Matter Notes:

Karen Michalson
Photo by Nana Nakazwe

Matter Notes: A lawyer's private notes on a legal matter; considered inviolate and nondisclosable. By metaphor and game, my occasional blog posts on the war on the humanities, the corporatization of higher education, fiction writing, publishing, and the current state of culture and society. In both cases, a form of work product.

09
March
2012

Well, yes, as a matter of fact, it is the MFA programs

First, Tim Parks’s translation of Roberto Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony is unspeakably brilliant and remains for me, nearly twenty years after its publication, as close to a religious experience as I’ve ever had. Second, Mr. Parks’s latest piece in The New York Review of Books, “The Writer’s Job,” is dead-on right, except […]

03
March
2012

I’m shocked! Shocked! Serious novels lack cultural relevance!

Nevertheless, this Weekly Standard piece by Roger Kimball is worth reading.  In “The Great American Novel: Will there ever be another?” Kimball argues that the novel has lost its former cultural relevance in part because the “character of culture” has changed. I happen to agree.  I don’t happen to care.  The novel went the way […]

24
February
2012

Buy books. Refuse to read them. Impress your friends.

Yes, I know it’s the Huffington Post.  But this gem caught my attention, from a truly bizarre article called “12 Books You NEED on Your Bookshelf”: But if you’re going to buy hard covers with at least one eye on the opinions of visiting friends and relatives, these are our choices of the titles you […]

18
February
2012

Something like this really happened.

A waitress in a local coffee shop was complaining to me and everyone else about being 47.  Her body aches with middle age.  Her eyes hurt.  She hates it. Riffing on your age is only socially acceptable if you are between 40 and 60 years old.  If you are over 60, nobody wants to hear […]