05 December 2010
Books of the Year
Five fiction, five non-fiction. I haven't read any of them. But they make for an intriguing list. In case someome needs ideas on a Christmas gift for me, these are the most tempting three books on that list:
1. Among the fiction entries: A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan. The Times calls it a “virtuosic rock ‘n’ roll novel,” apparently on the grand scale, following 13 characters over four decades, combining their fictional lives into "an artful whole, irradiated by a Proustian feel for loss, regret and the ravages of love.”
2. Non-fiction, APOLLO's ANGELS, by Jennifer Homans. This is a history of ballet. I've never actually sat through a ballet in person. I think I watched all of "The Nutcracker" on television once, but that is the extent of my appreciative history. Still, the history of any art form is bound to prove a microcosm of cultural history in general, and should provide insights from its own particular angle of vision.
3. Memoir, FINISHING THE HAT, the first half of a projected two-volume autobiography by Stephen Sondheim. The strange titular phrase is the name of a song in "Sunday in the Park with George."
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.