Weekend Update:


How do you refer, in notes and lists, to the person closest to you? What do you actually write down? A full name? That would be fine, but I’ve never done it. I write down Kathleen’s initials, because, for me, everyone’s service name is a monogram. This will surprise no one who has received an email from “rjk.”

I spent the day reading. At about five, I began to worry about Kathleen. It was getting on eleven where she was (Amsterdam), and I had a hard time not knowing that she was safe and sound. She called at twelve-ten her time, just back from a conference dinner. The worrying uncertainty always feels terribly corrosive, but the moment the phone rings Kathleen’s ring, my heart lifts up as light as can be.

What I read took a back seat to an ongoing meditation about the iPad. It’s not that I want one — and, even if I did, I’d wait for the preliminary bugs to be unkinked, and for the preliminary price to be reduced. But I knew by Wednesday morning (7 April 2010, for the record book) that my work here and at Portico is going to be read, sooner or later, on instruments such as the iPad, and not on what we now call computers. As someone who rails on against writers who never read, I’m especially bound to familiarize myself with the new environment, which seems, at my ignorant remove, to have succeeded in extracting everything humanistically useful about the PC and discarded the rest, a voluminous residuum.

Nevertheless: Russell Baker on Gerald Boyd (NYRB), Jonathan Lears on Ralph Nader (LRB) and David Samuels’s amazing piece about Balkan criminality in The New Yorker. Also Bernard Friedman on Cassidy and Lanchester.

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