FLAUBERT-SAND

THE CORRESPONDENCE

A charming exchange between two extraordinary writers, from 1866 to 1876, with an illuminating introduction and continuity provided by Steegmuller (A Woman, A Man, and Two Kingdoms, 1991, etc.). Her translation (assisted by Barbara Bray) captures all of the qualities that led Alphonse Jacobs (who edited the French edition, on which this one is based) to conclude that this may be the finest correspondence of all time. When Flaubert began writing to Sand, she was 62 years old and 17 years his senior; a successful author and playwright; a grandmother with a scandalous past that included affairs with Chopin and Musset; a woman possessed of an independent spirit and an insouciant attitude. Flaubert was past the scandals of Madame Bovary, living in seclusion in Croisset with his aging mother and niece, periodically going to Paris to debauch with his literary friends. Along with their respective preferences and pleasures, families, travels, religion, and politics, the writers discuss their aesthetic principles: Sand scolds Flaubert for ``annihilating'' himself in his literature; for his misanthropic attitudes; for his obsession with form; and for his elitism, writing for ``only twenty intelligent people.'' The younger author defends himself, tactfully praises the many works Sands sends him (although, in truth, he dislikes her writing), and objects to her populism, her optimism, her subjectivity. The letters are flirtatious, even passionate, full of embraces and vows of love, but mostly Sand remains ``chäre maåtre adorable''—more a teacher than a lover, criticizing and affirming—while Flaubert is her ``troubadour'' whose self-deprecation brings out her most nurturing self. Caring, private, revealing: a treasure of friendship and a rare exchange enriched by the careful participation of Steegmuller- -more a tactful mediator than an editor—who has turned the correspondence into a work of art.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-41898-9

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1992

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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