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.
“Rambling Jack—what’s that?”
“A novel. Novella, I guess.”
“Yeah, it looks short. What is it, a hundred pages?”
“Sorta. It’s a duel language book, so really, only about… 50 pages total.”
“And this—what. . .
Many authors are compared to Roberto Bolaño. However, very few authors have the privilege of having a Roberto Bolaño quote on the cover of their work; and at that, one which states, “Good readers will find something that can be. . .
In Josep Maria de Sagarra’s Private Life, a man harangues his friend about literature while walking through Barcelona at night:
When a novel states a fact that ties into another fact and another and another, as the chain goes on. . .
César Aira dishes up an imaginative parable on how identity shapes our sense of belonging with Dinner, his latest release in English. Aira’s narrator (who, appropriately, remains nameless) is a self-pitying, bitter man—in his late fifties, living again with. . .
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .
Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .
For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .
Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .