In honor of Butler’s semi-improbable run to the Final Four, making Brad Stevens the youngest coach in history to make it to two Final Fours, and because it’s true that publishers and bloggers and people in general freak out too much, and because it’s Monday, I’m rerunning this post from last April, which pretty well encapsulates my feelings about my Zen Master.
So last night’s National Championship was one of the best basketball games I’ve ever watched. Back-and-forth, fairly well-played, intense, exciting, etc., etc., all coming down to a half-court miracle shot that was a fraction of a hair from going in and bringing the Evil Duke Empire (and their possibly unhinged coach) to its knees. Wow.
OK, admittedly, as a lot of my friends know, I love Duke basketball. But, wow. If one of Butler’s last attempts had fallen . . . it would’ve been a thing of pure beauty.
To be honest, I was shocked that last shot didn’t go in. Which sounds loopy (how often do half-court shots actually go in?), but not as loopy as this: I think that Brad Stevens, Butler’s coach, is so at One with the universe that he can control matter. And possibly the space-time continuum.
I’m only one of thousands singing the praises of this 33-year-old wunderkind, although I may be the only person who truly believes he’s reached a higher state of being. Seriously, if you watched any part of any Butler game in this tournament, you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s never been a college coach so calm, collected, and at peace. (“At peace” happens to be a phrase that he repeats ad infinitum during press conferences and interviews. Probably because it’s true! Wouldn’t you be all Zen if you could see through time?)
I’m not at all kidding when I say that this guy is my new hero. He doesn’t even sweat. Granted, sports provide crappy analogies for real life, but still, I think we can all learn from Brad Stevens and stop freaking out over everything.
Like, OK, so Rüdiger Wischenbart’s methodology and findings re: How to Become a Bestseller in Europe aren’t as crystal clear and compelling as they could be. Maybe his argument has a few blindspots and his article a few miscellaneous errors. But to take down all of Publishing Perspectives and go after its editor is maybe going a teesy bit too far. To crib one of my favorite bloggers, it’s like buying a crappy romance novel in an airport bookstore and then condemning reading as a whole. This book sucks. Fuck James Joyce!
This is not what Brad Stevens would do.
And remember how I said yesterday that the Ethicist column from this weekend was going to drive publishing folks batshit? I have to thank Melville House for not letting me down. In a post entitled “The Patheticist” (pun!), Megan Halpern goes after Randy Cohen and his argument about how downloading a e-version of a book you bought in hardcover may be illegal, but isn’t unethical. She trots out a number of semi-analogous situations to poke holes in his argument, and even goes on to insult his research methods re: the ecological impact of e-books.
All fine, good and true, but you won’t change the way people think by throwing bricks, only by mind-melding with all of humanity. A la Brad Stevens and his Butler Bulldogs. Live and learn people. Live and learn.
Upon completing Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal I was left to wonder why it ever fell from print. Aside from the location, Astragal could pass as the great American novel. Its edginess and rawness capture the angst and desires we all had. . .
When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .
“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .
With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .
In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .
You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .
The narrative history of. . .
Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .
Alessandro Baricco’s Mr. Gwyn is a set of two loosely interlinked novellas that play with narrative and the construction of character. Ably translated by Ann Goldstein, Mr. Gwyn plays some subtle metafictional games as Baricco delves into what it means. . .
I must admit upfront that I went into reading Saadat Hasan Manto’s Bombay Stories almost entirely blind. I have not read Salman Rushdie. I have read, perhaps, two short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. I might shamefully add that I really. . .
Throughout his work The Gray Notebook, Josep Pla mentions many different authors, some of whom have inspired him to pick up a pen. One of them is Marcel Proust. Even though Pla normally prefers nonfiction, he lauds the French novelist. . .