Well, not really. Just a random take on stuff.
The Guardian (UK) would occasionally make a praiseworthy but perilous foray into the fast-moving streams of selecting best books, fiction and non-fiction. Headaches guaranteed, especially in not only determining the really, really best but also in determining the sub-categories of its non-fiction.
For fiction, a sample of the choices, not all on the Guardian’s list, of some of us would include:
Crime and Punishment
Le Rouge et le Noir
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad)
Zorba the Greek
The thing about Dickens is his graphic depiction of the squalour of London, and the pollution – in the mid-20th century London would experience the type of coal-induced smog and sickness that plagued it in centuries past. In such an environment would arise Dr John Snow whose methodology to identify the source of the spread of a disease, cholera, a methodology that would be later adopted by economists. Dickens also captures well the illogic of debtor’s prison with its devastating effects on the family.
For non-fiction, tricky category, and randomly listed, and without sub-category:
Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee
Carta de Jamaica
Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Theory and Practice of Creole Grammar
Les Essais de Montaigne
Wealth of Nations
Wretched of the Earth
Thing about ‘classics’ is that sudden impulse to go have another read. And such reading can go with any of a grappe of musical selections – and the choice of musician or conductor also poses challenges. An example of such a challenge, and enjoyable at that:
Or Muti? But, at about 1:40…
And, no, classic is not restricted to classical music:
The luck of the Irish. This one we couldn’t invent. If even Dean Baker couldn’t believe it, who then are we? And when the usually staid, data-focused Calculated Risk joins the fray, we know we’re up a creek and hoping the Irish Times is, well, being impishly Irish with its tale, “Recession out of the picture as Fermanagh puts on a brave face for G8leaders”.
On 17 and 18 June 2013, the G8 leaders are to meet in Fermanagh, Ireland. And if that wasn’t bad luck enough for the Irish (and the unprivileged rest of the world), it was necessary to transmogrify evident signs of severe economic distress into sparkling and booming affluence. So in came the Leprechaunomists with their magic, inspired by one (case of) Guinness too many. Poof! No severe economic downturn. No brutal unemployment. The magic of Expansionary Austerity.
The blarney will meet the, the, well, to adapt Alvy Singer, “I happen to have Prof Frankfurt’s essay right here”. No pot- o’-gold for the Irish at the end of this rainbow.
Update, 21 June: Aside that comical, obligatory photo-op of posing with a Guinness, we have an incisive, withering take-down of the farce, the hypocrisy
We give praise to Honourable Clare Daly with this special shamrock.