Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles Times’


Nifty: Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler

July 25, 2011

Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler via BBC 1958Carolyn Kellogg‘s reflection on Raymond Chandler at Jacket Copy includes this gem:

… writer Geoff Nicholson sent me a link to an amazing 1957 interview between Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler on the BBC. It was the first time I’d heard Chandler speak, a strange and marvelous experience. He’s a little moody, a little distracted, and quite possibly drunk. The two were, apparently, sitting in the same studio in England.

Yeah. Click that link. It is about twenty-five minutes long. Absolutely fascinating.



From Yamhill to Forever

April 12, 2011

Beverly Cleary (undated)A note for Ms. Beverly Cleary: Happy ninety-fifth birthday, ma’am. And thank you so much for a lifetime’s worth of stories.

From Yamhill to your own two feet, Klickitat Street, and the infinity of our dreams and imaginations, these stories are your indelible signature on this human endeavor.

As Ray Bradbury is fond of saying: No bad rice for you; you’re going to live forever.



Milne on the art of review

January 19, 2008

The Los Angeles Times on Friday brought us a rehash of a thoroughly charming 1921 essay by none other than A. A. Milne, on “The Perils of Reviewing“.

Of course in my review I said all the usual things. I said that Mr. Blank’s attitude to life was “subjective rather than objective” … and a little lower down that it was “objective rather than subjective.” I pointed out that in his treatment of the major theme he was a neo-romanticist, but I suggested that, on the other hand, he had nothing to learn from the Russians — or the Russians had nothing to learn from him: I forget which. And finally I said (and this is the cause of the whole trouble) that Antoine Vaurelle’s world-famous classic — and I looked it up in the encyclopedia — world-renowned classic, “Je Comprends Tout,” had been not without its influence on Mr. Blank. It was a good review, and the editor was pleased about it.

A few days later Mr. Blank wrote to say that, curiously enough, he had never read “Je Comprends Tout.” It didn’t seem to me very curious, because I had never read it either, but I thought it rather odd of him to confess as much to a stranger. The only book of Vaurelle’s which I had read was “Consolatrice,” in an English translation. However, one doesn’t say these things in a review.

One would think that should be among the reviewer’s bigger problems. You know. You’d think, wouldn’t you?

Maybe I’m naive.




From the Fire: “A Thin Cloak of Survival”

January 3, 2008

“Tales From the Fires” contestants in search of inspiration should give a few minutes to Janet Wilson’s “A Thin Cloak of Survival“, which ran recently in the Los Angeles Times:

They had drilled on this situation dozens of times, and if anyone remembered the training, it was rookie firefighter Jason Carl. Ninety-two days out of the Orange County fire academy, on a smoky slope in Santiago Canyon, Carl was reaching for the one thing he’d been told he should never need: the flimsy emergency shelters known as shake-n-bakes.

Wilson tells the story of Jason Carl, a rookie firefighter from Huntington Beach, who found himself trapped within the conflagration known as the Santiago Fire. Unable to cut a path out of the fire, Carl’s team hunkered down, deploying emergency shelters, and waited.

Perhaps our own experiences were not nearly so dramatic. Or maybe they were. What did you see? What did you feel? Did you find yourself in a strange place, seeking shelter among hundreds of people you’d never met? Or had you stayed as long as possible, determined to help protect your home? Did you escape with the fire nipping at your heels? Were you stuck in long lines of traffic funneling out of hot zones? Am I being melodramatic enough? Quite obviously, having missed the occasion, I have no idea what I’m asking you to write down for us. Which is, of course, why we need you to write it down.

We want to know your stories. And you want to tell us. Don’t forget to review the contest rules. We’re looking forward to the reading, so good writing to you.