Back from Class: Perusing NYTBR 14 October 2007

Self has no phone messages, no e-mail messages, and no mail.

Ahhh, bliss.

Blog still alive and kicking.

Self kicks off her shoes, dumps bag in a corner, and stretches out on couch to watch “Judge Alex.”

In absence of news of any sort, self will just resort to old standby, books she is interested in reading (Oops, spoke too soon: there’s the phone. But self decides not to pick up, is fairly sure it’s probably just another solicitor) after perusing the Oct. 14, 2007 issue of The New York Times Book Review:

(1) After reading Kathryn Harrison’s review of Mario Vargas Llosa’s latest novel, The Bad Girl :

Mario Vargas Llosa’s novel The Bad Girl

(2) After reading John T. Edge’s review of Ken Albala’s Beans: A History

Ken Albala’s previous book, Eating Right in the Renaissance

(3) After reading Elizabeth Royte’s review of Nancy Marie Brown’s The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman :

Nancy Marie Brown’s previous book, about Icelandic ponies: A Good Horse Has No Color
Nancy Marie Brown’s The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman

Quote of the Day: The New Yorker on “Eastern Promises”

From a review by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker of 17 September 2007:

The tension comes to a head in the Turkish-bath scene —  without doubt the best Turkish-bath scene, for connoisseurs of what is admittedly a limited genre, since the murder of Roderigo in Orson Welles’s Othello.  Welles used towels and steam because he lacked money for costumes, whereas Cronenberg uses even less — hardly a breath of steam and soon no towels at all — because he wants Mortensen to scrap and swipe for his life with nothing on . . .  Now he, too, is as naked as a newborn: a bare, forked animal defending himself against a pair of Chechen thugs.  Given that the male nude was a staple of Western art from Praxiteles, in the fourth century B.C., up to Rodin, its absence from movies —  other than pornography —  has been a grave and prudish waste, and Nikolai’s struggle in “Eastern Promises” is an astounding set piece of savagery and vulnerability.

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