Links We Liked for December 6, 2007
In a story that should really be tagged 'Gouranga' Inside Higher Ed reports that literary graffitti has been appearing at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The muted trumpet symbol, which is the centre of the puzzle (or is it?) of Thomas Pynchon's postmodern masterpiece The Crying Of Lot 49 has been daubed on walls, street furniture, and on pavements.
In the New York Times last week Stephen J. Dubner asked 'How Much Do Book Blurbs Matter?' and argued that since nobody trusts them and that editors (sometimes) write them anyway, what is the point?
Also last week Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation produced a bravura post on 'The Sophistry of Christopher Hitchens'. Right or wrong about Hitchens (I do think he's probably right), we like the kind of arguing that begins: 'But I'm here to bury Hitchens, not to praise him.'
And finally, this post appeared on the blog It Is Just You, Everything's Not Shit, which celebrates the nice things in life, back in March 2007, so in blog years it's a fossil. Still the sentiment fits us to a T:
Books are bloody marvelous. They can be life-changing; they can inspire; they can anger and incite; they can move you; they can educate you; they can fill you with ambitions and dreams; they really can change the world. Which is why starting a new book brings with it such a tingle of anticipation. You just don’t know which of the above effects, or any others, it may have. It could be the best book you will ever read. You could be a different person by the end of it. Starting a new book reminds you that life has endless potential.
Since then the blog has become a book itself, which you can buy here.