Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Wikileaks was supposed to transform journalism. But then its epic downfall began. Foreign Policy | 7 min (1,660 words) What happens when a bunch of urban northerners descend on a book sale in the sweltering Texan heat? Larry McMurtry on his Archer City auction. NYRB | 4 min (1,014 words) Steve Jobs was a genius with a short temper.
It's hard not to laugh, or at least smile, when you see, say, Larry McMurtry give glowing praise to Gore Vidal's new memoir in the New York Review of Books. After all, this is the publication commonly known as the New York Review of Each Other's Books. But on the incestuous reviewing front, I was glad to see that National Review is giving NYRB a run for its money. In the latest issue, the first back-of-the-book essay heaps fawning praise on John O'Sullivan's new history of Reagan, Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II (all heroes of freedom, coincidentally).
For fans and critics alike, Brokeback Mountain will forever be known as the "gay cowboy" movie. Almost invariably, the emphasis will be placed on the first half of that label--and understandably so: The love, briefly indulged and long inhibited, between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist is the narrative and emotional core of the film and of the Annie Proulx short story on which it is based.
Ang Lee continues to astonish. In 1995, when his best-known film was Eat Drink Man Woman, set in his native Taiwan, the producers of Sense and Sensibility tapped him to direct their picture: an act of perception, of courage, for which all of us owe them thanks. Lee proceeded—incredibly—to make the best of the Jane Austen films.