More reviews of Terry Castle’s The Professor and Other Writings and Elif Batuman’s The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them — in New York magazine here, and The New York Times here.
UPDATE: Reviews of The Professor pouring from the MSM in a Vesuvial flow:
- At the New Republic here.
- At Canada’s National Post here.
- And the Huffington Post picked up the San Francisco Chronicle review here.
- And there’s a podcast from a Santa Cruz radio interview here.
(New Republic review off the “wow” meter: “The Professor goes places no book ever written about professors has ever gone. And it understands more about the academic vocation, and the art of self-examination, than the shelf of grave and socially responsible studies of and by professors that have appeared in recent years. It is a superb weapon for tearing up that soul-destroying cardboard figure of fun its title names.”)
Meanwhile, Elif Batuman is guest-posting at the New Yorker here.
And … and … and … Batuman’s book is reviewed in the San Francisco Chronicle here: ” … Batuman’s collection of ‘many unclear purposes’ is comic and baggy and wayward…”
And here in the Christian Science Monitor: “Part sleuth, part pundit, Batuman both plays the game of literary exegesis and skewers it”:
When a colleague maintains that Babel’s “Red Cavalry” cycle would never be totally accessible to her because of its “specifically Jewish alienation,” Batuman responds, “Right…. As a six-foot-tall first-generation Turkish woman growing up in New Jersey, I cannot possibly know as much about alienation as you, a short American Jew.” It goes right over his head.