November 6, 2008

"At an average of five books a week ... I will read 13,000."

"Then I'm dead."

8 comments:

Palladian said...

"A former union activist and community organizer, Leonard was an emphatic liberal.. Kurt Vonnegut once praised him as "the smartest man who ever lived"..."

There's some things that don't add up in there.

Palladian said...

Now think about the quote in my last comment when you read this one:

"...[Leonard] was taken on by William F. Buckley at the National Review, where other young writers included Garry Wills and Joan Didion... Wills, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Lincoln at Gettysburg," remembered Leonard as a "terrific stylist" and an obvious talent at the National Review, where Buckley prized quality as much as politics."

Sigh. How incredible and wonderful! Where is William F. Buckley when you need him?

Lem said...

Although gravely ill near the end, Leonard did make sure to vote Tuesday, for Barack Obama, needing a chair as he waited at his polling place on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

After a lifetime of toil in letters, it's good to know he left this earth a completely fulfilled man ;)

john said...

"... a literary critic in the noblest sense of the word, where you didn't determine whether a book was `good or bad' but wrote with a point of view of how you should read the book."

Studs obviously never got a bad review from him.

One day my reviews are going to get me a free trip to Europe. I gotta champion someone.

Lem said...

Reset. I'm at cruel neutrality again. And I mean to stay in this position until 2012.

Says a democrat when mostly courted by republicans ;)

Cedarford said...

Rat crap!

One thing I cherished in the Military was the NYT Book Review - even if it was 2-3 months late when I got it.John Leonard was so readable...

Now the guy I looked for in anticipation in Kuwait as Western newspapers were dumped off, to inform my mind, has died of lung cancer right after Michael Crichton. I finagled "sloppy seconds" on the Sunday Times after some asshole Major aide to a 3-Star had his 2-4 days.

As much as I liked Leonard, dare I say Crichton, his essays, and massively popular novels matter more than the critic's life work?
Nobels for his favorites nonwithstanding - match the impact of the creator of Andromeda, ER, Jurassic Park and his awesome esays intended for us grad folks...

I just see the two of them, puffing away on smokes as they type up transcendent stuff.....

ron st.amant said...

It is just me or has it seemed like this year we've lost a lot of esteemed writers, more than usual I mean?

cokaygne said...

Sad that Leonard's gone. I loved his reviews on the CBS Sunday morning program - where liberals went to church and he was the one who read the gospel. I also loved his reviews in the NYT. I didn't really share his politics, but, maybe because he was an acoholic or a suspected Irish Catholic, his liberalism never came across as preaching to the converted or condesenscion.