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.
The last five days of the eleventh-century Icelandic politician, writer of sagas, and famous murder victim Snorri Sturleleson (the Norwegian spelling, Snorre, is preserved in the book) make up Thorvald Steen’s most recently translated historical fiction, The Little Horse. Murdered. . .
We all know Paris, or at least we think we know it. The Eiffel Tower. The Latin Quarter. The Champs-Élysées. The touristy stuff. In Dominique Fabre’s novel, Guys Like Me, we’re shown a different side of Paris: a gray, decaying. . .
One hundred pages into Birth of a Bridge, the prize-winning novel from French writer Maylis de Kerangal, the narrator describes how starting in November, birds come to nest in the wetlands of the fictional city of Coca, California, for three. . .
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .
The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this,. . .
Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .
It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .