Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Best American Tragedies, 2005

Katrina has further injured the already wounded space program. "We're not panicking yet," he says. Yet.

I said it before, I'll say it again: I do not want this man in charge of my country's security.

I've been looking forward to this year's edition of Best American Short Stories, not just because Michael Chabon edited it, but because I've known for a while that one of the stories in it belongs to Kelly Link. It's a stupendous achievement for her, and actually, it's in keeping with Chabon's lobbying of genre-legitimacy. He's been doing it for a couple years in the McSweeney's Thrilling Tales volumes, where he argues the value of good old fashioned story telling. Apparently in Best American, he goes even further, championing not just storytelling, but that sinful, lowest of literary enterprises: entertaining.

(Lifted from Moorish Girl):

Yet entertainment--as I define it, pleasure and all--remains the only sure means we have of bridging, or at least of feeling as if we have bridged, the gulf of consciousness that separates each of us from everybody else. The best response to those who would cheapen and exploit it is not to disparage or repudiate but to reclaim entertainment as a job fit for artists and for audiences, a two-way exchange of attention, experience, and the universal hunger for connection.


In the non-tragedy department: My brother set up his shingle up today. The sign for his gallery went up. It won't be long now; he's still looking at 10/1 or so.

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