Friday, November 24, 2006


Jenny Diski has an absolutely perfect little diary piece at the London Review of Books on her experience with the Friendly Spider Programme at the London Zoological Society. Just go and read it, it is amazingly good....

(On an altogether less delightful and far more dispiriting note, also at the LRB, John Barrell decimates Christopher Hitchens's Thomas Paine book. I really wish people would not write bad books, it is so low--I guess there is a mindset of the "if someone is going to give me money to do this, I will dash it off on a whim & in great haste without checking any of the facts" variety, but I really cannot imagine--it is an outrageous cliche, but I am soundly and even perhaps obsessively of the "if a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing well" school of thought. Anthony Burgess wrote an extraordinary number of books and while many of them are quite odd not a single one is bad, they are all done with flair and attention; so being prolific is not an excuse.)

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