Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wolcott on Empty Bottles, Hitler & the Rose Bowl

[Re: Simpson's "If I Did It"]
It is a book out of which no one comes off well, its real-life clichéd characters clattering like empty bottles. (James Wolcott in Vanity Fair).

And ...

[Re: Mailer's "The Castle in the Forest," a fictionalized account of Hitler's youth} All I know is that a third of the way through I knew that finishing the novel would be like trying to dig a tunnel with my bare hands, and that reviewing it would require tunneling back and submitting a piece that would betray the heavy slog of obligation. (Wolcott in his Vanity Fair blog).

And ...

The narration of The Castle in the Forest is such a creaky, padded performance embedded with winking ironies that it's like listening to a Germanic Lionel Barrymore. I'm also apathetic-to-unsympathetic (depending on my fickle mood) regarding Mailer's cosmology; I accept evil in the world, but not as the designer product of the Devil presiding over it like the grand marshall of the Rose Bowl parade. (Wolcott blog).

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