Castle, and she has a lot of intriguing things to say. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Sex, particularly lesbian sex, is a consistent theme in your new book. What did you think of Katie Roiphe's recent essay on the lack of carnality among today’s young American male novelists?
I enjoyed Katie Roiphe’s article immensely. She’s right. Some of these "emo-guy" writers -- I won’t name names -- suffer from advanced cases of male estrogen oversaturation. They have the heartbreak of floppy-man-boob disease. And no, I’ve never been bothered by carnality in writing. I think Philip Roth is a genius. Male horn-dogging doesn’t bother me that much. (Maybe because it doesn’t affect me directly.) The writing is what matters. I once saw Norman Mailer jogging shirtless in Provincetown in some huge, billowing turquoise Lonsdale boxing trunks. A lumbering and majestic sight. I’ve been trying to emulate the look myself ever since.

Don’t’ forget to come hear San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll interview writer Dave Eggers Feb 1 at 7 pm at Berkeley Rep.

1 comment:

Diane said...

I want the IPAD, as I love my IPHONE but I probably will not get one right now as I just got the Kindle in November. I'd like it for the large screen, slim style net book feature and to watch movies on. Will be waiting for reviews once it is released.