John Carey

The Stranger From Within

William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies By John Carey (Free Press, 573 pp., $32.50) The publishing history of Lord of the Flies reads like a fairy tale. In 1953, more than half a century ago, a grubby, dog-eared manuscript that had made the rounds (and of which only the first twenty or so pages had received serious attention) arrived at the office of Faber & Faber, the most distinguished literary publisher in London.

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The Stranger From Within

William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies By John Carey (Free Press, 573 pp., $32.50) The publishing history of Lord of the Flies reads like a fairy tale. In 1953, more than half a century ago, a grubby, dog-eared manuscript that had made the rounds (and of which only the first twenty or so pages had received serious attention) arrived at the office of Faber & Faber, the most distinguished literary publisher in London.

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On Harvey Pekar

I'd like to honor divergent traditions and share a couple of thoughts about Harvey Pekar, the comic-book writer, cult celebrity, and jazz lover, who died on July 12 at age 70. In eulogistic tradition, I have some nice things to say. Pekar cared deeply about music and made a life-long study of jazz. He came to the genre, as many of his fans came to him, in pursuit of a kind of anti-heroism that reinforced his self-image as an outcast marginalized for his superiority.

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The Animator

Charles Dickens Michael Slater Yale University Press, 696 pp., $35 I. For a long time, everyone has known that Paris was the capital of the nineteenth century, the city where the modern was invented: the society of the spectacular. But everyone was wrong. The capital of the nineteenth century was London. Think about it. Walter Benjamin’s symbol of the Parisian modern was the arcade. The arcade! In London-according to the social campaigner Henry Mayhew, there were 300,000 dustbins, 300,000 cesspools, and three million chimneys.

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